Endodontic FAQ

What is endodontics?

Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association involving treatment of the pulp (root canal) and surrounding tissues of the tooth. When you look at your tooth in the mirror, what you see is the crown of the tooth. The rest of the tooth, the portion hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root. Though the outer portion of the root is a hard tissue called dentin, the inside channel or “root canal” contains a pulp of soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves. Bacteria that are introduced into the pulp as a result of tooth decay, periodontal disease, tooth fracture or other problems, can severely damage the pulp. When that happens, an endodontic specialist removes the diseased pulp to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful endodontic treatment, the tooth continues to perform normally.

I’m worried about x-rays. Should I be?

While x-rays and CAT scans are routinely used during your endodontic consultation or treatment, these new computerized forms of radiography use significantly less radiation compared to older systems. Digital radiographs require 90 percent less radiation compared to conventional film based dental x-rays. These digital images can also be enhanced and magnified increasing the quality of treatment. 



What is a CBCT?

Our newest addition to the office is the Carestream CBCT scanner.   The CT machine allows for imaging in three dimensions.  The ability to visualize a tooth from every direction aids in all phases of therapy.  From diagnosis to treatment, the CBCT scanner has been instrumental to elevating our standard of care.


What about infection control?

We adhere to the most rigorous standards of infection control advocated by OSHA, WISHA, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association. We utilize hospital grade autoclave sterilization and barrier techniques to eliminate any risk of infection.

What other new technologies are being used?

In addition to dental CAT scans and digital x-rays our office utilizes Carl Zeiss operating microscopes during all phases of treatment. Magnification and fiber optic Xenon illumination are critical and allow our doctors to see the tiny details inside your tooth. A digital SLR camera attached to the operating microscope is used to record images inside your tooth for correspondence with your dentist.