As an endodontic patient, what should I expect?
Techniques and Equipment
Endodontic treatment can often be performed in one or two visits and involves the following procedures:
Generally, root canal treatment is all that is needed to save teeth with injured pulp from extraction. Occasionally, this non-surgical procedure will not be sufficient to heal the tooth and your endodontist may recommend surgery. Endodontic surgery can also be used in locating fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on x-rays but still manifest pain in the tooth.
DIGITAL X-RAY TECHNOLOGY
Our patient’s care is our first priority here at Ballard Endodontics. We want to offer you the highest level of professional treatment possible. Our staff is trained to not only make you comfortable but regard your health with the respect we would want for ourselves. In order to minimize your exposure to radiation, we use the latest technology to take dental x-rays. X-rays are essential, diagnostic tools that we need to perform root canal therapy. Digital x-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental x-rays. Not only are they better for the health and safety of the patient, they are faster and more comfortable to take, which reduces your time in the office. Also, since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop the x-rays, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment. In addition to digital x-rays, we also use an apex locator to reduce the number of x-rays necessary to perform root canal therapy on a single tooth.
SURGICAL OPERATING MICROSCOPES
Ballard Endodontics is proud to be a pioneer in the use of the surgical operating microscope. The surgical operating microscope provides increased magnification and properly focused light which allows Doctors to view areas that otherwise would not be seen during conventional endodontic surgery. Using the microscope we can now anticipate an even higher degree of clinical success. Endodontic surgery, performed with a surgical operating microscope, requires advanced training and many hours of experience.
An opening is made in the gum tissue near the region of the tooth. Quite often inflamed or infected tissue will be removed and a biopsy taken. A small filling may be placed to seal the end of the root. Several stitches are then placed and healing generally proceeds without complications. With the use of modern local anesthetics, endodontic surgery usually involves little to no discomfort.
Nitrous Oxide sedation is available for an additional charge of $65.00. While most patients do not choose to use the nitrous, it is a personal preference and is available for those who normally use it during routine dental procedures.
For more information, see these related links.
American Association of Endodontists
Comprehensive examination to diagnose facial pain and pulpal injury to determine if the tooth is a good candidate for endodontic therapy.
Non-surgical treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. The injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed.
Under certain circumstances, microsurgery may be indicated. We are experts in performing this procedure, and utilize sophisticated equipment to ensure the best result.
Endodontic treatment is highly successful. There are however differences in success depending on the condition of the nerve at the start of the treatment. Dr. Ballard will gladly discuss this with you.
The surgical operating microscope (SOM) is the most significant Endodontic advancement in the last 15 years. Every procedure that is performed in our office is done with the aid of a SOM, whether it is a surgical or conventional procedure. The root canal anatomy can be extremely complicated.
Without the advantage of magnification, the canal system may not be thoroughly cleaned and shaped resulting in a greater degree of failed root canals. It also allows for a more thorough evaluation of the tooth for fractures that may negatively impact the long-term prognosis of the case. Put in other words, the SOM allows us to better predict potential failure, making our success rate extraordinarily high.
BALLARD ENDODONTICS • 1771 INDEPENDENCE CT. • SUITE 4 • VESTAVIA HILLS, AL • 35216 • (205) 414.1499 P • (205) 414.8244 F