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. 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, such as Dr. Cabrera or Dr. Clark, removes the diseased pulp to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful endodontic treatment, the tooth continues to perform normally.
Why should I see an Endodontist?
Experience: On average, endodontists perform nearly 25 root canal treatments a week, while general dentists perform less than two.
Efficiency: Because they limit their practice solely to endodontic treatment, endodontists are efficient and precise. This equates to positive experiences and faster healing.
Availability: Most endodontists offer tremendous flexibility in accommodating emergency cases, so delays in treatment are kept to a minimum and patients can be relieved of dental pain quickly.
Advanced Technology: Endodontists use state-of-the-art technology such as operating microscopes, digital imaging, ultrasonic instrumentation and 3D imaging, to treat their patients quickly and comfortably.
Today, getting root canal treatment is often no more uncomfortable than having a filling.
If you’re experiencing tooth pain, whether sharp and throbbing or dull and achy, it can be difficult to bite and chew, concentrate, get through the day, even sleep at night, no matter what over-the-counter medication you take for some relief.
The source of tooth pain may be dental decay, a cracked tooth, or an infection. Regardless of the cause, if you have ongoing pain it’s time to see an endodontist for a consultation and possible treatment.
Dr Cabrera is Board Certified. What does this mean?
To become specialists, endodontists have two to three years of additional education in an advanced specialty program in endodontics after completing four years of dental school.
Only 23% of endodontists voluntarily become Diplomates which is achieved through a rigorous examination process.
Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics places you in a distinguished group of endodontists who have demonstrated exceptional knowledge and skill, dedication to continued professional growth, and a commitment to providing the highest quality of patient care. In fact, the practice of Endodontics as a recognized specialty of the ADA is reliant upon individuals who achieve Board certification.
Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists in Endodontics means he has passed the National Dental specialty Examination (NDSE) in Endodontics.
I’m worried about x-rays. Should I be?
No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic treatment, we use an advanced non-film computerized system, called digital radiography, that produces radiation levels up to 90 percent lower than those of already low dose conventional dental x-ray machinery. These digital images can be optimized, archived, printed and sent to cotherapists via e-mail or CD-ROM. For more information contact Sirona Dental Systems, Inc.
What about infection?
Again, there’s no need for concern. We adhere to the most rigorous standards of infection control advocated by OSHA, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association. We utilize autoclave sterilization and barrier techniques to eliminate any risk of infection.
What happens after root canal treatment?
When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact his office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond.
What new technologies are being used?
Intraoral Digital Radiography, 3-D radiographic images (Cone Beam Computed to Tomography), and Operating Microscopes.