Endodontic FAQ Jacksonville FL

What is endodontic treatment?

Endodontics, also called root canal therapy, is a recognized specialty of the American Dental Association.  Endodontics is the area of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of the diseased dental pulp and the tissues surrounding the root of a tooth.  The pulp is the small amount of soft tissue containing minute nerves and blood vessels within the tooth.  During initial tooth development, the pulp is responsible for the formation and growth of the hard part of the tooth.  After the crown and root(s) of the tooth have matured, the pulp tissue remains locked inside the tooth in a small root canal space. During one’s lifetime, the pulp may become diseased due to a variety of reasons (decay, trauma, deep fillings or cracks).  The inflamed pulp can quickly cause pain and even infection of the surrounding bone and soft tissue.  Elimination of the diseased pulp can be accomplished in two ways:  by performing endodontic therapy, thus saving the tooth, or by extracting the tooth. During endodontic therapy, an endodontic specialist removes the diseased pulp to save the tooth and to prevent further infection and inflammation.  After successful endodontic treatment, the tooth will continue to perform normally if adequately restored with a crown or permanent restoration. Dr. Allen has extensive training and experience in diagnosing the source of tooth pain, but here are some guidelines as to when root canal therapy might be indicated: — Sensitivity to hot/cold —  Pain or sensitivity when biting —  Discoloration of the tooth —  Swelling or tenderness in the gums —  Non-provoked, spontaneous pain.

Don’t Suffer From Tooth Pain Any Longer!

Pain in your tooth or gums may be a symptom of infected pulp. Dr. Allen can perform a Root Canal to treat the infected pulp, relieve pain, and save your natural teeth!

Call us: 904-260-6111

Will I feel discomfort during or after the procedure?

The goal of endodontics is to relieve discomfort caused by pulpal inflammation or infection.  With modern anesthetic techniques, the majority of patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure.  For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may be sensitive or sore, especially if there was discomfort or infection before the procedure.  In most cases, over-the-counter analgesics are used for this post treatment discomfort, but Dr. Allen may also prescribe additional medications for you.

What is an endodontist?

Endodontists are dentists with at least two additional years of advanced specialty education in diagnosis and root canal treatment.  Because they limit their practice to endodontics, endodontists treat these types of problems every day.  Endodontists use their special training and experience to treat difficult cases, such as teeth with narrow or blocked canals, or unusual anatomy.  Endodontists generally use advanced technology, such as operating microscopes, ultrasonics and digital radiography to perform these special services.

What does Board Certification mean?

The American Board of Endodontics (ABE) offers a certification program for endodontists.  Certification, which is a voluntary process, requires the following components: Education:  Board Certification requires successful completion of an advanced education program in endodontics accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Examinations: To become Board Certified, successful completion of the following three examinations is required. The Written Examination tests a broad range of fields, including anatomy, biochemistry, pathology, immunology, microbiology, pharmacology, radiology, statistics, clinical endodontics and related disciplines. The Case History Examination requires submission of documentation of a variety of cases from the endodontist’s own practice.  The cases must be diverse and complex enough to demonstrate exceptional knowledge, skills and expertise in the full scope of the field of endodontics. The final phase of the Board Certification process is an Oral Examination.  In the Oral Examination, a team of experts questions the endodontist about a variety of endodontic diagnosis and treatment situations.  Through the extensive interviews, the endodontist must demonstrate a high level of skill in problem solving, decision making, analysis, creativity and evaluation. An endodontist, who has satisfied all requirements of the Board Certification process of the ABE, is declared Board Certified by the Directors of the ABE.  This individual is then a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics.

I am worried about x-rays.  Should I be?

No.  While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic treatment, our office uses digital radiography, an advanced non-film computerized system.  Digital radiography 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 co-therapists via e-mail or on photo paper.  For more information contact Dexis, Inc.

What about infection?

Again, there is no need for concern.  Endodontics of Mandarin adheres 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 the risk of infection.

What happens after 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/her office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion of treatment at our office. Your restorative dentist will decide 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 to your need.

What new technologies are being used?

Digital Radiography:

Health and safety of our patients is of the highest concern.  In that endeavor, our practice has been utilizing digital radiography since 1996.  Our practice was the first in Northeast Florida to utilize this cutting edge technology, which allows an increase in diagnostic capabilities and provides up to 90% reduction in radiation to our patients.  Digital radiographs have the added benefit of always being available in our computer system for easy access at any time in the future.

Micro Endodontics:

In addition to digital radiography, we utilize special operating microscopes during treatment.  Magnification and fiber optic illumination allow Dr. Allen to see tiny details inside your tooth and to locate canals that might not be found without the aid of a microscope.

Ultrasonics:

Ultrasonic instruments are used in conjunction with the microscope to selectively remove tooth structure or bypass obstructions within the root canal system.

Nickel Titanium Instruments:

These elastic instruments allow the predictable negotiation and thorough cleaning of root canals which have a complex anatomy.

Apex Locators:

Computerized technology is used to measure the vertical dimension of the root canal space, ensuring that all of the diseased pulpal contents are removed.

Mineral Trioxide Aggregate:

Mineral Trioxide Aggregate is a biocompatible material used for pulp capping, resorption repairs, perforation repairs, apexification and root end filling during microsurgical treatment.

Will the tooth need any special care or additional treatment?

After the root canal treatment, you should not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your general dentist.  The unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture, so you should see your dentist for a full restoration approximately 10-14 days after your treatment is finished.  Continue to practice good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing before and after the tooth is restored.

Can all teeth be treated endodontically?

Most teeth can be endodontically treated.  Occasionally, a tooth cannot be saved because the root canal(s) are not accessible, the root is severely fractured, the tooth does not have adequate bone support or the tooth cannot be restored.