Answers to some frequently asked questions.
A recent study of 1.6 million subjects indicates a success rate of about 97% for root canal therapy. This success is much greater than much older and often cited studies. The increase in success rate is due to multiple improvements in root canal treatment techniques, such as better file materials for cleaning canals, more effective disinfectants, and incorporation of microscopes allowing better visualization of the root canal system.
In addition to digital radiography, we utilize special operating microscopes, when necessary. Magnification and fiber optic illumination are helpful in aiding the doctor to see minute details inside your tooth which can significantly impact the success of treatment.
Electronic Apex Locators:
These measure the change in resistance as a small file passes just out the end of your root canal, in most cases providing a more accurate measurement of the canal length than that given by radiographic imaging. Use of electronic apex locators thus minimizes the number of x-rays needed to complete root canal treatment.
Ultrasonic instruments can be valuable to remove or loosen obstructions that would otherwise prevent reliable endodontic therapy.
Oral sedation medication can be prescribed for patients with high anxiety. Please mention this at the time of your consultation. Patients taking sedatives are unable to drive safely and will require an escort: someone to bring them to the office and to pick them up afterwards. Sedation patients will also need some recovery time at home afterwards. Talk to us about it if you think oral sedation may be a good option for you.
For very nervous patients who have difficulty tolerating dental treatment endodontics can be done under intravenous or even general anesthesia in cooperation with a dental anesthetist. Note for this service patients are responsible for all anesthesia costs which are not typically covered by dental insurance plans and will usually require a separate consultation with the anesthetist. Please keep in mind we cannot offer this service for immediate care. Also note additional dental procedures are usually required after the root canal treatment is completed, i.e. fillings, crowns, which cannot be done at the same time as the root canal. We are happy to discuss options relating to your particular situation at the time of your consultation.