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 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?
No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontics treatment, we use digital intraoral sensors that allow us to take X-rays using 70-80% less radiation versus conventional X-ray film. Digital x-ray technology allows us to decrease patient concerns of x-ray exposure and allows us to obtain high resolution dental images in a fraction of the time. These digital sensors combined with the Nomad Pro keep our patients at the lowest possible radiation exposure and allows our dental team to stand right next to the patient while performing an intrarol x-ray series. The technology to gain great diagnostics and the safety that one would expect from our office.
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 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 at our office. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is normal for your tooth to be tender or sensitive for several days or longer after endodontic treatment. Your endodontist will prepare you for this with post-operative instructions and over the counter or prescription medications. If you have any questions concerning your treatment, please feel free to contact your doctor.
What new technologies are being used?
In addition to digital radiography, we utilize special operating microscopes. Magnification and fiber optic illumination are helpful in aiding the doctor to see tiny details inside your tooth.
Nomad handheld x-ray device:
We now use the newest x-ray unit available for patient care. We have incorporated the Nomad Pro handheld device in our office to further increase the safety of dental radiographic examination in our intraoral radiography.
CBCT 3-D imaging:
This piece of machinery produces three-dimensional images of your teeth. This is an advanced piece of machinery, and most practices don’t have it on-site. This piece of technology is what separates a standard care practice from a cutting edge practice.
What are the benefits of having 3D Imaging on-site?
Saving Time and Money
Usually, when an endodontist or other dentist needs the accuracy of 3D imaging for treatment planning, they have to refer their patients to another facility. That means more running around and more spending. By having this technology on-site, Dr. Castro Goguen also saves you time and energy.
Immediate Pain Relief
Sometimes patients go to a specialist to find out where their pain comes from, but the endodontist can’t resolve it because the pain isn’t localized. Then they send you home, telling you to wait until it's localized. In the meantime, you have to suffer in pain until it becomes localized in one spot.
In many cases of non-localized pain, the 3D X-rays show where it’s coming from, allowing Dr. Castro Goguen to diagnose your pain immediately. This saves you time and suffering. Additionally, in difficult cases where 2D imaging can't locate the canals, 3D imaging will detect them. That enables Dr. Castro Goguen to figure out where to drill and maintain your tooth’s integrity.
There’s also a situation called calcified canals, for example, where the root canals are so small that 2D imaging can’t depict them. 3D imaging ensures that Dr. Castro Goguen finds all hidden canals. Sometimes root canals fail because the dentist didn’t find all the canals, or couldn’t negotiate all of them. 3D imaging will show you that the problem exists, allowing Dr. Castro Goguen to effectively treat the root canals.
Sometimes there are severe curves in root canals that don’t show up in 2D imaging. These cases are very difficult to negotiate. With 3D imaging, Dr. Castro Goguen can see exactly in which direction the curves are occurring. That way, she’ll know exactly where to drill, thus ensuring a successful treatment.
Many times when a root canal has to be retreated, a root canal specialist will use one invasive exploratory visit to diagnose the problem, and then treat the root canal during a separate visit. This one exploratory, invasive visit can often be bypassed with 3D imaging. Dr. Castro Goguen avoids the problem altogether, since the 3D imaging shows her exactly what and where the problem is, which means avoiding unnecessary numbing and drilling.
Alternatively, sometimes dentists put posts in teeth, but in the wrong direction. That makes a hole in your tooth, which could be excruciating. A 2D X-ray won’t always reveal such a problem, but 3D imaging will. As a result, in such cases, Dr. Castro Goguen can remove the post and repair the hole immediately.
There are certain infections that 2D X-rays just can’t detect. When two-dimensional imaging fails to show you what’s causing your toothache, often 3D X-rays will do the trick instead. That’s a huge boon to your health: Dr. Castro Goguen can figure out exactly where the infection is and how best to address it.
Sometimes patients come in with a situation called tooth resorption. This is where cells eat away at the tooth, either from within or on the outer portion of the tooth (internal or external resorption, respectively). Each problem requires a different treatment. 2D X-rays often can’t detect whether the resorption is internal or external, leaving it a matter of guesswork for the practitioner. That’s not the case with 3D imaging: Dr. Castro Goguen will get the diagnosis right the first time, which means she can prescribe the right treatment plan the first time.
Dr. Castro Goguen’s cutting-edge, on-site technology makes her more than capable of addressing all of your endodontic needs quickly and correctly. Schedule an appointment with her by booking today!