Endodontic FAQ

What is endodontics?

Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognised by the Canadian 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 dentine, 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 an advanced non-film computerised system, called digital radiography, that produces radiation levels up to 90% lower than those of already low dose conventional dental x-rays. These digital images can be optimised, saved, printed and sent to you or your dentist via e-mail. For more information visit: www.carestream.com

What about infection?

There’s no need for concern. We adhere to the most rigorous standards of infection control advocated by College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia (www.cdsbc.org) and the Canadian Dental Association (www.cda-adc.ca). We utilise autoclave sterilisation and barrier techniques to eliminate any 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 general dentist. You should contact that office for a follow-up restoration (i.e. filling) within 30 days of completion at our office. Your general dentist will decide, with you, what type of restoration is best for your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after treatment or microsurgery. However, if a problem does occur please phone our office immediately:


What new technologies are being used?

Operating Microscopes:

In addition to digital radiography, we use a digital operating microscope while performing treatment. Magnification and fibre optic illumination are critical for seeing the tiny anatomical details inside teeth. 

Thermal Treated NiTi Instruments:

Both hand and rotary files are used to clean and shape the canals inside your roots. Thermal treated NiTi instruments allow great flexibility without a loss in performance. This enables the endodontist at Township Endodontic Centre to attain great results for even the most curved and difficult canals.

Biocompatible Materials:

Dental materials science has made great strides over the last few years. Every aspect of dentistry has benefited from the introduction of materials that not only perform better but are friendlier to our bodies. This includes both surgical and non-surgical endodontic treatment. All the materials used at Township Endodontic Centre are chosen not only for the proven performance but also for their biocompatibility. 

Electronic Apex Locator:

Prior to electronic apex locators being developed dentists and endodontists had to take ‘working length‘ check films to gauge the length of a canal in a root. This added time to the appointment, is fraught with inaccuracies, and resulted in more radiation exposure for the patient. The use of electronic apex locators is considered standard practice for endodontists in Canada as it increases the efficiency and accuracy of our treatment and reduces the number of required x-rays. In addition, apex locators can be used to diagnose perforations and root fractures. Root Zx II used at Township Endodontic Centre has an accuracy rate of 97.5%. 

Active Irrigation:

Advances in the delivery and chemistry of irrigants into and out of the canals of teeth allows us to remove more debris and kill more bacteria than ever before. Cleaning a canal system manually with instruments is not enough. It is necessary to use a variety of irrigants and to activate those irrigants to clean out the innumerable nooks and crannies in the complex canal systems of roots.