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Advanced Endodontic Associates

Advanced Endodontic Associates

 
What is an Endodontist and what do they do?

Endodontists are dentists who specialize in maintaining teeth through endodontic therapy -- procedures, involving the soft inner tissue of the teeth, called the pulp.  The word "endodontic" comes from "endo" meaning inside and "odont" meaning tooth.  Like many medical terms, it's Greek.  All dentists are trained in diagnosis and endodontic therapy, however, some teeth can be especially difficult to diagnose and treat.  That’s why you may have been referred to an endodontic specialist.

In addition to dental school, endodontists receive two or more years of advanced education in this kind of treatment. They study root canal techniques and procedures in greater depth, for diagnosis and treatment of more difficult cases. For this reason, many dentists choose to refer their patients to endodontists.

About Your Tooth

Your tooth consists of two main parts: the crown, which is that part of the tooth above the gum and visible in your mouth; and the root or roots, which is that part of the tooth that lies beneath the gum and is surrounded by bone. Inside each root is a channel that runs the length of the tooth. This channel is the root canal and contains the pulp (nerves, blood vessels, and soft tissue), which is often referred to as the "nerve" of the tooth. The pulp may be irreversibly damaged by bacteria associated with decay, very deep restorations, fractures, trauma, or periodontal disease.

In order to preserve a tooth in which this has occurred, it is necessary to remove the diseased pulp tissue. This procedure is known as endodontic therapy. Since endodontic therapy is concerned with removing only the pulp from the root canal, the tooth will continue to function normally because the supporting tissues remain intact. It is advisable to remove the injured pulp because it may become infected or act as an irritant to the tissues surrounding the tooth.

Course of Treatment

Treatment of teeth with injured pulps begins with a diagnostic examination. The injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and filled. Endodontic treatment may require one or more visits depending on the complexity of the case. The prognosis for the overwhelming majority of teeth treated is favorable.

While there is no certainty concerning healing, successful results occur in about 90% of cases. On occasion, the chances of success may fall below this expectancy, or your tooth may not be amenable to endodontic treatment at all. If your tooth falls within one of these latter categories, you will be informed at the time of consultation, or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment.

Your comfort throughout all phases of treatment is a major consideration. If a problem arises, either day or night, please contact the office in which you were treated.

Advances in Technology

Digital Radiography/CBCT
X-ray procedures are an essential part of quality endodontic therapy. Our offices utilize an advanced non-film dental imaging system known as CDR (computed dental radiography). The already low radiation required for dental radiographs is further reduced by over 80% compared to conventional film. Using this system, an electronic sensor produces computerized radiographs which appear instantly on a chairside computer screen. These images can then be optimized, printed, archived indefinitely and sent to your dentist.

Radiographic imaging is essential in diagnosis and treatment planning in endodontic therapy. Conventional radiography reveals only limited aspects (a two-dimensional view) of the three-dimensional structures and anatomy of the tooth. This shortcoming can be overcome by utilizing a small-volume cone beam computed tomography imaging technique, which generates 3-D scans/images of the tooth in need of root canal treatment. CBCT technology enhances all aspects of endodontic diagnosis and treatment planning.

Microscopes and Imaging
All treatment rooms are equipped with operating microscopes. Magnification and halogen fiber optic illumination are invaluable in aiding the doctor to perform all technical aspects of endodontic procedures. Many of our operating microscopes are equipped with miniature high-resolution video cameras or digital still cameras to help document cases for enhanced communication.

Ultrasonics
Each operatory is equipped with sophisticated ultrasonic units which are used to remove posts and metal instruments from root canals. These ultrasonic units are also used to prepare the root-end for filling in case microsurgical intervention is indicated. Diamond studded microscopic tips vibrate at up to 25,000 cycles per second to insure accurate and speedy preparation.

Nickel-Titanium Instruments
The cleaning and shaping of the root canal is aided by using tiny metal instuments made of a unique alloy of nickel-titanium. These devices are placed into the root canal with a liquid antimicrobial agent to help remove all traces of bacteria and tissue.

Communication
Patient treatment reports including copies of digital radiographs and digital color images can be e-mailed to dental co-therapists. We can also receive digital radiographs via e-mail and diskette.

Pre-Treatment Instructions

We will make every effort to accommodate you on a timely basis. However, since unscheduled emergency visits can sometimes delay regular appointments, your understanding is appreciated. Please arrange your schedule to allow for a possible delay at our office.

Please eat a full breakfast or lunch as applicable. Also, if you have been advised by your physician or dentist to use antibiotic pre-medication because of mitral valve prolapse (MVP), heart murmur, hip or cardiac prosthesis, or rheumatic heart disease, please call our office for instructions before the day of your scheduled visit. Please bring with you a list of all medications you are taking. At each visit to our office, report any changes in your health status.

  • If radiographs have been forwarded to our office, please confirm our receipt.
  • All patients under the age of 18 (21 in D.C.) must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Please do not hesitate to call the office where your visit will take place if you have any questions.


 

Post-Operative Care

When your root canal therapy has been completed, it is important for you to contact your restorative dentist for a follow-up restoration. This should be done soon after your final visit to our office.

Your dentist can best decide what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth.

Endodontic Microsurgery

Sometimes a microsurgical procedure may be required to preserve your tooth. This will depend on the nature of the problem existing prior to treatment as well as the response of the involved tissues after endodontic therapy. Should the need for microsurgery become evident before, during, or after endodontic treatment, you will be informed.

Endodontic microsurgery is a surgical procedure utilizing a sophisticated operating microscope and special microsurgical instruments. The increased magnification and illumination greatly improves diagnostic capabilities and the precision of surgical procedures. Long term prognosis is enhanced and post-surgical trauma is reduced

Instrument Sterilization

Our practice exceeds the highest standards of infection control advocated by the American Dental Association, the CDC and OSHA. We utilize the latest barrier techniques and autoclave sterilization to eliminate any risk of cross-contamination.

Our priority is to provide state-of-the-art endodontic care while maintaining a strict operating protocol.
 

 
 
Washington, D.C.
1899 L Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20036

Phone:
202-659-2552
Fax:
202-466-8256

Chevy Chase
5454 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1355
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Phone:
301-654-1818
Fax:
301-951-0448

Rockville
5802 Hubbard Drive
Rockville, MD 20852

Phone:
301-984-3800
Fax:
301-230-1293