Endodontic FAQ

What is endodontics?

Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association involving treatment of the pulp (the nerve inside the roots of the tooth) 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 have trouble getting numb. I’m worried about pain during the root canal. Should I be?

Dr. Morgan and Dr. Manolakis are experts at numbing their patients! They have specialized techniques and anesthetics that he can use to ensure you will be numb during the entire procedure. They will also take the time to test your tooth after anesthesia to be sure you are totally numb before starting treatment. In addition, we offer nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”), if you desire. ┬áIt can help your tooth get numb, as well.

I’m worried about x-rays. Should I be?

No. We go the extra step to ensure the utmost safety for our patients. We use a high-tech, digital x-ray system. This computerized X-ray system offers several advantages for you: more efficient treatment; shorter appointments; much larger pictures for your education; and much less exposure to radiation (up to 90 percent lower than those of conventional dental x-ray machinery).

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 use autoclave sterilization and barrier techniques to reduce your 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 their office for a follow-up restoration. Your restorative dentist will decide on 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.

What new technologies are being used?

Operating Microscopes:

Dr. Morgan and Dr. Manolakis use powerful, high-tech operating microscopes to greatly enhance visibility while treating their patients. The microscope allows the doctors to see tiny details inside your tooth which greatly improves the treatment they can provide for you.

Digital X-ray System:

As noted above, we use a digital x-ray system that greatly reduces the radiation exposure to you, while improving the treatment we provide.

Computerized Office Systems:

Our entire office uses the latest computer technology. This allows us to be more efficient in all aspects of your visit. We can complete treatment more quickly. We can file your insurance claims electronically. We are able to keep highly accurate and strictly confidential patient records.