Frequently Asked Questions
Here at Signature Endodontics, we place an emphasis on the well-being of our patients by addressing any concerns before treatment is rendered. Our staff is here to answer any of your questions, big or small. We believe that empowering our patients with knowledge and understanding of the process and reason for endodontic treatment is a part of creating a pleasant experience for our patients. The following are some frequently asked questions about endodontics and our practice.
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.
To provide you with a better understanding of endodontic therapy, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to root canals at our office in Santa Rancho Margita are discussed.
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As an endodontic patient, what should I expect?
- A comprehensive examination to diagnose orthofacial pain and pulpal injury to determine if the tooth is a good candidate for endodontic therapy.
- Non-surgical treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed.
- Under certain circumstances, microsurgery may be indicated. We are experts in performing this procedure, and utilize sophisticated technology to ensure the best outcome.
I'm worried about x-rays. Should I be?
No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic treatment, we use an advanced non-film computerized system, called digital radiography, that produces radiation levels up to 90 percent lower than those of already low dose conventional dental x-ray machinery. These digital images can be optimized, archived, printed and sent to your dentist via mail or email.
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 any risk of infection.
Is nitrous oxide available in your office?
Yes. We have nitrous oxide analgesia available to our patients if indicated.
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 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 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?
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.
Apex Locators aid us in determining the length of the root canals during treatment. This information allows us to complete your procedure efficiently while reducing the number of x-rays required for treatment.
Ultrasonic instruments are used in conjunction with the microscope to selectively remove tooth structure or bypass obstructions within the root canal system.
Nickel Titanium Instruments:
The extreme elasticity of the nickel titanium instruments allows us to predictably negotiate canals with complex anatomy.
Mineral Trioxide Aggregate:
MTA is a biocompatible material that is a relatively new advancement in endodontic treatment. MTA is used for pulp capping, resorption repairs, perforation repairs, apexification, and root end filling during surgical treatment.
Does Dr. Samuel Ip have any other practice locations?
No. At this time, Rancho Santa Margarita is our only location.