Root canals enjoy the dubious distinction of having a terrible reputation (as far as dental procedures go). However, most people have an outdated understanding of root canal therapy. Thanks to recent advances in dental technology, a root canal takes less time, provides a more accurate treatment, and involves less patient discomfort than before. Today, we’re taking a closer look at four types of cutting edge dental technology that may find their way into your dentist’s office.
Sedation and Anesthesia
One of the most common complaints you’ll hear about root canals is that they cause a great deal of discomfort. In reality, root canal therapy is virtually painless. Nitrous oxide and other forms of dental sedation can take the edge off any anxiety you may be feeling, while modern local anesthetics numb the tooth and surrounding area with far more accuracy than more antiquated types of anesthetic. Recently develop technique, like buffering and diluting, reduce the acidity of local anesthetics like lidocaine, making for a more comfortable injection.
Technically speaking, the “root canal” refers to the innermost, pulp-filled chamber of every tooth. When a dentist cleans and sterilizes the root chamber during root canal therapy, the ability to reach every nook and cranny is of vital importance. If some infected material remains hidden at the tip of the tooth root, the likelihood of reinfection and the need for retreatment increases. Apex locators help your dentist pinpoint the farthest tip of the root, allowing for a more accurate treatment.
In the old days, dentists used stainless steel instruments to prepare the root chamber for root canal therapy. Although very strong, stainless steel was inflexible and difficult to manipulate in the often curved and twisting root chamber. New flexible titanium instruments paired with rapid high-torque motorized handpieces allow dentists to clean and expand the root canal chamber more rapidly, more accurately, and with dramatically less damage to the healthy tooth structure.
About Peddicord Family Dentistry
Dr. Erika Peddicord earned her DDS degree from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and opened Peddicord Family Dental in 2009. Her enthusiasm for building lasting relationships with her patients and her dedication to oral health set her apart as an outstanding family dentist. New and returning patients can schedule an appointment with Dr. Peddicord at our Ankeny, IA dentist’s office by calling (515) 963-3339. We proudly serve patients and families in Bondurant, Polk City, Elkhart, Alleman, and Cambridge.