One of the most common dental procedures is a root canal or endodontic therapy. Root canals allow the dentist to remove any decay from inside your tooth and save the tooth instead of requiring an extraction. One of the newest procedures being offered is microscope-assisted endodontics, also known as micro-endodontics.
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What is Microscope-Assisted Endodontics?
When a tooth becomes severely decayed or damaged, it creates openings for bacteria to grow on the inner parts of the tooth. If the nerves or blood vessels inside the tooth become damaged by the bacteria, the tooth will become painful. If you begin to experience this pain, we can perform a root canal (endodontic treatment) and attempt to save the tooth. Micro-endodontics involves using a microscope, which allows us to see more detail than we would be able to with the naked eye. A few of the key reasons for choosing microscope-assisted endodontics include:
- Improved Accuracy – The dentist will be able to be to make cleaner and more accurate incisions by using smaller instruments during the procedure.
- Minimized incisions – With increased accuracy during the procedure, the surrounding soft tissues in the mouth are less likely to be affected. This will allow for faster healing times and reduce the chances of needing secondary procedures.
- Easier Access – By using the microscope, dentists are able to access areas that are more challenging to reach. Better visualization of the infected area prevents complications.
- Spotting a Fourth Canal – During a traditional root canal, the dentist could easily miss a fourth canal that some teeth have. If this happens, the infection can continue to spread into the bone. By using a microscope, the dentist can spot any hidden canals and clear the infection completely to save the tooth.
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Who Benefits From Endodontic Microsurgery?
Not everyone who gets a root canal will require this special procedure. In most cases a simple root canal can fix the problem, but there are people who require the extra care of a microscope to ensure the best possible results.
- Persistent Periapical Lesions – After a root canal, the body creates lesions to defend against the threat of a microbial invasion which often times leads to inflammation. When this occurs, we sometimes offer microsurgery to remove the lesion. In some cases, we prefer to let these lesions to heal on their own.
- Extended Pain and/or Swelling – Depending on the severity, the dentist may need to use a microscope to determine the underlying cause for increased discomfort after an operation.
- Calcified Canals – If the roots of a tooth become calcified, a root canal can become difficult or impossible. Aside from extraction, micro-endodontics can be another option to save the tooth.
- Failed Traditional Root Canal – This can happen for a number of reasons, but if a normal root canal fails, microsurgery will be needed to complete the root canal and save the tooth if possible.
Our team includes doctors who are trained in endodontics to ensure successful root canal procedures.
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Choosing Microscope-Assisted Endodontics
In many cases, microscope-assisted endodontic procedures can be used to save the function and hopefully the form of the natural tooth. This method leads to less complications and nearly eliminates the causes of persistent infection. Even when a traditional root canal treatment has failed, micro-endodontics can be a viable option for retreatment.