Endodontic FAQ

What is endodontics?

One of the dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association, endodontics involves 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.

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

No. While x-rays will be necessary during your root canal treatment, we use advanced digital x-rays that produce radiation levels up to 90 percent lower than those of already low dose conventional dental x-rays.

What about infection?

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.  Routine spore testing at both offices, through the Sterilization Monitoring Service at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, ensures that the autoclaves are functioning properly.

What happens after treatment?

When your root canal treatment has been completed, a report will be sent to your dentist.  At your initial eval/consultation visit, you will be advised as to whether the tooth will need additional restorative work by your dentist after endodontic treatment has been completed. 

It is rare for patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery.  If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond.  For emergencies outside of normal business hours, patients of record may contact Dr. Robertson via our answering service by calling the office phone number Wheeling Office Phone Number 304-233-4851.

What new technologies are being used?

Operating Microscopes:

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. Also, a tiny video camera on the operating microscope can record images of your tooth to further document the doctor’s findings.