Microscopes -- Used mostly during complex dental treatment, surgical operating microscopes allow dentists to see deep within the root canal for improved removal of infection. Magnifying glasses with fiber optic light can also be worn to give dentists a better view during the procedure.
X-Rays -- Dentists may use X-rays several times during the procedure to check the status of the tooth. Digital X-rays not only produce less radiation, but are developed immediately, lessening the time you spend in the dental chair.
Apex Locators -- The dentist's goal during the procedure is to clean and fill the canal to the very end of the root, or apex. If a dentist cannot find the apex, some of the infection may be left behind. An electronic apex locator measures the root, finding the apex through sound waves and guiding the dentist to the end of the root canal.
Cleaning and Filling the Canal -- Dentists take several measures to keep the infection from returning. Once the infection is removed, dentists use a medicated rinse to wash away any leftover debris and disinfect the tooth. Gutta percha, an antibacterial tooth filling material, better fills the canal, and non-allergenic dental sealers seal the space without irritating the tooth.
Laser Root Canal Therapy -- The most recent innovation in root canal technology, laser dentistry thoroughly cleans the root's canal without using drills or hand files. The Waterlase® laser uses a laser and high-pressure water system to "melt" away the infection, reducing post-operative pain, healing time and the possibility of side effects.
Through continuing education, many dentists stay up-to-date on ongoing advancements in root canal technology, and are utilizing their skills in the dental office. If you're interested in what dental technology has to offer, speak with your dentist about their state-of-the-art equipment and procedures. You may be surprised to learn what new dental solutions are being developed to improve your regular dental visits!
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