Endodontic FAQ

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, such as Dr. Coury or Dr. Douthitt, 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 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 referring doctors via email, or regular mail.

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.

What happens after root canal treatment?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your general dentist, or if you do not already have one, we will make a referral for you.  We will advise you of the need to contact your general dentist, should additional treatment be required.  We can make this appointment for you or you can do it on your own.  Based on your individual situation, 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, Amarillo Endodontics is a practice where all procedures are performed under magnification and illumination for better visualization and outcome.  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 may be used to record images of your tooth to further document the doctor’s findings.

We have invested in and utilize Cone Beam 3-D Imaging – this is a highly specialized imaging technology which provides clear, three-dimensional images of your teeth, bone and nerve pathways in a single scan.  It’s like a GPS for the root and anatomy of your tooth.  It can detect problems earlier than conventional two-dimensional imaging and is up to 35% more accurate.

Do I need a referral to your practice?

Many of our patients return for all of their endodontic needs, and even refer their friends and family members. We consider this the ultimate compliment. If your condition does not require our services, we will refer you to you general dentist for the necessary treatment. Should you have questions or concerns regarding a dental problem, or if you have been told you need a root canal or extraction, please give us a call at Amarillo Endodontics Phone Number 806.354.2424 or 800.593.ENDO (3636) or fill out the online registration.

Our commitment to providing you with the most up-to-date technologies assures that your diagnosis and treatment is more accurate, minimally invasive, and predictable.