Surgical Operating Microscope
The surgical microscope is an advancement used to allow visualization at up to 20x normal magnification. The use of the surgical microscope has enhanced our ability to locate previously unidentifiable root canals, identify fractures, repair anomalies in the tooth, and aid in the surgical aspects of endodontic therapy. We are excited by the ability to provide our patients with this state-of-the-art technique. The application of the surgical microscope in our office affords our patients the most advanced endodontic treatment available. We also have the ability to take photographs through the microscope so that we can better communicate findings with our referring dentists and patients.
Cone Beam Computed
In complex situations where diagnosis can be challenging or when conventional dental radiographs don't provide enough information, a CBCT scan can be helpful. This scan is essentially a three dimensional x-ray that allows us to see the problem area from multiple angles for better treatment planning. The scan is taken only of the area of interest and is very low radiation (about equivalent to 2-3 normal xrays).
Digital radiography (digital x-ray) is the latest technology used to take dental x-rays. This technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of x-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged and manipulated thereby helping the endodontist detect problems easier. Digital x-rays reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays.
Dental x-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Endodontist use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.
Dental x-rays may reveal:
• Abscesses or cysts.
• Bone loss.
• Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
• Decay between the teeth.
• Developmental abnormalities.
• Poor tooth and root positions.
• Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage may save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!
Are dental x-rays safe?
We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. Digital x-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental x-rays. Not only are digital x-rays better for the health and safety of the patient, they are faster and more comfortable to take, which reduces your time in the dental office. Also, since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop the x-rays, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment.
digital xray sensor
Even though digital x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation. These precautions include only taking those x-rays that are necessary, and using lead apron shields to protect the body.
We often get questions from patients regarding the safety of dental radiographs, and some people are concerned about exposure to radiation. First of all, please know that our office would never take an unnecessary radiograph. We rely on dental radiographs for diagnosing and treating your endodontic problem at a high level. We need very specific and detailed radiographs of just the tooth roots, which is why we take our own even if you just had some taken at your general dentist office. Please click here to view a chart that compares dental radiographs to other sources of radiation that we are exposed to in our everyday lives.
Apex locators are instruments that allow us to measure root lengths with great precision. Using these devices, we have increased confidence that we are removing diseased tissue and bacteria to the furthest extent within the root canal space to maximize favorable outcomes for our patients. The use of these devices also allow us to take fewer x-rays during treatment.
Dr. Stalder and Dr. Stewart use a variety of special equipment and tools that complement the high magnification and illumination the microscope provides. Examples are the use of small mirrors that allow us to see even the smallest details of your tooth at precise angels, ultrasonic instruments that gently brush away tooth structure and help remove various filling materials, small tipped burs that help us locate calcified and hidden canals deep within the roots, and flexible rotary files that shape and clean the root canals. The use of these instruments allow us to treat your condition in a conservative manner with maximum preservation of the natural tooth structure.