Endodontic Associates of Iowa carefully chooses which and when radiographs are taken. There are many guidelines that we follow. Radiographs allow us to see everything we cannot see with our own eyes. Radiographs enable us to detect cavities in between your teeth, determine bone level, and analyze the health of your bone. We can also examine the roots and nerves of teeth, diagnose lesions such as cysts or tumors, as well as assess damage when trauma occurs.
Dental radiographs are invaluable aids in diagnosing, treating, and maintaining dental health. Exposure time for dental radiographs is extremely minimal. Endodontic Associates of Iowa utilizes Digital Imaging Technologies within the office. With digital imaging, exposure time is about 90 percent less when compared to traditional radiographs which results in a minimum of 1/6th the radiation exposure to the patient. This allows a level of precision unparalled with standard dental x-rays. Digital imaging can also help us retrieve valuable diagnostic information.
Digital imaging allows us to store patient images, and enables us to quickly and easily transfer them to specialists or insurance companies.
Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)-3D Imaging
3D imaging is a useful technique available to our Endodontists. The American Association of Endodontists mandates that:
“Clinicians should use CBCT only when the need for imaging cannot be answered adequately by lower dose conventional dental radiography or alternate imaging modalities.”
They have also issued Patient Selection Criteria that mandates that “CBCT must not be used routinely for endodontic diagnosis or for screening purposes in the absence of clinical signs and symptoms. The patient’s history and clinical examination must justify the use of CBCT by demonstrating that the benefits to the patient outweigh the potential risks.”
After performing an in-depth examination, when indicated, our practice utilizes CBCT 3D imaging technology to aid in the diagnosis, planning and treatment of complex endodontic and surgical cases that cannot be adequately treated by using traditional, low-cost, low-radiation xrays alone. In most instances, the need for a 3D scan is an unnecessary practice used to increase the fee of the dental procedure. Most cases do not warrant the extra radiation or increased cost and are not justified unless the outcome is improved / success rate significantly increased. Our practice follows the AAE guidelines and ALARA principle to keep our patients health, well-being, and pocket book in mind.
The introduction of the surgical microscope has revolutionized the field of Endodontic Microsurgery. We have invested in the very best quality surgical microscopes, by Global Surgical Corporation that provide unparalleled magnification and illumination for our endodontic surgical and nonsurgical procedures.
The surgical micrscopes that are utilized by our doctors allow for multiple advantages listed below:
- Improves lighting and magnification aid in locating additional canals.
- Improves ability to throughly clean prepared canals.
- Aids in retrievel of separated instruments and endodontic retreatments.
- Accurate depth of retro-prep extension in surgical procedures can be more easily assessed.
- Improves detection and evaluation of root fractures and abnormalities.
- Allows minimal size of the surgical site required thus reducing patient discomfort and healing time.
- Improves accuracy of microsurgical incisions permitting precise tissue approximation during suturing.
Our success depends on us being able to see the minutest of details – you cannot treat what you cannot see. In addition, we have incorporated the latest high definition cameras allowing us to take photographs of our procedures with unequalled clarity and detail.
Electric Apex Locators
A small computer, called an apex locator, allows us to precisely determine the length of your root, helping ensure that the root is thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom. It can also minimize the number of x-rays needed to complete root canal treatment.
Ultrasonic instruments can be valuable in removing or loosening obstructions that would otherwise prevent reliable endodontic therapy.