Endodontic FAQ

What is endodontics?

Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognised by the Australian 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 dentine, 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 endodontics 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 optimised, archived, printed and sent to your dentist via a digital photograph or e-mail.

What about infection?

Do not be concerned. The most rigorous standards of infection control are adhered to at Harlamb Endodontics where we have implemented standards set by the Dental Board of Australia, NHMRC and the Australian Dental Association. Autoclave sterilisation and barrier techniques to eliminate any risk of infection are used for every patient.

What happens after treatment?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment and a copy of your x-ray will be sent to your dentist.

Dr. Harlamb will advise you when you should contact your dentist’s practice for the final filling (and possibly crown). Your 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.

In many cases a follow up examination (review) is required 6 months following your completed root canal treatment. You will be advised if this is required.

What new technologies are being used?

In addition to digital radiography (see above), special operating microscopes are used at Harlamb Endodontics.

Magnification and fibre optic illumination are amazingly beneficial in assisting us to see tiny and miniscule details inside your tooth.

State of the art instruments and materials designed to clean and seal the inside of your tooth are used. Please feel free to discuss any of these amazing developments with Dr. Harlamb and staff.