Dr. Martin J. Rogers, DDS
Dr. Matthew C. Davis, DDS
Dr. Timothy J. Rogers, DDS, MS
(847) 729-8400 | Fax (847) 729-8408
1775 Glenview Road #217, Glenview, IL 60025
FacebookGoogleYelp

Introduction to the Procedures

Our Services

You have been referred to us because your dentist feels that you will benefit from the expertise of an Endodontist (root canal specialist).  We will carefully diagnose your dental condition based on your history of symptoms, digital radiographs (“x-rays”), and clinical examination.  We will then recommend the treatment options that will best suit your needs.  The scope of our specialty practice includes three main treatment categories:  root canal treatment, root canal retreatment, and endodontic microsurgery.  Most of these procedures are performed in one visit, although a second visit may be required in some cases depending on the presence or extent of certain infections.

Root Canal Treatment

The first step is to ensure your comfort by administering local anesthetic (“numbing”, or “freezing” the tooth or area).  Then a small protective sheet called a “dental dam” is placed over the tooth in order to provide a sterile field thereby preventing bacteria from entering the tooth via saliva.  This protective sheet is also used to prevent debris, disinfectants, or instruments from inadvertently going down your throat while the root canal treatment is performed.

Next, an opening is made through the crown of the tooth in order to gain access to the inflamed or infected pulp.   This step also includes removing decay and sometimes old fillings.  Very fine instruments, along with disinfectants are used to clean the root canal system.  This process also provides shaping of the canal spaces to receive a root canal filling, which consists of a biocompatible material called gutta-percha that is placed permanently into the canals with cement.

Finally, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening in your tooth.  Your dentist will remove this temporary filling at the time the tooth is restored, usually with a crown.  Following root canal treatment your tooth is susceptible to fracturing, or to infection due to loss of the temporary filling.  Therefore it is imperative that you return to your dentist in a timely manner in order to restore the tooth to its full functionality.

Root Canal Retreatment

A root canal retreatment may be necessary if a previously root canal treated tooth does not heal or if a recurrent infection is evident.  Root canal treatment has a very high rate of success, but as with other medical or dental procedures, infection or inflammation may persist or recur.  Your Endodontist may be able to provide insight into potential causes and how they may be corrected.  A root canal retreatment procedure may be the best option to preserve your tooth.

The root canal retreatment procedure is similar to the root canal treatment procedure described above, but has a few extra steps and usually requires two visits.  The first visit consists of removal of all root canal filling materials and placement of an antibacterial paste called calcium hydroxide.  The tooth is then closed with a temporary filling material.  This antibiotic medicament is left in the tooth for some time to reduce the number of bacteria and give the tooth the best chances of healing.

On the second visit, the calcium hydroxide paste is removed, the canals are once again thoroughly cleaned and shaped, and a new root canal filling is placed. Finally, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening in your tooth.  Your dentist will remove this temporary filling at the time the tooth is restored.  Following root canal treatment your tooth is susceptible to fracturing, or to infection due to loss of the temporary filling.  Therefore it is imperative that you return to your dentist in a timely manner in order to restore the tooth to its full functionality.

Endodontic Microsurgery

Endodontic microsurgery may be the best treatment option if a previously root canal treated tooth fails to heal or if a recurrent infection is evident.  Root canal treatment has a very high rate of success, but as with other medical or dental procedures, infection or inflammation may persist or recur despite our best efforts.  Your Endodontist may be able to provide insight into potential causes and how they may be corrected.  Although root canal retreatment is usually the more conservative, preferred treatment option for a persistent infection, endodontic microsurgery has some advantages in certain situations.  Your Endodontist will discuss treatment options with you to help determine which procedure is right for you.  This procedure will not be performed on your initial consultation visit, as microsurgery requires a specialized set of instruments and environment that will need to be scheduled.

The most common endodontic surgery is called root-end resection or apicoectomy.  After profound local anesthetic is achieved, a small incision is made near the gum-line and the gum tissue is temporarily moved in order to gain access to the inflamed or infected area.  The tip of the root is removed, cleaned with an ultrasonic instrument, and a root-end filling is placed to seal the canal.  Finally, a few stitches are placed to allow the gum tissue to properly heal.

A follow-up appointment is required to remove the sutures and evaluate healing.  This is usually scheduled 4-7 days post-operatively.