I would like to thank my dear friend Dr Raghu Narayan, senior Endodontist and Micro-Endodontist for his inputs in this article. He was kind enough to read and guide me in writing this article.
What is a Endodontics?
The word ‘Endodontics’ is derived from the greek words ‘Endo’ means inside and ‘Odont’ means tooth. So, Endodontics is that branch of dentistry that deals with the infections inside the tooth.
Your tooth has the dental pulp in the centre of the tooth and has the nerves and the blood vessels in it. Any injury that can damage the pulp tissue causes an infection inside the tooth. These injuries can be a deep tooth decay, gum infections leading to a pulp infection, trauma or old, large tooth fillings. Whatever the type of the injury, ultimately, can cause a tooth infection. In such instances of tooth pain and swelling, your dentist / Endodontist will decide to do a RCT ( Root Canal Therapy )
What is an ‘endodontic’ or Root Canal Treatment Procedure?
Whenever you have pain or a swelling of a tooth, your dentist will examine you and run some diagnostic tests like an X-ray. Your dentist will then clean the inside of your tooth, prepare the root canals and pack it with a special filling. This heals your tooth. Your dentist will then fix a cap on the tooth to protect it. This is an endodontic procedure.
What is Micro-endodontics?
Your tooth root canal is a very thin and delicate path. Sometimes, these paths are complicated with multiple canals or curved paths. Such tortuous canals are difficult to navigate by your endodontist. Added to this there is a lack of visibility into your tooth. At such times, especially, a magnification of your tooth root, will help your endodontist perform the root canal procedure accurately.
What is the advantage of micro-endodontics?
Our human eye has has its limitations when it comes to seeing objects of a certain size. However, magnification can help us with many aspects of vision such as
- Increased visualization
- Improved & ideal treatment ergonomics
- Ease of proper digital documentation capabilities
- Increased ability to communicate through integrated video
With magnification, endodontic procedures can be done in less time because of the greater visibility of the root canal anatomy with reduced procedural errors.
Optical aids (loupes, microscopes, surgical headlamps, fiber optic handpiece lights, etc.) can improve resolution by many orders of magnitude. For example, a common operating microscope can raise the resolving limit from .2 mm to .006 mm (6 microns), which is a dramatic improvement.
Is micro endodontics better than conventional endodontics?
A micro-endodontist is a Root canal specialist, who is trained to use magnifying instruments to perform a root canal procedure. Micro-endodontics has an edge over conventional treatment procedures in the following areas
• Preserving tooth substance
• Localization & visualization
• Locating Calcified Canals
• Final examination
• Removal of fractured instruments
• Obturation with warm gutta-percha
• Recognition & location of fractures
• Soft tissue management
• Root end procedures (apicoectomy with retrograde filling)
• Intentional Replantation
• Removal of posts
• Cleaning of canals
• Handling vital tissue
Is micro-endodontics expensive?
Your dentist has to invest in good magnifying equipments to perform precision treatment procedures. Since these are expensive and also your endodontist has to undergo special training to perform these procedures, micro-endodontic procedures are marginally more than the conventional therapy. But because the treatment outcome is more accurate, its worth the investment for you.