Rotary Endodontics & Apex Locator
Endodontics, more commonly known as root canal, is a procedure where the roots or nerves of the tooth are removed. Root canals are usually performed because the tooth is infected and causing pain.
Like all of dentistry, advancements in technology make procedures more comfortable and more successful. Rotary Endodontics is one of these advancements. It is a way of performing the root canal utilizing a specific electrical handpiece, instead of the dentist using only a hand instrument. This tool often makes the process faster and allows the dentist to perform the process with greater ease. Rotary instruments also are more effective in cleaning the canals and shaping them uniformly, yielding a more thorough cleaning of the entire root.
An apex locator uses small, undetectable electric currents to measure the length of canal. Think of this like sonar for the tooth, with a beeping sounds and visual measurement on a screen when the end of the root (apex) is reached. This is important because for a root canal to be successful, the entire length of the canal must be cleaned. Many dentists use only an x-ray to locate the apex, which may not be accurate due to curves in the canals and roots and variations of the apex. Studies have shown that an apex locator is more accurate than an x-ray in determining root length. Dr. Duke will use both an x-ray and apex locator to evaluate the location of the apex for each canal. This will ensure complete cleaning of the entire canal.