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Why is a dental microscope essential for the success of root canal treatments?

Why is a dental microscope essential for the success of root canal treatments?

Root canal treatmentLisa Appleton

Dr Tony Appleton dedicates a large part of his dental practice to endodontic care, concentrating on root canal therapy. During his 30 years working as a dentist he has developed a special interest in the anatomy, diseases and treatment of the tiny root canals that make up the structure of all teeth and takes referrals from other dentists. A key development in the success of his root canal treatments is his use of a high-powered microscope. The operating dental microscope allows the operator to see the inside of a tooth and the root canal system at a magnification of up to 25 times, with added lighting. This is especially beneficial for accurate visualisation of the complex anatomy within the root canal system.

Operating microscope

This magnified view of the root canal system is important because:

  • teeth often have extra roots or canals that cannot be seen with the naked eye or loupes (glasses with magnification)
  • crowns or big fillings in teeth often make it difficult to see the inside of a tooth, and special light from the microscope is required to see the floor of these teeth
  • often teeth can have fractures or other abnormal anatomy, and these can be detected and treated early, rather than after the event – when treatment fails.

Dr Tony Appleton removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the canal system and then seals the prepared space. Most treatment is now performed in a single appointment ranging from 30-90 minutes (depending on the number of canals). Once treatment is completed, your tooth will be permanently restored or if you have been referred to Tony you will be instructed to return to your dentist for reconstruction. The restoration of the tooth is an important part of treatment because it seals the cleaned canals from the oral environment, protects the tooth, and restores it to function.

Root canal treatment summary

Advances in technology and additional training and postgraduate education have allowed Tony to enjoy a very high success rate in his endodontic work. Contrary to outdated perceptions, treatment doesn’t usually require multiple visits and need not be painful at all.