Our state-of-the-art Carl Zeiss microscope is recognised as the finest instrument of its type and is a cornerstone of Elite Endo. This instrument is also used in micro-vascular and neuro-surgery. Without it, quality root canal treatment is not possible.
It is said in medicine that if you cannot see it, you cannot treat it. We can find root canals narrower than a human hair with our microscope and that means we can treat them. The intensity of its Xenon light is brighter than looking into the sun. Without this powerful illumination the magnifying ability of the instrument is rendered useless. You will need to wear our special sunglasses before we look into your tooth with our microscope!
Above (inset) is the detail on the image of a £20 note and then the Queen’s eye 17 times larger, as seen with our Zeiss microscope. This is the kind of magnifying power needed to perform successful root canal treatment.
X-rays are needed for diagnosing root canal problems and to help plan treatment. Although we use the finest digital X-ray technology at Elite Endo, it is sometimes not good enough. This is because an X-ray is essentially a 2D silhouette or shadow and only portrays a very limited view of what is going on in and around teeth.
To remedy this problem, we have a dental CT scanner that takes a 3D scan of a just a few teeth at a time. It is extremely accurate and offers us privileged information that is needed in certain cases. Cone beam CT is currently revolutionising endodontics in the same way that the operating microscope has already done.
Dentistry has led the way in many medical advances and modern endodontics is continuing this trend through nickel-titanium technology. This fascinating alloy has found its way into things such as cardiovascular stents. Newer, highly engineered forms of this material are used at Elite Endo to rapidly and safely remove debris from root canals. The inset photo shows a nickel titanium file in a torque controlled motor.
Special “torque controlled” motors are used to drive these files. Henk has invested in six torque controlled motors and seven different file systems employing three types of nickel-titanium alloy. About six to ten of these costly files are needed for a root canal treatment and they are disposed of thereafter.
Once we have found and cleaned the root canal it needs to be disinfected with chemicals, but there is one big problem, the peculiarly irregular shape of each root canal system means these chemicals need help to get into all the nooks and crannies where the infection is.
We use a device with various long polymer tips that vibrate ten thousand times per minute to help flow the disinfectants to where they are needed within the canal systems.
It is vital that the whole root canal is corked off from top to bottom after it has been cleaned. That means we attempt to eliminate all spaces within the tooth. This is the root FILLING part of the treatment and unique injection moulding equipment is needed to achieve this goal.
It is theoretically impossible to remove all the bacteria from a root canal and that makes the root filling aspect even more important. We use special equipment and the principals of hydraulics to flow sealant materials into all areas and if any bacteria have escaped attempts to eliminate them, we “entomb” them in hard-setting materials so they don’t cause future problems.
In the very small confines within a tooth, even the finest dental drills are sometimes much too clumsy.
We therefore make use of slender, ultrasonically energised instruments to carefully remove small amounts of tooth material or help dislodge previously placed root filling materials and instruments.
Unlike a dental drill, these fine instruments do not obscure the field of view when using a microscope.
They are made from highly engineered materials such titanium alloy and are used exclusively for endodontics. As seen in this picture, Henk uses a wide range of these instruments