Dentistry/Future of Endodontics
Are there any breakthroughs on the horizon for materials used in the endodontic field?
How about procedures and treatment?
What benefit would either yield for the patient or doctor?
Thank you again for all your help. If I wasn't so good at accounting, I would consider Dentistry as a profession!
Endodontics has significantly improved over the past 10 years to allow patients enhanced ability to save their teeth.
The goal behind endodontics is to successfully disinfect the root canal space and provide a good seal at the apex of the tooth to prevent future bacterial communication between the tooth and the surrounding bone.
With regard to bacterial elimination, new irrigating solutions such as MTAD, which uses 2 different antibiotics and a surface detergent to etch the inner part of the tooth and remove the smear layer (another place where bacteria can hide). A Laser Light source is being developed to allow a light to be shined in addition to all the other procedures and (in the future) help eliminate the most resistant bacteria.
Surgical endodontics has also flourished, with the use of the surgical microscope to selective remove just the last 2-3 mm of the tooth and place a seal of MTA or Geristore in which bone cells will grow right up along the tooth.
The last and next great era for dentistry via endodontics will be tied to the fact that endodontics added the term "regenerative dentistry" to its charter. With advanced in stem cell research, endodontists will in the future be able to hopefully grow the nerve and blood supply back to your tooth, so it can continue to lay down dentin (tooth material). Increasingly, endodontists are doing more periodontal surgical procedures that are being abandoned by periodontists (in favor of more lucrative dental implants), so regenerative dentistry will allow the endodontist to grow bone on the outside of the tooth as well.
Regardless of the future, current advances leave us at a place were non-surgical endodontics has a success rate of roughly 96% (Salarabi--JOE 2005) and now surgical endodontics has a success rate of 92% (Rubinstein and Kim, JOE 2003).
Accounting isn't so bad, by the way. Plus, plenty of dentists need accounting advice: you could specialize just in helping dentists, and stay tied to the field!!
All the best,
Ketan Amin, DMD
Austin Center for Endodontics (Root Canal Specialists)
Austin Center for Endodontics