A Referring Dentist's Guide to the Latest in Endodontic Advancements | Renovo Endodontic Studio

A Referring Dentist's Guide to the Latest in Endodontic Advancements


As endodontic professionals, we must stay abreast of the latest dental advances.

However, even general dentists need to stay up to date with updates in endodontics. Referring dentists need to know what tools, techniques, and technology will best serve their patients.

In today’s post, we’ll take a concise yet comprehensive look at some cutting-edge developments in endodontics. Our goal in offering these dental referral insights is to empower you with the knowledge you need to confidently refer your patients to top-rated endodontists in the Greater Chicago area.


Dental Referral Insights: The Ever-Evolving Landscape of Endodontics

The latest dental advancements help us serve our patients’ immediate needs (such as getting out of pain). They can also help us provide optimal services that:

  • Preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible
  • Ensure patient comfort
  • Reduce treatment time
  • Reduce treatment costs

The following are some of the latest endodontic advancements that are helping us do just that.

Referring Dentist Updates: Growth, Advancement, and Innovations in Endodontics

Here are some of the most exciting endodontic updates.

Women in Endodontics

According to the ADA, the number of women in dentistry has risen over six percent in the past decade. Another ADA report found that 51.6% of dental school graduates in 2021 were women, while 48.4% were men. The ADA also found that fewer female dentists are white (59.6% compared to 77.6% of male dentists) and many are bilingual.

Why is this important?

In a word: Representation. Patients want to see people in healthcare who look like them, speak their language, and empathize with their background. Patients feel more comfortable seeking assistance from professionals who represent their race, ethnicity, and/or background.

How is the endodontic community supporting women leaders in dentistry?

In 2022, Sonendo (a leading dental technology company) sponsored the first-ever Women in Endodontics Summit. They held their second Women in Endodontics Summit in September 2023. During these events, endodontists took part in educational meetings hosted by nationally recognized instructors. There was also time for networking and activities that focused on connection and well-being for dentists, their team, and their patients.

At Renovo Endodontic Studio, we’re happy to do our part to support women in dentistry and have several female endodontists on our team.

Minimally Invasive Techniques

As a general dentist, you understand the importance of minimally invasive treatment. The goal is always to preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible.

That is our goal as well, so when there’s a new method for cleaning a root canal while preserving the tooth, we’re interested in seeing the results.

A 2023 study aimed to determine whether non-instrumentation techniques (like blue light irradiation) for root canal cleaning were as effective as traditional techniques. Nine groups “used distilled water, NaOCl, intra-canal heated NaOCl, and NaOCl + EDTA irrigation after either instrumentation or non-instrumentation, and a laser application group following non-instrumentation technique,” according to the report.

Researchers concluded that using NaOCl irrigation along with instrumentation had a detrimental effect on the dentin. Even more negative results occurred when heated NaOCl was used.

On the other hand, blue light irradiation was able to transmit to a depth of 4 mm with less damage to the tooth than other techniques. It also didn’t raise the temperature of the tooth when used with distilled water. Blue light irradiation is also gaining popularity because of its antibacterial features and its ease of use.

This is just one way top-rated endodontists in the Greater Chicago area help relieve patient’s pain, restore oral health, and preserve natural tooth structure.

Jet Dispensers

To ensure the thorough removal of microorganisms in the root canals, calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) is often used by endodontists.

Traditionally, endodontists have used the direct syringe method to dispense calcium hydroxide. Last year, researchers compared the direct syringe delivery system with jet dispensers. The study found that the jet dispenser was more effective in filling the entire canal, particularly the apical third of the root canal.

Bioceramics for Root Perforations

Another area in which referring dentists and endodontists are similar is the fact that we aim to only use the best biocompatible products. Because of that, one of the most exciting referring dentist updates we want to tell you about is bioceramics (tricalcium silicate cements).

Bioceramics offer broad applications in endodontics because their biocompatibility is extraordinary.

One area in which bioceramics are the gold standard is when Chicago endodontic specialists need to repair root perforations. In addition to being highly biocompatible, bioceramics also have incredible regenerative capabilities to periapical tissues. Because of this, they’re one of the most predictable products endodontists can use when repairing a perforation.

Another way to use bioceramics is in endodontic microsurgery, particularly in apical retrofilling. Endodontists can also use these materials for pulp capping and pulpotomies.

The benefits of bioceramics include:

  • Highly biocompatible
  • More predictable outcomes
  • Regenerative capacity
  • Increased efficiency
  • Allow for single-visit procedures
  • Increased patient compliance
  • Long-term success

And because these materials have exceptional biologic sealing capabilities, they’ve recently been incorporated into some endodontic sealers.

Advancements in Irrigating Solutions

One area in which endodontic researchers actively study is irrigation solutions. The reason for this is that endodontic instrumentation can leave a smear layer of debris behind, which can negatively impact the sealing of the canals and the overall health of the tooth.

Researchers have found that sodium hypochlorite is one of the most effective irrigation solutions because it is antimicrobial and can dissolve soft tissue.

Another option is ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) because it can remove hard-tissue debris due to its calcium-chelating abilities.

Typically, sodium hypochlorite is used throughout most of the endodontic procedure. Then, EDTA is used as a final irrigating solution to ensure the inorganic and organic smear layer is removed.

Technology in Endodontics – Updating the Diagnostic Process

Innovative technology helps our Chicago endodontic professionals correctly diagnose and treat endodontic issues. Here are just a few examples of the latest endodontic technological tools.

GentleWave by Sonendo

Sonendo is one of the top-rated dental technology suppliers, so when it comes to optimal dental care, we can look to them with confidence.

One tool by Sonendo that’s taking the endodontic world by storm is the GentleWave, which is a minimally invasive canal cleaning system. The system uses broad-spectrum acoustic energy, as well as fluid dynamics, to clean the canals and distribute fluid through them.

The GentleWave system is said to preserve tooth structure and promote rapid healing. Many who use this system say it replaces much of the need for instrumentation and often results in single-visit endodontic treatment.

Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)

Local endodontic experts in Chicago suburbs are always looking for the most accurate way to diagnose and treat an issue. Cone Beam Computed Tomography answers this call.

CBCT is a medical imaging technique that provides a 3D view of the patient’s teeth and the surrounding hard and soft tissue structures. The imaging is so detailed that the endodontist can see:

  • Root morphology
  • Small periapical lesions
  • Root fractures
  • Pathologies in the maxillary sinus
  • Internal resorption
  • External resorption

Because the endodontist has such a comprehensive view of the tooth, they are in a better position to diagnose and evaluate the situation. That, in turn, allows them to create a treatment plan that is in the best interests of the patient’s dental health and well-being.

For instance, the endodontist often knows in advance whether the problem tooth can be saved or if the patient needs an extraction. Knowing this can save the patient a lot of time and money.

Microscopes in Endodontics

When providing endodontic services in the Greater Chicago area, we need tools that can give us the most accurate view of the patient’s tooth.

We can use microscopes during surgical procedures to look inside the tooth and accurately identify abnormalities. The use of microscopes can reduce the need for retreatment down the road and improve endodontic outcomes.

Laser-Assisted Endodontics

While still considered novel by some, more general and specialty dentists are using lasers in dental procedures.

The primary use of lasers in endodontics is to eradicate microorganisms in the root channels. They’re particularly useful in treating the lateral dentinal tubules.

Dental lasers are also well-regarded by innovation-seeking dentists due to the following capabilities:

  • Ablation
  • Disinfection
  • Penetrability
  • Extraction of foreign materials (broken files, posts, etc.)
  • Root development acceleration

Top-rated endodontics in the Greater Chicago area can use dental lasers in the following ways:

  • Root canal treatment
  • Pulpotomy/pulp capping
  • Hypersensitivity treatment
  • Pain management (pain caused by pulp/periradicular disease)

Dental Referral Insights: When and What to Refer to Chicago Endodontic Professionals

At times, it can be confusing to know when to refer a patient to an endodontist. Here are some guidelines that can help make that decision easier.

When to Refer to Local Endodontic Experts in Chicago Suburbs

Many dentists perform root canal treatment. However, there are some situations in which the damage to the tooth or canals is beyond the comfort zone of the general dentist. In those situations, it’s best to refer the patient to an endodontic specialist.

Another reason to refer a patient to an endodontist is when you can’t identify the source of a patient’s pain. Because of the advanced tools and technology used in endodontic practices, we often have more precise views of the teeth and surrounding structures. These views make diagnosing much easier.

Additionally, there are times when root canal therapy isn’t the best course of action. A high-quality endodontic specialist in Chicago can determine the best treatment plan for the patient’s unique needs.

Addressing Common Concerns and Misconceptions About Endodontic Treatment

Good doctor-patient communication is one of the most important tools we have as dental professionals.

As you well know, patients often have misconceptions about dental procedures and practices – everything from brushing and flossing to whether they need a dental crown.

Patients have misconceptions about endodontics, too. For example, they might think the only thing an endodontist does is perform root canals. Or they think that root canal treatment is the most painful dental procedure someone can experience.

It is vital that both the referring dentist and endodontist address a patient’s concerns and misconceptions. When you address a patient’s concerns, they’re more likely to follow through with their endodontic appointment. They’re also less likely to be overly anxious and worried about pain.

Timely Referrals Improve Patient Outcomes

You already know the importance of providing prompt treatment. But it bears repeating – the sooner we can treat a patient, the better. The patient is less likely to suffer from unbearable pain or discomfort that impacts their daily life. We also have a better chance of saving a tooth or as much tooth structure as possible. Therefore, the earlier the patient is referred to an endodontic specialist in Chicago, the better they’ll fare.

We Can Navigate Endodontic Advancements Together

If you’re like us, you’re excited by the latest dental and endodontic advancements. Part of the reason for this is that, as dental professionals, we know that staying up to date on the latest technology, tools, and techniques helps us better serve our patients.

We want to help you offer your patients optimal care, which is why we encourage you to meet our team. We’d love to get to know you and your goals for your practice and to see how we can help you by offering top-notch endodontic services in the greater Chicagoland area.

Together, we can shape the future of dentistry through our commitment to excellence.

Are you looking for high-quality, local endodontic experts in the Chicago suburbs for your patients? We invite you to contact us via our online contact form. We look forward to meeting you!

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