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Dr. Thomas F. Gerrets Jr. D.M.D., P.A.

Ridgeland, MS

Dr. Thomas F. Gerrets Jr. D.M.D., P.A.


Common Questions

What is endodontics?

Endodontics (Root Canal Therapy) is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association involving treatment of the pulp (root canal) and surrounding tissues of the tooth. When you look at your tooth in the mirror, what you see is the crown. The rest of the tooth, the portion hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root. Though the outer portion of the root is a hard tissue called dentin, the inside channel or "root canal" contains a pulp of soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves. Bacteria that are introduced into the pulp as a result of tooth decay, periodontal disease, tooth fracture or other problems, can severely damage the pulp. When the pulp is damaged, an endodontic specialist removes the tissue to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful endodontic treatment, the tooth continues to perform normally.

I'm worried about X-rays. Should I be?

No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontic treatment, we use a system called computerized digital radiography. The radiation levels used by this system are up to 90 percent lower than those of conventional dental x-ray systems.

What about infection?

We adhere to the rigorous standards of infection control advocated by OSHA, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association. We use chemiclave sterilization and barrier techniques to help prevent infection.

What happens after treatment?

When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your general dentist. You should contact your general dentist’s office for a follow-up restoration within one month of completion of your root canal therapy at our office. Your general dentist will decide what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond.

What technologies do we use?
  • Computerized Anesthesia:
    • Local anesthesia is slowly delivered through an instrument the size of a pen.
  • Computerized Digital Radiography:
    • This is a non-film system that produces images within a few seconds on a computer monitor. Radiation exposure levels are up to 90 percent less than systems that use film.
  • Operating Microscope:
    • In addition to digital radiography, we use an operating microscope, if necessary. Magnification and fiber optic illumination are helpful in aiding the doctor to see tiny details inside your tooth.
  • Electronic Apex Locator:
    • We use an instrument called an Electronic Apex Locator to aid us in determining the length of canals in the tooth that we are treating. This information helps us to properly clean and fill the canals and to reduce the number of x-rays required for treatment.
  • Ultrasonic Instrument:
    • This instrument is used to selectively remove tooth structure and obstructions inside the root canals. It is also used for loosening silver points, posts, and for penetrating paste fills.

Privacy Info

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