Root canals can be extremely tiny— often less than 1/10 of one millimeter in diameter.  Yet, in this small space, millions of bacteria can thrive.  Root canal openings are often covered by calcified areas that must be carefully removed to enable adequate disinfection.  One of the main causes for lack of healing after endodontic treatment is untreated canal space.

Many dentists use dental loupes— special glasses that magnify what is seen when looking through special lenses.  This magnification definitely helps in visualization, but it is vastly inferior to the size and clarity of the image seen through a dental-operating microscope.  Even when using dental-operating microscopes at high magnification, the opening to root canals very often is just barely visible.

With current techniques, it is difficult and often impossible to treat adequately what cannot be seen.  A healthcare provider who claims root canal treatment can be performed well enough without a microscope quite simply does not know what is being missed!  

If you or a loved one need root canal treatment on a tooth with more than one root, ask questions to confirm that the treating doctor will be using a dental-operating microscope throughout your procedure.  If a doctor has a microscope but doesn’t use it during the procedure, the risk of failing to identify and treat canals is increased.

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