I am a sucker for new endodontic technology, and I’m always looking out for the best and brightest new tools that improve outcomes, safety, efficiency, and patient experience. I’ll be sharing my favorite new tech with you in this blog post, but I also recognize that some oldies are goodies. So, I’ll also talk about tried-and-true favorites that have stood the test of time.
But before I dive in, there’s one thing I want to emphasize. No matter how much cool, shiny, effective technology you have, if you don’t BELIEVE that you can save teeth, the tech won’t serve you or your patients. We have to upgrade our beliefs first and foremost.
Shiny, New Endodontic Technology
Endodontic Operating Microscope
I know most dentists don’t have an operating microscope at their disposal, and I could do a root canal without one. But why would I?? It’s so much easier to feel confident in my work when I can see exactly what I’m doing, super-magnified.
First and foremost, I’m obsessed with my cone beam. If you’ve spent any time reading my blogs or following me on social media, you know that I talk about CBCT all. the. time. But that’s because it’s so freaking important!
After all, radiographs don’t always tell you the full story. Being able to see what’s going on inside a tooth, in 3-D, that’s everything. I not only use my CBCT to help diagnose and identify where canals are located, I sometimes also use it again during treatment, so I can make sure I’m on the right track. I really can’t overstate how important it is for me in my practice.
When it comes to irrigation, there’s nothing I love more than my GentleWave. That’s because it gets into all those tiny, microscopic nooks and crannies inside canals. It doesn’t care that the anatomy is tricky, it just does its thing. As an added bonus, it helps reduce postoperative discomfort for my patients.
The GentleWave is a boss at helping me instrument. I no longer have to struggle with getting to working length or making sure I’m patent in my cases (it helps me get that path). It has significantly decreased my stress levels during instrumentation. It’s a beast of a useful machine, and I have mad respect for it.
The newest acquisition in my practice is a Fotona Laser. I’m still getting used to the technology, but I’m impressed with its ability to zap the bacteria in canals, and even get rid of the bits of tiny debris that can collect during treatment. I love using the laser even before I start instrumenting, especially in a necrotic case. This way, I am already decreasing the bacterial load in the tooth before I instrument, preventing me from packing bacteria into the canal.
The energy from the light does a bomb job of activating the irrigants in my canal, so they can get into all those hard-to-reach places. In addition, it can be used to stimulate the periapical area. I also totally love that it can help me out when I need to re-instrument after I use my GentleWave. I’ll never say no to additional disinfection to keep my patients safe.
Dentsply Sirona’s EndoActivator is a great stepping stone option for those who aren’t yet in the place to bring GentleWave or a laser into their practice. Perhaps this is because endo isn’t a huge part of their practice, or because they don’t have as many funds to invest right now. However, EndoActivator is a great option for activating your irrigation, which is such a critical part of endodontics.
For example, I’m really enjoying some new bioceramic sealers, like the AH Plus Bioceramic Sealer and the EndoSequence BC Sealer HiFlow by Brasseler. Bioceramics have been on the market for a little while, but they still aren’t widely adopted.
These two particular sealers have good flow, are super biocompatible, expand instead of shrink, and can even be used for warm vertical obturation. The only downside is that they harden afterwards, making retreatment a bitch.
Old Standby Endodontic Technology that Still Does the Trick
I love this part of the post, because sometimes it’s not about new endodontic technology to look out for, it’s tools and technology you already have in your practice that you can be using more effectively. I love it when I can save you money and point you towards resources that have been extensively scientifically tested and proven.
Nothing has changed here, friends: You should be doing an endodontic diagnosis on every single tooth you suspect might need a root canal, an extraction, or even a crown. And that includes a cold test.
Endo Ice is still my go-to for cold tests. Here are my tips and tricks on how to do an effective cold test that won’t get you false negative results. Don’t forget your other endodontic tests like percussion, bite, and even probing which I personally do a ton. These are tried and true because they work.
Rubber Dams and OpalDam
I cannot stress enough how important it is to use rubber dams when you do root canals. They keep everything sanitary, and they can help ensure a great outcome for your patient. Nobody wants a retreatment! In fact, when I have a patient come in for a retreatment, I often hold up a plastic dummy head with a rubber dam on, and I point to the dam and ask, “Did your provider use this on you?” When they look at me blankly, I know that there’s the problem, right there.
When it comes to instrumentation, people have a lot of questions about which files are the best. Yes, I definitely have my preferences (I’m a ProTaper fangirl), but it’s less about which files are the best, and more about what files you use in which situations. But if you want to know about my favorites, they’re the 10C file to start my cases, S1 Gold once I’ve gotten my working length, ProGlider for curvy canals, and S1 Universal if I need to find and get into tiny canals.
If you ever thought that your apex locator is messed up, chances are, it’s actually user error. Much like files, it doesn’t matter which apex locator you use, so much as how you use it. Ultimately, you need to get to 0.0 (which your apex locator will alert you to) in order to get patent in your canal, so you know you’re at your proper working length, and you can shape and clean like a boss.
Technology that You Might Not Expect
ClickUp Project Management Software
This one might surprise you a little bit, because it’s not clinical, and it’s not even limited to dentistry. But I’m obsessed with a project management tool called ClickUp. Both of my teams (clinical and educational) use it, and it blows me away how much it keeps us organized and on task.
Deadlines and assignments are clear, it’s easy to see when there’s a hold-up, and my task list is simple. I would recommend you assign a person specifically to keeping ClickUp organized, if you decide to use it—and make sure people actually check on it daily! A tool is only useful if it’s used!
I’m creating educational materials for dentists who want to dig into practice efficiency, so if you want to sign up for the waitlist for my upcoming course, please click here!
When It Comes to New Endodontic Technology to Look Out For, I’m Your Girl.
Ask my partners at my practice—I’m always tinkering with new tools and new tech. If there’s anything out there that’s going to improve my efficiency, outcomes, and patient experience, I’m alllll over it.
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