I just had a re-treatment of an old root canal. I guess because the tooth was near the front and they gave me protective glasses to wear, I was able to see pretty much everything that was going on. (Normally, I just close my eyes.) I have some questions about instruments that were being used. First, there was a metal hook/loop that was hung from my on the opposite side of my mouth (the tooth being treated was on the bottom). After the procedure the assistant said that it was an apex locator used to find the end of the root. How does this thing work?
Second, the endodontist had a foam/sponge thing that he wore like a ring on one hand with numerous “bits” embedded in it. He used these by hand and would clean or dip them into the sponge ring between poking them into the canal. I’m guessing that they were progressively larger and that he was cleaning or preparing the hole?
Then, using tweezers, he took some white thin things and poked them into the canal. They looked to be about 3/4" long. What were they for? Nearer the end of the treatment he used two or three different instruments that were powered (attached to cables or hoses or something). One may have been a drill with an extremely thin bit but the other two were not drills and I don’t know what they did. That last one may have had something to do with curing the temporary filling but it didn’t look like other ones I’ve seen. When does the disinfecting take place?
Anyway, the whole thing was kind of interesting and the doc worked very fast but not hurried. Just very efficient. This is all he does and maybe there was another patient waiting but I was impressed. They also did a CAT scan of the tooth/jaw prior to the procedure and showed me what was going on before they started. The imaging technology is pretty cool.
Finally, I’ve heard of some technology called “Gentle Wave” that uses sonic waves and fluid to penetrate microscopic holes or cracks in the tooth. Is this whoo or legit?