Advanced Instruments Help GP Practice Extensive Endodontics
Tango-Endo® Instruments from Essential Dental Systems prove more effective than traditional products
Ever since he opened his solo practice in suburban Detroit in 1976, Scott Graham, DDS, has subscribed to the philosophy that a general practitioner (GP) should do as much as possible for patients. With this in mind, Graham has dedicated himself to adding more and more skills to his arsenal.
“Patients enjoy it when I can handle something for them without sending them to a specialist,” Graham says. “When they ask if they need to visit an endodontist for a particular procedure, and we tell them we can take care of it here, they really appreciate it. They are familiar with me, my staff, and the surroundings. The apprehension and anxiety associated with needing to go someplace else and meet a new dentist and staff is avoided.”
That philosophy has proven successful. Graham's practice in Clinton Township, Michigan, grew steadily through word-of-mouth reviews and internal marketing.
“We were in a rapidly expanding area, and we were very successful,” he says.
In the early years, Graham always had a desire to add endodontics to his repertoire, but he did not feel confident in his skills and knowledge in that area. To acquire more education, he attended a number of seminars in the 1990s, around the time when the rotary NiTi file was first introduced.
“I took courses, but I was still apprehensive,” he says. “In hands-on courses, I could feel the reamer grabbing into the walls of the canals. The handpieces did not have the torque control that they have now. I continued plodding along with K-files and only offered very limited endodontic services for quite some time.”
Eventually, a representative from Essential Dental Systems (EDS) introduced Graham to the SafeSider® Endodontic Instrumentation System and automated handpieces.
“It just opened up my eyes,” Graham says. “I thought, ‘I can do this; it's not rocket science. This makes sense. It's a system that you can wrap your brain around and feel confident in your ability to provide a good service to your patients.'”
Graham still refers some cases to endodontists. However, with the SafeSider system and now the Tango-
Endo® Instruments, he has kept more endodontic work in-house during the past decade (ie, more than 85% of cases). He follows Musikant's work closely and has subsequently lectured for EDS.
“It is not a difficult system to learn,” he says. “You do not break files, and you do not cause the needless removal of tooth tissue. I can perform very nice endodontic work on teeth that previously, I would have referred out because the case was too complex. I have continued on and enjoyed it.”
One of the most significant benefits of the Tango-Endo instruments, Graham says, is their predictability.
“Even though you cannot see down inside the tooth, and you do not know where every little twist and turn and calcification is, you have in your hands a system that enables you to negotiate to the apex,” he says. “The No. 8, No. 10, and No. 6 SafeSiders are flexible and go to the apex very easily. If you cannot get to the apex, you cannot perform the root canal.”
The EDS instruments also negotiate curves well.
“You are not using hand files up to a No. 20, which is what is usually recommended for a rotary NiTi system,” Graham says. “You need to establish a glide path, and if you have to do that with three, four, or five different hand files—they usually recommend K-files—it's a very tedious, time-consuming process. With this system, once the first file is the correct length, you are automated from that point on. You are not wasting time. As your access becomes larger, it gets easier to navigate because of the path you have created.”
Graham uses other products from EDS as well, and he says that partnership has contributed to the success of his practice.
“I have been using EDS products for 10 years and have never had a problem with them,” he says. “I am still using the original handpieces I purchased from them in 2007. They just do not break down. From a financial standpoint, their files are economical to use, especially on a multiple-use basis. Many rotary NiTi systems are one and done. I cannot say enough good things about EDS.”
A partner like EDS is crucial for dentists who are practicing endodontics right now, he adds.
“This is a crossroads for endodontics,” Graham says. “With the advent of implants, fewer root canals are being performed or redone. But when possible, you want to be able to offer a service that will help save and maintain a tooth instead of removing it.”