Endodontics

 

Natural Teeth are meant to last a lifetime…

Anatomy of a Tooth

Your Teeth Can Be Saved

Even if one of your teeth should become critically injured or diseased, it can oftentimes be saved through, a specialized dental procedure known as endodontic treatment. To help you understand when and why such a procedure might be needed and how a damaged tooth can be saved, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about endodontic treatment.

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  1. An abscessed (infected) tooth caused by tooth decay.
  2. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.
  3. The pulp is removed, and the root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped.
  4. The root canals are filled.
  5. A metal post may be placed in the root canal for structural support.
  6. The crown of the tooth is restored.

In order to maintain healthy teeth and prevent future dental disease, you should:

  • brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste that bears the ADA Seal of Acceptance;
  • clean between your tooth once dally using floss or other interdental cleaners;
  • eat balanced meals and limit the number of between-meal snacks;
  • visit your dentist regularly;
  • use ADA-accepted oral hygiene products.

These measures win help you keep your natural teeth and enjoy good dental health for a lifetime.

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Root Canal FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is Endodontics?

Endodontics is the area of dentistry concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the dental pulp (the tooth’s soft core) Years ago teeth with diseased or injured pulps were extracted. Today, endodontic treatment gives dentists a safe and effective means of saving teeth. 

What is Dental Pulp?

The pulp is a soft tissue that contains the nerves, arteries, veins and lymph vessels of a tooth. It lies within the dentin, the bone-like tissue that supports the enamel. Within the dentin, the pulp extends from the pulp chamber in the crown (the portion of the tooth visible above the gums) down to the tip of the root by way of the root canal. All teeth have only one pulp chamber, but teeth with more than one root will have more than one canal. 

What happens to the damaged pulp?

When the pulp is diseased or injured and unable to repair itself, the pulp dies. The most common cause of pulp death is a tooth fracture or a deep cavity that exposes the pulp to saliva. The bacteria found in saliva cause infection inside the tooth. Left untreated, the infection eventually causes the pulp to die. Pus can build up at the root tip, forming an abscess that can destroy the supporting bone that surrounds the tooth. 

Why does the pulp need to be removed?

If the damaged or diseased pulp is not removed, the tooth and surrounding tissues become infected. Pain and swelling may accompany the infection. Even in the absence of pain, certain byproducts of a diseased pulp can injure the bone that anchors your tooth in the jaw. Without endodontic treatment, your tooth will eventually have to be removed. 

What does endodontic treatment involve?

Treatment usually requires from one to three appointments. During these treatments, your dentist or a specialist called an endodontist removes the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of the tooth are then cleaned, shaped and sealed to prevent recontamination of the root canal therapy usually is a relatively painless procedure. 

What material will be used for the crown?

The type of material used for the crown will depend on where the tooth is located in your mouth, the color of the tooth and the amount of natural tooth remaining. A front tooth that affects appearance, for instance, most likely will be restored with a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown. When a back tooth has been badly fractured or decayed, a gold or porcelain-fused-to-metal crown may be used. Your dentist will discuss these options with you.

Why couldn't you just remove the tooth?

The choice is yours. but there are many disadvantages to losing a tooth. When a tooth is removed, and not replaced, the teeth next to the empty space begin to shift from their normal position. This may cause teeth to become crooked or crowded, which decreases chewing and biting efficiency. Crowded or crooked teeth may be more prone to dental disease because they are harder to keep clean than properly aligned teeth. As a result, other teeth may be lost if the missing tooth is not replaced.A replacement tooth (an implant or a bridge) is usually more expensive than endodontic treatment and involves more extensive dental procedures on adjacent teeth. Endodontic treatment can safely and comfortably save a tooth that otherwise would have to be removed. In fact root canal therapy is successful approximately 95% of the time. Remember, a healthy restored tooth is always better than an artificial one. 

How long will the restored tooth last?

Your endodontically treated and restored tooth could!d last a lifetime, if you continue to care for your teeth and gums. As long as the root(s) of an endodontically treated tooth is properly nourished by the surrounding tissues, your tooth will remain healthy.

 

 Should you have any questions or require additional information, please feel free to call us
at 607-734-2045 or click here to contact us directly.