Endodontics

Root Canals

A root canal may be needed if the decay has reached the tooth's nerve. Essentially, a root canal involves cleaning out a tooth's infected root, then filling and sealing the canal.

Procedure:

  1. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.
  2. The pulp is removed, and the root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped.
  3. The infected area is medicated.
  4. The root canals are filled.
  5. The crown opening is filled with a temporary.

Why a Root Canal?

A cavity that has been left untreated can become larger. Once the cavity reaches the pulp of the tooth, an infection forms at the base of the root canal, causing an abscess. This abscess is generally painful and will need to be removed.

Post and Crown

When there is not enough tooth structure remaining after trauma, decay or a root canal procedure, a post and crown will be utilized to restore the tooth to full form and function. A crown buildup is either composed of a bonded composite material or possibly an amalgam material. If a crown is placed on an unstable tooth foundation, there is a higher risk of having that crown fail. When the tooth has lost significant structure, a buildup is necessary in order to provide proper support of the new crown and to bring the tooth back to full function.am material. If a crown is placed on an unstable tooth foundation, you will have a higher risk of having that crown fail. When the tooth has lost significant structure, then a buildup is necessary in order to provide proper support of the new crown and to bring the tooth back to full function.

Pulpotomy

Baby teeth that have large caries (cavities) and some degree of pain occasionally require that the "coronal" (top) portion of that tooth's nerve be removed before a filling or a crown (preferably) is placed. The main goal of this procedure is to preserve the baby tooth, since baby teeth help to maintain adequate room for the permanent teeth. Pulpotomies have published success rates that range from 60% to 90% and represent a good and reliable way to save a badly decayed baby tooth.

Apexification

This is an endodontic method of inducing a calcified barrier at the apex of a nonvital tooth with incomplete root formation. Because children’s permanent teeth are still developing, the tip of the root, or apex, is still open and the root canal walls are thin. With apexification, we encourage a calcified barrier to form over the open apex of the immature tooth. By removing unhealthy pulp and placing medication into the root, hard tissue forms near the root tip and acts a barrier for the root canal filling.

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