- Root Canals (Endodontic treatment)
A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges.
At the center of your tooth is pulp (often called the “nerve”). Pulp is a collection of blood vessels and nerves that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury or swelling of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums.
- Endodontic Retreatment
With the appropriate care, your teeth that have had endodontic treatment will last as long as other natural teeth. Yet, a tooth that has received treatment may fail to heal or pain may continue to exist. Sometimes, the pain may occur months or years after treatment. If so, Endodontic Retreatment may be needed.
Improper healing may be caused by:
*Curved or narrow canals were not treated during the initial treatment.
*Complicated canals went undetected during the initial treatment.
*The crown or restoration was not placed within the appropriate amount of time following the procedure.
*The crown or restoration did not prevent saliva from contaminating the inside of the tooth.
In some cases, new problems can influence a tooth that was successfully treated:
*New decay can expose a root canal filling material, causing infection.
*A cracked or loose filling or crown can expose the tooth to new infection.
Generally, a root canal is all that is needed to save teeth with injured pulp from extraction. Occasionally, this non-surgical procedure will not be sufficient to heal the tooth and your endodontist will recommend surgery. Endodontic surgery can be used to locate fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on x-rays but still manifest pain in the tooth. Damaged root surfaces or the surrounding bone may also be treated with this procedure. The most common surgery used to save damaged teeth is an apicoectomy or root-end resection with a retrograde filling to be sure the tip of the root is well sealed.
- Cracked Teeth
Cracked teeth demonstrate many types of symptoms, including pain when chewing, temperature sensitivities, or even pain on the release of biting pressure. It is also common for pain to come and go, making it difficult to diagnose the cause of discomfort.
Chewing can cause movement of the cracked pieces of your tooth, and the pulp within the tooth becomes irritated. At the same time, when biting pressure is released, the crack can close quickly, resulting in sharp pain. Eventually, the pulp will become damaged and tooth will consistently hurt, even when you are not chewing. It is possible that cracks can lead to infection of the pulp tissue, which can spread to the bone and gum surrounding the problematic tooth. Teeth with cracks can often be saved if the symptoms are diagnosed and treated early
- Dislodged Teeth
Injuries to the mouth can cause teeth to be pushed back into their sockets. Your endodontist or general dentist may reposition and stabilize your tooth. Root canal treatment is usually started within a few weeks of the injury and a medication, such as calcium hydroxide, will be placed inside the tooth. Eventually, a permanent root canal filling will be placed.
Sometimes a tooth may be pushed partially out of the socket. Again, your endodontist or general dentist may reposition and stabilize your tooth. If the pulp remains healthy, then no other treatment is necessary. Yet, if the pulp becomes damaged or infected, root canal treatment will be required.
- Saving knocked out teeth
If an injury causes a tooth to be completely knocked out of your mouth, it is important that you are treated immediately! If this happens to you, keep the tooth moist. If possible, put it back into the socket. A tooth can be saved if it remains moist. You can even put the tooth in milk or a glass of water (add a pinch of salt.) Your Endodontist may start root canal treatment based upon the stage of root development. The length of time the tooth is out of your mouth and the way the tooth was stored will determine long term prognosis and will influence the type of treatment you receive.
- Microscopic Endodontics
The Endodontic Microscope is an amazing advancement in the field of Root Canal Treatment. Without the endodontic microscope, a dentist relies solely on dental x-rays and what is visible to the naked eye.
With the endodontic microscope, Dr. Stevens has the ability to look into the chamber of the tooth and see exactly where the infection is located. The microscope magnifies the canals of the tooth to allow the endodontist to get to the “root” of the problem.
What does this mean for our patients?
The use of endodontic microscopes has enhanced the treatment of Root Canals and has increased the success of root canal treatment to unprecedented levels. If you need a root canal in Jacksonville, call First Coast Endodontics to benefit from our expertise in microscopic endodontic treatment.
First Coast Endodontics
Dr. Barry H. Stevens, D.D.S, P.A.
2365 Park St
Jacksonville, Florida 32204