Endodontic treatment is the branch of dentistry concerned with injuries and diseases of the soft tissues inside of a tooth (the dental pulp). Endodontics is designed to relieve dental pain and save your teeth from extraction. Lifestyle Dentistry is pleased to offer a wide range of Endodontic procedures to meet all your dental needs. For particularly complex cases, we may refer patients to a specialist.
Your Mississauga Choice for all your Endodontic needs!
What Are the Symptoms of an Infected Tooth?
When the root of a tooth becomes badly infected, it causes extreme pain. You will notice the pain when you bite down or chew. You may also have a painful sensation when you drink hot or cold liquids, which can linger even after the source has been removed. Some patients in need of endodontic treatment have small, pimple-like bumps on their gums when they come in for their consultation. These are all common signs of a tooth with an infected root.
Repairing a Cracked Tooth
While enamel is the hardest substance in your body, it does have limits. If you chew on hard candy, ice, bite down hard, receive a blow to your face, or grind your teeth in your sleep, your teeth can chip or crack. Poor hygiene and cavities can also weaken teeth and make them more susceptible to chips or cracks. You may not even feel any tooth pain when you chip or crack a tooth, unless the chip is large enough to expose the inner layer of your tooth, or unless you bite down hard, or when the temperature in your mouth changes. Often you will not be able to see a crack with the naked eye. This is why it is so important to schedule regular appointments with your dentist. If your dentist discovers a crack or a chip, they can determine if treatment is required. While it is difficult to completely prevent chipping and cracking, you can take precautions to help prevent it, like not chewing on hard objects or food, avoid clenching or grinding your teeth (if you do clench or grind, speak to your dentist about a retainer or mouth guard), and wearing a mouthguard if you play contact sports.
An infection of the dental pulp can give the tooth a darkened, discoloured appearance on the outside. Regular whitening procedures cannot treat this kind of discolouration, which is why Lifestyle Dentistry offers internal bleaching, a method of whitening a tooth from the inside out. Normal whitening options such as toothpastes, rinses, and whitening gels, only affect the outside of the tooth. Internal bleaching can improve your oral health and restore that bright, white smile. After a root canal is performed to remove the infected pulp, a safe sodium perborate paste is placed inside the tooth to break down stains from previous decay and give the tooth a whiter colour.
Post & Core
If a large enough portion of a tooth is missing, whether because of a cavity, the loss of a filling, or the access cavity from root canal work, a crown cannot simply be placed on the tooth because it will not be stable enough. This is where a core comes in, replacing the missing tooth structure and providing support for the new crown. Sometimes the core is enough, but if not, a post may be added to anchor the core to the tooth. The materials that the core, and particularly the post, are made of have a major impact on whether or not the tooth will remain stable. Clinical evidence shows that metal posts do not do much to stabilize the tooth and may lead to fractures, whereas complications from fiber-reinforced posts are rare because the material distributes the stress to the surrounding tissues in a similar way to natural dentin.
In the past, once the pulp of a tooth became diseased, there were few options other than root canal treatment, which leaves the tooth in place but with no living tissue inside. Pulp regeneration seeks to help the dental pulp heal and regenerate from an infection, restoring the tooth to a healthy condition. In pulp regeneration treatment, your dentist uses tooth regeneration scaffolding (which may be made of collagen, fibrin, or man-made polymers, as well as stem cells derived from the patient’s pulp or bone marrow) to encourage the damaged tooth to repair itself. The controlled delivery of antibiotics eliminates the infection, and growth factors stimulate pulp regeneration. In a successful procedure, a root canal will no longer be necessary. Time is of the essence in all types of dental treatment, so if you have a problem tooth and want to give it the best chance to recover, give Lifestyle Dentistry a call!
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy (a root canal) is a common procedure that can restore an infected tooth to its natural function and appearance. Contrary to popular belief, it is typically no more painful than filling a cavity. A root canal is suggested if your cavity is deep enough to become infected and spread to the nerves in the root of your tooth. Left untreated, a cavity this deep can become an abscess and may even lead to bone loss in your jaw as well as other health problems. A root canal may also be recommended for cracked or damaged teeth (where your tooth’s nerves are exposed). During a root canal, your tooth’s canals will be cleared of bacteria and infected tissue, and then dried and sealed. Often, a crown is placed over your tooth for further protection. This can prevent infections from spreading to other areas and help keep you and your smile healthy. With safe and effective anesthesia, precise tools, and incredible imaging technology, a root canal does not have to be painful. In fact, it relieves pain.
Root resorption is a perfectly normal and healthy thing – in baby teeth about to be replaced by their adult counterpart. However, when the root of an adult tooth begins to break down, either from the inside or the outside, it puts the entire tooth in jeopardy and needs the attention of an Endodontist. Root resorption does not always have symptoms and will often be detected by routine radiographs. The problem appears as an abnormal pulp chamber (internal resorption) or lesions to the outside of the tooth (external resorption). Depending on how extreme the resorption is, root canal therapy may be all that is needed to save the tooth. If you have a sensitive or painful tooth, or you have noticed that it has developed a pinkish colour or feels loose, these may be symptoms of root resorption.
Treatment for Traumatic Injuries
Even when we take excellent care of our teeth, accidents can happen, causing significant damage. In such cases, it is critical to get treatment as quickly as possible, because it may be possible to save the affected tooth or teeth! Some mouth injuries can push teeth deeper into their sockets. It may be possible to move the tooth back into place and stabilize it, but root canal treatment will most likely be necessary to save the tooth. This will typically take place within a few weeks of the injury. A medication will be placed in the tooth and eventually, a permanent root canal filling will be implanted. Where a tooth is pushed partially out of its socket, it may be possible to stabilize it, and if the pulp was not damaged, it might not need further treatment. If the pulp was damaged however, it will need root canal treatment. Leaving it untreated could lead to complications such as infection of the tooth and surrounding tissue, inadequate hygiene, and tooth loss. When an injury knocks a tooth out completely, come straight to Lifestyle Dentistry! Make sure to keep the tooth moist, ideally by putting it back into the socket (if possible). If the tooth remains moist, it can usually be saved. If this is not possible, store it in milk. Avoid touching the root at all, even to clean it, because this could damage it. The length of time the tooth spends out of your mouth and the way you store it will impact the type of treatment you receive. Time is one of the crucial components of giving a tooth damaged by injury its best chance, and the experience of the Lifestyle Dentistry team is the other!
Vital Pulp Therapy/Pulpotomy
The goal of vital pulp therapy (also called pulpotomy) is to save healthy dental pulp in the root of a tooth that has decay in the crown. In this procedure, the diseased pulp is removed from the crown of the tooth and the crown is filled with medicated material to preserve the healthy pulp tissue in the roots. Vital pulp therapy is only recommended when there is no swelling or abscess around the tooth, and it is not loose. It may also be recommended for an injured baby tooth to save it from early extraction. It is always better (and less costly) to preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible. Implants are expensive and require a long recovery period, but pulpotomies and root canal treatment allow you to keep your tooth. A pulpotomy is preferable to a full root canal when the pulp in the root is healthy because the procedure is less invasive. If you are experiencing tooth pain or have damaged a tooth in an accident, contact Lifestyle Dentistry right away!