Posts for tag: root canal
As a new permanent tooth develops, the roots undergo a process of breakdown and growth. As older cells dissolve (a process called resorption), they’re replaced by newer cells laid down (deposition) as the jaw develops. Once the jaw development ends in early adulthood, root resorption normally stops. It’s a concern, then, if it continues.
Abnormal root resorption most often begins outside of the tooth and works its way in, beginning usually around the neck-like (or cervical) region of the tooth. Also known as external cervical resorption (ECR), the condition usually shows first as pink spots where the enamel is being undermined. As these spots continue to erode, they develop into cavity-like areas.
While its causes haven’t been fully confirmed, ECR has been linked to excessive pressure on teeth during orthodontic treatment, periodontal ligament trauma, teeth-grinding or other excessive force habits, and bleaching techniques performed inside a tooth. Fortunately, ECR is a rare occurrence, and most people who’ve had these problems won’t experience it.
When it does occur, though, it must be treated as quickly as possible because the damage can progress swiftly. Treatment depends on the size and location of the resorption: a small site can often be treated by surgically accessing the tooth through the gum tissue and removing the offending tissue cells. This is often followed with tooth-colored dental material that’s bonded to the tooth to replace lost structure.
A root canal treatment may be necessary if the damage has extended to the pulp, the tooth’s interior. However, there’s a point where the resorption becomes too extensive to save the tooth. In these cases, it may be necessary to remove the tooth and replace it with a dental implant or similar tooth restoration.
In its early stages, ECR may be difficult to detect, and even in cases where it’s been diagnosed more advanced diagnostics like a CBCT scanner may be needed to gauge the extent of damage. In any case, it’s important that you have your teeth examined on a regular basis, at least twice a year. In the rare chance you’ve developed ECR, the quicker it’s found and treatment begun, the better your chances of preserving the tooth.
Even people with little to no experience with root canal therapy have probably heard the rumors that it is a painful and traumatic procedure somewhere on the spectrum between a dental necessity and indescribable torture. In fact, the horrors of root canals are a common and longstanding staple of comedy routines and pop culture. Due to its scary reputation, many people put their oral health and smile at risk out of fear. But the truth about root canal therapy is much less scary. While it might make for good jokes and funny skits, in reality, a root canal is a lot closer to the procedure for filling a cavity than it is with a cruel form of ancient torture. Dr. Angela Toy, a dentist at Arbor Hills Dental in Newberg, OR, reminds patients that contrary to popular belief, a root canal is actually a treatment for pain from a badly decayed or infected tooth.
Root Canal Therapy in Newberg, OR
The inside of each tooth is made up of a network of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue known as pulp. Bacteria can enter the canal and cause inflammation and infection, which causes pain and swelling, and puts the tooth at risk of permanent damage to the nerves. Root canal therapy (also known as endodontic treatment) removes the damaged root and tissue and essentially cleans the tooth from the inside out to remove bacteria and prevent further damage and possible extraction of the tooth. Bacteria usually gets inside a tooth from severe tooth decay or trauma.
After applying local anesthesia and topical numbing agents, the dentist will drill a small hole in the tooth to remove the damaged tooth and clean out the canal. The tooth is then sealed and good as new! In terms of pain and discomfort, most people report that the procedure feels very similar to getting a dental filling.
Find a New Dentist in Newberg, OR
If you are nervous or worried about root canal therapy or other problems with your oral health or have questions about cosmetic dentistry, contact our office by calling (503) 538-2143 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Toy today.
If you regularly participate in sports or other physical activity, you’re at a higher risk for dental injuries. While chipped teeth are the most common result of these injuries, a few may result in more serious trauma — dislodged, cracked or knocked out teeth. In these cases, the core of the tooth — the pulp — and the root may have been damaged. Saving the tooth may require endodontic treatment and possibly the expertise of a specialist in the field, an endodontist.
Endodontics, from the Greek words for “within” and “tooth,” is a specialty of dentistry that treats disease or damage affecting the inner parts of a tooth, particularly the pulp chamber, the root canals, and the root. While all dentists are trained in endodontic procedures, an endodontist has advanced training, experience and specialized equipment to address complex cases.
The type of endodontic treatment needed for an injured tooth will depend on the extent of damage. A mature, permanent tooth with pulp damage, for example, may require a root canal treatment. In this procedure the pulp chamber and root canals are thoroughly cleaned out, and then are filled with a special filling to prevent any future infection. Later the tooth should be crowned to permanently seal it. Although a general dentist may perform a root canal, more complex cases, such as a tooth with an extensive root canal network, may need to be performed by an endodontist using microscopic equipment.
A tooth that has undergone severe trauma, especially a knocked out tooth, will need extensive follow-up care by a general dentist and possibly an endodontist to improve its chances of long-term survival. Because of the severity, the tooth may lose viability and the body ultimately may begin to reject it. For this reason, the tooth should be monitored on a regular basis and may need further treatment from time to time, even up to five years after the injury.
One final word: if you participate in sports or exercise activity, you can significantly reduce your risk of dental injury with a mouthguard. There are various types, but the best protection is one custom designed to fit the specific contours of your mouth. We’ll be glad to advise you further on how to protect your teeth from injury.
If you would like more information on dental injury prevention and treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth.”
Although every precaution is taken to ensure a dental procedure will go as planned, occasionally complications happen. Dr. Angela Toy, your dentist in Newberg, OR, wants her patients to understand how and why these problems can arise with root canals, a common dental procedure she performs at Arbor Hills Dental.
The crown conundrum
Many dentists agree that perhaps the biggest indicator of a root canal failing is when a patient waits too long to have a permanent crown placed after the procedure. While a root canal clears infection from the interior of the tooth, it also makes the exterior extremely brittle due to being hollowed out. That's why returning to your Newberg dentist within a month after receiving a root canal treatment is so important: the porcelain crown will reinforce and protect the treated tooth, preventing it from potentially cracking and requiring extraction.
Although dentists like Dr. Toy use visual examinations and x-rays to ensure a proper diagnosis, sometimes cracks in teeth can be so small that they go unnoticed until they cause problems after a procedure like a root canal. When this happens, the cracks can cause bacteria to further infiltrate a tooth. Repair may be a feasible option as long as the crack has not extended into the tooth's root.
The anatomy of the inside of teeth is fairly standard. Occasionally there will be divisions or branches of the inner tooth that go overlooked due to their minute size. When this happens, the infection that necessitated the root canal in the first place will continue. This problem can usually be fixed with a repeat root canal.
Working with your Newberg, OR dentist, Dr. Toy, can help prevent problems from occurring. Following post-operative instructions goes a long way in ensuring proper recovery. When an issue does arise, please contact Arbor Hills Dentist as soon as possible so we can fix it in a timely manner.