Our professional and skilled team is pleased to provide you with endodontic procedures such as root canal therapy, endodontic retreatment, and apicoectomy.
Root canal therapy
During root canal treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp (nerve) is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected. The tooth is then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.
Unlike the stigma surrounding it, modern root canal treatment is very similar to having a routine filling performed. It can usually can be completed in one or two appointments, depending on the condition of your tooth and your doctor’s assessment.
Saving the natural tooth with root canal treatment has many advantages:
- Efficient chewing
- Normal biting force and sensation
- Natural appearance
- Protects other teeth from excessive wear or strain
- Preserving bone that will eventually recede if the tooth is extracted
- Avoiding the financial burden of replacing the tooth if it is extracted
Endodontic treatment helps you maintain your natural smile, continue eating the foods you love, and limits the need for ongoing dental work. With proper care, most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last as long as other natural teeth and often for a lifetime.
With proper care, even teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime. But sometimes, a tooth that has been treated doesn’t heal properly and can become painful or diseased months or even years after treatment. If your tooth failed to heal or develops new problems, you have a second chance. An additional procedure may be able to support healing and save your tooth.
As occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after initial treatment for a variety of reasons:
- Narrow or curved canals that were not treated during the initial procedure.
- Accessory canals that went undetected in the first procedure.
- The placement of the crown or other restoration was delayed following the endodontic treatment.
- The restoration did not prevent salivary contamination to the inside of the tooth.
In other cases, a new problem can jeopardize a tooth that was successfully treated. For example:
- New decay can expose the root canal filling material to bacteria, causing a new infection in the tooth.
- A loose, cracked or broken crown or filling can expose the tooth to new infection.
- A tooth sustains a fracture.
During retreatment, the endodontist will reopen your tooth and remove the filling material that was placed in the root canals during the first procedure. The endodontist then carefully examines the tooth, looking for additional canals or new infection. He/She will then remove any infection, clean and shape the canals, and place new filling material. The opening is then sealed with a temporary filling. Once the tooth heals, a new crown or other restoration is placed on the tooth to protect it.
If both of the above options have been exhausted and there still remains an infection in the tooth, there is one more procedure that can potentially save the tooth.
During an apicoectomy an incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with the end of the root tip. A root-end filling is placed to prevent reinfection of the root and the gum is sutured. The bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months restoring full function.
Following the procedure, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure. To alleviate any discomfort, appropriate homecare instructions will be discussed and remedies recommended.