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Root canal therapy is an important tool in a dentist’s arsenal to save and maintain our teeth. For many it is a scary procedure we try to avoid, but with a little knowledge, it can take some of the fear away and put your mind at ease. A root canal should not be avoided due to fear, understanding what to expect and why may help you get the treatment you need when you need it.

Root Canal Therapy Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Root Canal Therapy?

Root Canal Therapy (also referred to as root canal treatment or endodontic treatment)  is a dental procedure in which the diseased, decayed tooth, or damaged nerve of a tooth is removed and the inside areas (the nerve and canals within the roots) are cleaned, filled and sealed permanently to avoid infection. Without treatment, the surrounding tissues of the tooth (including the gums and bone) will become infected and a dental abscess can form.

A tooth’s nerve and blood vessel provide nutrients and hydration to a tooth as well as sense of temperature. It provides the sensation of hot or cold. The absence of a nerve will affect the strength of a tooth and make it become more brittle and susceptible to fracture if not protected by a crown.

How Do I Know If Root Canal Therapy Is Needed?

Common symptoms related to an infected tooth include tooth sensitivity (to hot or cold temperatures or even both), sensitivity to touch, toothache/sharp pain when chewing, swelling in the area of the tooth, or a bad taste in the mouth. These symptoms need to be evaluated by a dentist immediately to prevent further pain or damage.

What If I Ignore My Symptoms? Will They Just Go Away?

If the symptoms are ignored and treatment is not begun, the inflammation can progress to infection. Infection will continue to invade the tissues and tooth causing the tooth to become more painful and may become a health threat. Once the tooth “dies”, there are only two choices: extract the damaged tooth or perform root canal therapy.

How Is My Tooth Restored After Root Canal Therapy?

Depending on the extent of the damage to the tooth, your dentist can recommend a dental composite restoration to close the tooth or in most cases recommend a dental crown to protect the tooth against future damage. Over time, the tooth with the root canal therapy will dehydrate. This will make the tooth brittle and more susceptible to fracture/breaking. Most often, a crown is placed after root canal treatment is completed to protect the tooth and restore full function.

Is Root Canal Therapy Painful?

Typically, root canal therapy should cause no more discomfort than a simple dental filling). The pain most people associate with root canal therapy is due to the infection that develops. Root canal therapy actually relieves the pain by removing the dental infection and pressure.

What Are The Advantages Of Root Canal Therapy?

Saving the natural tooth with root canal treatment has many advantages:

-Efficient Chewing.

-Maintains Normal Biting Force And Sensation.

-Natural Looking Appearance.

-Protects other teeth from excessive wear or strain.

Root Canal Therapy 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.

Are There any Risks Or Complications?

Over 90 % of root canal therapy procedures are successful. However, there is a chance of a failed root canal. Sometimes the root canal therapy needs to be redone due to diseased canal offshoots that went unnoticed, the fracture of a filing instrument, or a fracture or perforation in the root. The signs of a root canal therapy failure are marked by a return of pain, pressure, and sensitivity.

Is There An Alternative To Root Canal Therapy?

There are other options. One includes extracting the infected tooth. Then the question becomes how to replace the tooth. A few options are possible and these include a dental bridge and a dental implant. The success rate of root canal therapy is over 90% so it is an excellent option to save your own natural tooth if at all possible.

What Can You Expect After Root Canal Therapy?

Most patients feel some sensitivity for a few days afterward. For many it is easily relieved with an over the counter pain medication (aleve or ibuprofen).

Can Root Canal Therapy Be Avoided?

Some tips include maintaining good dental hygiene, see your dentist and hygienist regularly, eat a well balanced diet, and wear a custom made sports mouthguards to decrease dental trauma. Root canals, unfortunately, are not entirely unavoidable, and may happen even with good hygiene and care.

Root Canal Therapy Conclusion

Many are fearful of the root canal therapy procedure but in reality it is not the horror that many believe it to be. Root canal therapy is an easy way to save your teeth in the event of dental trauma, decay, or dental infection. Knowing what to expect can go a long way to alleviating any fears you may have. It is important to save your natural teeth whenever possible.

A discolored tooth can be a real worry for many parents. A tooth discoloration in children (and even adults) generally occurs from some sort of tooth trauma. It is believed that about 1/3rd of all children will suffer some sort of tooth trauma by age of 7. The discolored tooth may be a cause of embarrassment for a child, and the cosmetics of it may bother the parents. The issue that is most important is that a discolored tooth can lead to pain and infection.

Why Does A Tooth Change Color?

When an accident occurs involving a tooth, blood can leak out of blood vessels. The by products of this blood leakage (mainly iron) can make their way into the small tubules inside the tooth. These by products can cause a tooth to appear grey, brown, or even black. The color change usually does not happen right away. It can take about 2-3 weeks before the color change appears. The other color changes could be from deep tooth decay, or a pink/red looking tooth is usually caused by resorption.

Treatment For An Injured Tooth

The damage done inside the tooth is generally irreversible but sometimes it can be repaired especially if it is from decay only. The general rule of thumb is the darker the tooth the higher the likelihood, that the nerve of the tooth has died.

If your child’s tooth has darkened the prudent thing to do is to have your child’s dentist examine it.  If there are other signs that the tooth is dead, has a deep cavity, is resorbing or shows signs of inflammation or an infection. Many of these signs can be seen on the x-ray. The dentist will then diagnose the problem and recommend treatment. Treatments range from a root canal treatment, removing the tooth, or doing a filling or crown. If there is no sign of infection or other symptoms, the dentist may choose to leave the tooth alone. The tooth will eventually fall out on its own and it will maintain space in the meantime for the permanent tooth to erupt. Studies have shown that about 3/4′s of discolored primary teeth normally fall out on their own without any ill effect to the permanent teeth.

Other Color Changes

Other colors can include pink or red. Just like the other colors above, the tooth can turn right away or wait a few weeks.

When a tooth turns red after an accident, it generally means a blood vessel has broken. When this happens, blood leaks inside the nerve of the tooth (pulp). This is referred to as pulpal hyperemia. This can be very difficult to diagnose and over time the tooth may darken as well. The possible long term complication of this is that our body’s defenses may begin to resorb some of the internal layers of the tooth (called internal resorption). As the resorption occurs the pink or red color becomes more noticeable as the tooth structure becomes thinner and thinner. If this occurs, the teeth are either left alone until they fully resorb or they can be removed by your dentist. Resorption can also happen just prior to tooth eruption, the tooth is already on its way to falling out, and the permanent tooth pressure has caused it to resorb from the inside out.

Tooth Discoloration Conclusion

It is the nature of the parent to want to treat their children as quickly as possible. That is precisely what should be done. If you have any concerns about changes in your child’s teeth you should see your dentist immediately to diagnose the problem. Do not leave a potential infection unchecked, ask your dentist what your options are, and make an informed decision in your child’s dental treatment.

Teeth Whitening is a common procedure in general dentistry but especially so in the field of cosmetic dentistry. There are different types of teeth whitening including in

Internal Bleaching Marielaina Perrone DDS

Internal Bleaching Can Make You Smile Again!

office and at home options like the use of teeth whitening strips. But did you know there was a procedure available to perform a deeper teeth whitening from the inside of the tooth out? This procedure is commonly known as internal teeth whitening or internal bleachingInternal bleaching is used to lighten a discolored tooth that has had root canal treatment.

Internal bleaching is a more conservative option compared to restoration with veneers or crowns, but is sometimes used to lighten teeth before the application of these techniques to prevent the discoloration of the natural tooth from showing through. In addition, porcelain veneers or crowns may be required not only to achieve improved color, but also to strengthen a root canal treated tooth.

How is Internal Bleaching Performed?

Internal bleaching is a dentistry technique that is used to lighten the color or whiten the appearance of a tooth or teeth. Internal bleaching is only to be done under the direct supervision of a dentist. This is because the procedure involves inserting a chemical oxidizing agent directly into the tooth.

Internal Bleaching Before Marielaina Perrone DDS

Internal Bleaching Before

The internal bleaching procedure is performed on a non vital tooth that has received root canal treatment. The root canal treatment could have been the result of infection or dental trauma. Whatever the reason, the tooth in question did not require a crown and has maintained its natural tooth structure. When a tooth dies or becomes non vital it loses the blood and nutrient flow to it. This sometimes results in a changing of tooth color to a darker shade than the surrounding teeth.

Following completion of root canal treatment, the dentist will place a chemical oxidizing agent into the chamber of the tooth and leave it there for about 2 weeks time. This process can be done a few times over that 2-3 week period until the tooth achieves the level of whiteness desired by dentist and patient. Once the color is correct, the opening is sealed closed with a white tooth colored composite filling to keep out foreign matter and bacteria that could cause further problems.

Internal Bleaching After Marielaina Perrone DDS

Internal Bleaching After

Internal bleaching may be used by itself for whitening teeth or  in combination with exterior teeth whitening products.  Your dentist will evaluate the current condition of the teeth and determine if it is necessary to make use of two different kinds of teeth whitening procedures at the same time. When it is decided to use both products at the same time, the dentist will choose two products that are compatible to one another so that they do not interact poorly with one another. If chosen incorrectly, the interaction between the two bleaching products could ultimately damage the teeth they are designed to treat.

How well does Internal Bleaching work?

Internal bleaching is very effective for whitening teeth that have been damaged by trauma or infection. The process allows the dentist to focus on one tooth to raise its level of whiteness back to the level of the other teeth to give a more natural appearance overall.

Internal Bleaching Conclusion

Anyone who has had a tooth turn color after receiving root canal treatment can understand the difference between natural, undamaged, tooth structure, and dark, non-vital, tooth discoloration. While internal bleaching is very specific in it’s applications, it is an easy choice for someone with a dark front tooth. Internal bleaching is a great tool for cosmetic dentists to restore one or more teeth back to their natural white condition. It is a fairly simple procedure with great reward. If you have a tooth that does not whiten as all the others do, ask your dentist about internal whitening, and see if this is an option for you.

Porcelain crowns have long been the cosmetic dentist’s best friend. They  provide a long lasting, beautiful restoration that is very esthetic.   The cosmetic enhancement uses of porcelain crowns include, changing color of teeth, closing gaps between teeth, fixing teeth that are crooked or crowded, changing shape or size of teeth. Porcelain crowns

e.max porcelain crowns Marielaina Perrone DDS

e.max porcelain crowns look natural.

are also used to cover and protect damaged teeth, (tooth that had root canal treatment, broken, cracked, large fillings), and to act as a new tooth in the case of dental implants.

Full porcelain crowns, unlike porcelain fused to metal crowns, has translucency.  The porcelain’s translucency allows it to reflect light much like natural teeth. There are many different types of porcelain utilized in many different ways, however, the limiting  factor has always been strength against fracture. E.max porcelain crowns have combined optimum translucency and strength.

What are E.max Porcelain Crowns?

E.max porcelain crowns are a highly esthetic crown originally developed to be used on implants. Dental implant porcelain crowns require greater strength against fracture than crowns on natural teeth. E.max porcelain crowns (due to superior strength) can also be made thinner than other porcelain crowns, allowing for more natural translucency and beauty.  E.max porcelain crowns are made from a single block of lithium disilicate ceramic. This type of porcelain is considered a very high grade material which has been harvested for its toughness, durability and opaque qualities which make for a highly prized crown.

E.max porcelain crowns are considered to be a perfect match against the backdrop of your natural teeth. The transparent color, lifelike shape, along with its light reflection properties create the ideal restoration. There is no metal framework on e.max porcelain crowns which means there is never a chance of a grey line of metal showing through your gums. They are strong, long lasting and unlikely to crack or fracture as compared to many other types of crowns. They are considered to be at less risk of chipping compared to zirconia porcelain crowns.

The beauty of this technology is that e.max is not limited only to porcelain crowns. The same techniques and materials are available for porcelain veneers, porcelain inlays, porcelain onlays, and porcelain crowns over dental implants.

E.max lithium disilicate glass ceramic delivers the fit, form, function, and esthetics demanded by modern cosmetic dentistry but with the enhanced strength and light reflecting properties dentists demand as well. Since the e.max porcelain crown system was introduced almost 40 million restorations have been  and they have been proven effective for use.

 Any Disadvantages of e.max porcelain crowns?

-The main disadvantage of e.max porcelain crowns is with the cost. The lab equipment and highly specialized lab training to make this crown are the reasons why the quality comes with a higher price tag.

-The second disadvantage with e.max porcelain crowns is that it can not be used to make a porcelain bridge, and fusing of  more than 2 teeth is not recommended.

-The third main disadvantage is, as with most porcelain crowns, there tends to be a higher chance of sensitivity after the crown is cemented in place. The sensitivity may last days or weeks.

Conclusion

E.max porcelain crowns have proven to be a very useful cosmetic dentistry tool. Dentists and patients no longer need to compromise when it comes to the esthetic look of the final restorations. You no longer need to worry about crowns looking unnatural. E.max porcelain crowns will give you something to smile about!