St. Lawrence Dentistry will make every effort to avoid root canal treatments on teeth. However, some teeth will need this treatment and it is nothing to worry about. Root canal treatment can be a painless experience and patients are often surprised at about the ease of the procedure and the aftermath. With modern technique and tools employed by St. Lawrence Dentistry, the success rate of this procedure is very high.
Use of dental microscopes is becoming the new standard of care for root canal therapy. Our office is equipped with two dental microscopes used during both root canal therapy as well as other procedures requiring high magnification and precision. A root canal often has more than one main canal and does not always run straight. The small canal entry points and branches sometimes cannot be easily seen by the naked eye or even magnifying surgical loupes. As a result, some undetected hollow areas or canals may be left untreated which can cause the remaining bacteria to develop inflammation at a later date, leading to the need for additional treatment or the loss of the tooth. A state-of-the-art dental microscope will allow visual enhancements of the most subtle structures in the root canal. A dental microscope has the ability to view the root canals which unprecedented magnification and resolution, allowing the highest standard of cleaning & filling of root canals to help ensure a high success rate.
A root canal is needed when the pulp tissue (inner soft tissue of a tooth) is inflamed or infected. Often times the tooth will hurt to tap on it (percussion positive) or it will be very tender to cold air. A bubble located on the gum around the tooth is often a sign that abscess tissue is draining from the tooth and into the gum. X-rays can also diagnose the need for a root canal. A dark area showing in the x-ray at the end of the root (periapical radiolucency) or the x-ray showing decay deep decay are often indicative of the need for a root canal.
Before commencing root canal treatment Dr. Hawryluk often suggests very mild sedation with Ativan tablets and will discuss this option with the patient. These tablets make the procedure more comfortable and it will feel like it will go by quicker. The patient cannot drive after taking Ativan so they will have to arrange a ride home.
During the procedure, Dr. Hawryluk will make a small opening at the top of the tooth (occlusal or incisal surface) and then drill down until the soft pulp tissue is exposed. Then a dental dam is applied. The use of the dental dam is mandatory in Canada and after it is put on it is quite comfortable This acts as a safety net for the small tools, provides a clear working field, and makes sure saliva is not contaminating the canal system being cleaned out.
With the aid of the Global Dental Microscope, Dr. Hawryluk will start to clean the soft pulp tissue out of the tooth. This is accomplished by a series of small files. The cleaning is very accurate thanks to modern tools that St. Lawrence Dentistry uses. The Root Zx ‘apex locator’ lets Dr. Hawryluk know how far to go into the tooth and accurately tells him where the end of the root is. Newly developed Coltene ‘Hi-Flex’ files allow very efficient cleaning and shaping of the canal system.
When all the pulp tissue is cleaned out Dr. Hawryluk will sterilize the canals with Sodium Hypochlorite, EDTA, and sometimes Chlorhexidine. Then the canals are filled with Gutta Percha Rubber and root canal cement from Roth Corporation. After the canals are sealed the root canal treatment is complete. Dr. Hawryluk will then discuss restoration of the crown (visible portion of the tooth) which is sometimes accomplished at the time of the root canal or can be done another day.
If you live in the Mississauga or Toronto area and would like to learn more about modern root canal treatment please call St. Lawrence Dentistryclick here.
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