Dr. Hawryluk Jr. has performed thousands of successful root canal treatments in Mississauga at St. Lawrence Dentistry.
Endodontic or ‘Root Canal Treatment’ focuses on the pulp of the tooth. The pulp is the inner tissue of the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels that supply nutrients and oxygen to the tooth. Endodontic treatment is performed in order to save the tooth when the pulp gets infected or injured. During treatment, the hollow area inside the tooth is cleaned, disinfected, and filled. When the pulp has been injured by trauma, decay, or other causes, endodontic treatment is usually the best way to try to save the tooth.
This article mainly deals with adult teeth but we will mention primary teeth here since pulp treatment or ‘pulpotomy’ is an important procedure in Pediatric Dentistry. Treatment of the dental pulp in children’s teeth is different than the treatment of adult teeth and it is usually a very simple and quick procedure. Unless a child’s tooth is about to fall out, Dr. Hawryluk may recommend endodontic treatment on a child’s primary (baby) tooth if it is infected or severely decayed. Without treatment, the child may experience pain or discomfort, and infection may result. Early extraction of the primary tooth is usually not advisable because primary teeth are necessary for chewing and for learning proper pronunciation during language development. Also, if a baby tooth is extracted too early, neighboring teeth can shift and occupy some of the vacant space making it difficult for the permanent tooth to grow in properly.
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Symptoms that indicate a need for endodontic treatment can include toothache, sensitivity to hot and cold, or tooth fracture. The type of endodontic treatment that may be recommended depends on how seriously the pulp is affected, and what symptoms are being experienced. Types of treatment include Vital and Non-Vital pulp therapy and Re-Treatments. Dr. Hawryluk Jr. will do a careful examination and assess your individual situation.
‘Vital Pulp Therapy’ is done when the pulp in the tooth is alive but inflamed. The goal of vital pulp therapy is to preserve and protect the pulp. In this procedure, the pulp is only removed from the crown of the tooth and not from the root. Vital pulp therapy is only recommended if there is no swelling or abscess and the tooth is not loose. This may include placing a protective ‘Protective Base’ over the pulp. Bases are placed when the tooth is only affected by decay and the pulp is healthy. First, the decay is removed, then a protective material is inserted into the tooth and then the tooth is filled.
Indirect Pulp Capping is another form of Vital Pulp Therapy often performed at St. Lawrence Dentistry. This treatment is carried out when decay has come close to the pulp but does not reach it. Dr. Hawryluk will remove as much of the decayed debris as possible without touching the sensitive pulp. A protective dressing is placed to cover the pulp which helps to speed up the healing process. A filling is placed on top of the dressing. Usually ‘Glass Ionomer’ is the material used at our office in this situation. A ‘Direct Pulp Cap’ is a procedure is performed when a little bit of the healthy pulp has been exposed due to tooth decay or fracture. Medicine is applied to the exposed pulp to prevent infection, then the pulp cap is placed and the tooth is filled. Direct pulp cap procedures have a higher success rate in permanent teeth, so this therapy is rarely used for baby teeth. The material used for this procedure at St. Lawrence Dentistry is usually ‘MTA”
Vital Pulpotomy is another form of vital pulp therapy. This treatment is an option when only the crown portion of the pulp has been damaged by decay or trauma and the root portion is still healthy. The dentist will remove all tooth decay along with the damaged portion of the pulp, leaving the healthy root pulp intact. Medicine is applied to the exposed portion of the root, and the tooth is filled. This procedure is usually performed on a child’s permanent tooth as a temporary measure to allow the tooth’s root to finish growing. If necessary, a complete root canal treatment may be performed once the tooth root has matured.
Non-Vital Pulp Therapy is also known as ‘Root Canal Treatment’. It is required when there is no chance of saving the pulp. Dr. Hawryluk will remove the entire tooth pulp from inside the tooth and will clean and fill the canals with a special material called ‘Gutta Percha’. Sometimes a crown is then placed on the tooth to prevent it from fracturing.
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Many factors need to be considered when determining whether an extraction or an endodontic treatment is the right choice for you. The choice of treatment depends on factors such as the location of the tooth that is affected, the extent to which the pulp and tooth have been damaged, whether neighboring bone and gum tissue has been affected and whether the tooth can be properly repaired after the root canal is performed. In addition, the person’s overall health is taken into consideration when deciding if root canal treatment is indicated.
An endodontic retreatment ‘Root Canal Re-Treatment’ is performed if after the first treatment, the tooth has not healed as expected or if the pain continues. Inadequate healing can be the result of canals being missed during the first treatment if was a delay in placing a crown, saliva contamination inside of the tooth, and a host of other reasons. Endodontic retreatment can be a simple non-surgical procedure, a surgical one, or a mix of both. Dr. Hawryluk will inform you about the most suitable treatment option for your case.
The dentist will create an opening into the tooth to reach the root canal filling material. He may have to remove the crown, post, and core material before he can reach the root canals. The post and other materials are loosened using a post remover or an ultrasonic handpiece. Dr. Hawryluk will then examine the inside of the tooth under high magnification with a dental microscope to locate additional canals or changes in the structure of the tooth. The canals will be sealed and cleaned and an x-ray may be taken to verify that the cleaning is as close as possible to the end of the root. Endodontic surgery may be required if the canals are very narrow or there is a blockage.
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Our office is located in the Port Credit District of Mississauga. If you would like to have a consultation with Dr. Hawryluk please give us a call.