Causes of a Root Canal
Root canals are necessary when a cavity that has been left untreated becomes larger. Once the cavity reaches the pulp of the tooth, an infection forms at the base of the root canal, causing an abscess. This abscess is generally painful and will need to be removed.
The doctors at Winston-Salem Dental Care know that serious tooth decay can often lead to a root canal. A root canal may be needed if the decay has reached the tooth's nerve. Essentially, a root canal involves cleaning out a tooth's infected root, then filling and sealing the canal.
Root Canal Procedure:
1) An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.
2) The pulp is removed, and the root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped.
3) The infected area is medicated.
4) The root canals are filled.
5) The crown opening is filled with a temporary.
If you are experiencing severe tooth pain, you may need a root canal.
Types of Fillings
When a cavity needs to be filled, there are four choices in the filling material:
The most common is a composite filling, this is a natural tooth colored filling and bonds to the tooth for extra strength. There are also gold and silver fillings. Silver fillings are inexpensive and strong while gold fillings may look nicer and provide a better fit. The final option is a porcelain filling, also called an inlay, which is the most durable of fillings and is also the color of your natural teeth.
Ask us which filling would be best for you.
Inlays and Onlays
An inlay or onlay is a method of repairing a tooth that is somewhere between a filling and a crown. They are used when the tooth is unable to support a filling, but is not damaged to the point that it needs a crown. An inlay is much like a filling but is inserted into the ridges (cusps) of the chewing surface. An onlay is a little more extensive than an inlay and covers multiple cusps of the tooth. Inlays and onlays are commonly made with ceramic or composite materials but can also be made of gold. They are very durable and can last a long time depending on the material used and how well the patient takes care of them with regular brushing, flossing and visits to the dentist.
Our dentists treat children. One of the best ways to keep a child cavity free is with proper home care instruction and with sealants. Sealants have been proven to prevent cavities but they do not replace proper hygiene. Ask us if sealants are right for your child.
Crowns are used to restore a tooth to its natural size, shape and color after a large filling or crack in the tooth has compromised the tooth. Crowns are almost always placed after a root canal treatment because the tooth becomes weak and is likely to fracture. A crown will strengthen and protect what remains of the tooth and will improve your smile. Crowns are often made of all ceramic material and in some cases can be made in a single visit.
In order for the crown to be placed on the tooth, 1-2mm of the tooth must be taken away and an impression must be made of the tooth. If the office has the ability to make crowns in a day, it will be made and placed on your tooth in the same visit. Otherwise the impression is sent to a lab and your crown is fabricated there. If you have to wait on your crown, a temporary is placed on your tooth and will be replaced with your crown when it arrives. When the crown is placed on your tooth, sometimes it needs to be adjusted a little to make the proper fit. After it is adjusted it is cemented to your tooth and is a permanent solution.
An alternative to an implant is a fixed bridge. With this option, it is necessary to grind down the teeth adjacent to the space in order to have caps fit onto the ground down teeth. The caps hold a fake replacement tooth in the middle. With this approach, the ground down teeth are more subject to dental decay and root canals. Furthermore, the teeth are connected together making daily hygiene more challenging. Unlike an implant, the bridge offers no additional biting support.
In order to place an implant, a couple of steps must be taken:
1) An incision is made into the gums using very precise measurements, then using a very small drill, the jawbone is given a "tap" that will allow the implant to be placed. After the implant is screwed into place, the gums are closed up and the healing process begins. This process can take approximately three to six months to ensure the implant has fused with the bone and created a sturdy base for the new teeth.
2) When the implant is ready, an abutment is attached to the implant, which allows for a new crown to be placed or a denture to be attached.
Single Tooth Implant
Do you have missing teeth? It is critically important to replace missing teeth. Eating and chewing with missing teeth can sabotage your bite and lead to incessant discomfort. Missing teeth can give rise to a mouth rearrangement that often results in facial changes that look decrepit. If a tooth is missing or has been extracted for any reason, a single implant can be used to replace the missing tooth. The implant is placed into the bone of the jaw and acts as the new tooth root. After the bone has healed over the implant, an abutment can be placed on the implant and a crown can then be attached. This method of tooth replacement looks and feels like natural teeth.
Multiple Tooth Implants
In cases where multiple teeth are missing or have been extracted, multiple implants can be used to bring back your smile. The implants are placed into the jawbone and are given time to heal. After the bone has healed around the implants, an abutment is attached to the implant which then allows for a crown or bridge to be placed right on the implant. These new teeth will look and act just like natural teeth.
Full Arch Dentures
At times, it is necessary for all teeth to be removed due to extensive periodontal disease and/or due to decay. An alternative for the replacement of all the teeth is a complete upper and/or lower denture. These dentures require support from your gum pad and many times require the use of dental adhesive. Throughout life, the dentures require constant adjustment and refitting, and can cause the jaw bone to melt away making the dentures loose and once again requiring continuous adjustment.
Full Arch Implants
In many circumstances, all of the upper or lower remaining teeth need to be removed due to advanced periodontal disease and/or dental decay. One approach is a full upper or lower plate; however, this treatment modality is not recommended. The treatment of choice is to replace the upper or lower teeth with caps that are in place permanently and supported by dental implants. A common goal of treatment is to have (12 teeth caps) supported by 8 implants. The 4 caps that are not supported by the implants are connected to adjacent implant-supported caps. With this optimal approach, the maximum amount of bone is preserved.
Complete Dental Care in One Place
Our dental care center is one of the few practices in the state where patients can have all of their dental needs from treatment planning and preventive services, X-Rays, surgical and restorative procedures, root canals, implants, sleep disorder appliances, braces, periodontal (gum) procedures as well as the fabrication of most restorations and the repair of partials and dentures at our on-site dental lab.
If your smile is in need of a makeover, crowns can provide predictable results. Crowns can give an unattractive tooth back its beautiful shape and color. For smaller or worn down teeth, a crown can restore the natural size of the old tooth. A crown can replace either part of or the tooth's entire structure. For procedures requiring only the areas visible from the outside, a veneer may be an alternative option.
This type of alternative replaces teeth that are missing. It is made of metal with hooks that grab teeth for support. Furthermore on the upper there is a large piece of metal that goes across the roof of the mouth which can interfere with taste sensation and/or have food collected under it. The partial plate must be taken in and out each day to be cleaned.
Full Arch Dentures
At times, it is necessary for all teeth to be removed due to extensive periodontal disease and/or due to decay. An alternative for the replacement of all the teeth is a complete upper and/or lower denture. These dentures require support from your gum pad and many times require the use of dental adhesive. Throughout life, the dentures require constant adjustment and refitting and can cause the jaw bone to melt away making the dentures loose and once again requiring continuous adjustment.