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Fillings & Root Canal Treatment
A Dental filling is a way to restore teeth that are damaged by decay back to their normal function and shape. When any dentist gives the filling, he or she first removes the decayed tooth material, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned out cavity with a specific filling material.
Dentists consider a number of factors when choosing which type of filling material is best for you. These factors include the extent of the repair, where in your mouth the filling is needed and the cost.
They help restoring teeth that are damaged, back to their normal function, and prevents further decay.
If we talk about types of filling materials there is no limit, these days several dental filling materials are available like gold, porcelain, silver amalgam (which consists of mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper), or tooth-colored, plastic, and materials called composite resin fillings. There is also a material that contains glass particles and is known as glass ionomer. This material is used in ways similar to the use of composite resin fillings.
However We @ Clove strictly follow the policy of ‘No mercury fillings’ Silver amalgam fillings have been the oldest way of filling a tooth, it has a number of flaws and drawbacks that even includes mercury poisoning
Procedure of fillings
- Local anesthesia – Once you visit a dentist, at the beginning of your filling procedure, you may be given local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth
- Tooth decay removal – After that the dentist will cut through the enamel using a drill to remove any decay. After the dentist removes the decay, the dentist will create the shape of the space to ready it for the filling
- Etching – Before placing the material a tooth is etched for a bonded filling, so the dentist will etch the tooth with an acid gel
- Resin application – For some types of fillings the dentist will layer on the resin and cure it using a bright light. This makes it strong
- Polishing – This is the last and final step after the filling has been placed. The filling is polished
How Does Endodontic Treatment Save The Tooth?
Root canal or Endodontic Treatment—is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, faulty crowns, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, trauma to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
During root canal or Endodontic Treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, 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.
Endodontic Treatment helps you maintain your natural smile, continue eating the food you love and limits the need for ongoing dental work. With proper care, most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime.
What is Endodontic Treatment?
“Endo” is the Greek word for “inside” and “odont” is Greek for “tooth.” Endodontic Treatment treats the inside of the tooth. Root canal treatment is one type of Endodontic Treatment. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue and creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development. The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is important during a tooth’s growth and development. However, once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp, because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.
Endodontic Treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
What signs and symptoms show that you require Endodontic Treatment?
Signs to look for include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to touch and chewing, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling, drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes as well as nearby bone and gum tissues. Sometimes, however, there may be no symptoms.
How does Endodontic Treatment save the tooth?
The Endodontist removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the inside of the root canal, then fills and seals the space. Afterwards, a crown will be placed or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.
Will the patient feel pain during or after the procedure?
Many Endodontic procedures are performed to relieve the pain of toothaches caused by pulp inflammation or infection. With modern techniques and anesthetics, most patients are comfortable during the procedure.
For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Follow your Endodontist’s instructions carefully.
Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your Endodontic Treatment is completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure or pain that lasts more than a few days, call your Endodontist.
Step-by-Step Endodontic Procedure
Root Canal Abscess Endodontic Treatment can often be performed in one or two visits and involves the following steps:
1. The Endodontist examines and x-rays the tooth, then administers local anesthetic. After the tooth is numb, the Endodontist places a small protective sheet called a “dental dam” over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure-Root Canal Access Opening
2. The Endodontist makes an opening in the crown of the tooth. Very small instruments are used to clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals and to shape the space for filling.
3. After the space is cleaned and shaped, the Endodontist fills the root canals with a biocompatible material, usually a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. The gutta-percha is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals. In most cases, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening. The temporary filling will be removed by your dentist before the tooth is restored.
4. After the final visit with your Endodontist, you must return to your dentist to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.
If the tooth lacks sufficient structure to hold the restoration in place, your dentist or Endodontist may place a post inside the tooth. Ask your dentist or Endodontist for more details about the specific restoration planned for your tooth.
Will the tooth need any special care or additional treatment after Endodontic Treatment?
You should not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist. The unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture, so you should see your dentist for a full restoration(crown) as soon as possible. Otherwise, you need only practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and regular checkups and cleanings. Most endodontically treated teeth once crowned last as long as other natural teeth.
Can all teeth be treated endodontically?
Most teeth can be treated. Occasionally, a tooth can’t be saved because the root canals are not accessible, the root is severely fractured, the tooth doesn’t have adequate bone support, or the tooth cannot be restored. However, advances in Endodontics are making it possible to save teeth that even a few years ago would have been lost. When Endodontic Treatment is not effective, Endodontic Surgery may be able to save the tooth.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.
“Root canal” is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal. The tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal.
A tooth’s nerve is not vitally important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory — to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.
Why does Tooth Pulp need to be removed?
When a tooth’s nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other decayed debris can cause an infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of the roots of the tooth. An abscess occurs when the infection spreads all the way past the ends of the roots of the tooth. In addition to an abscess, an infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause:
- Swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head
- Bone loss around the tip of the root
- Drainage problems extending outward from the root. A hole can occur through the side of the tooth with drainage into the gums or through the cheek with drainage into the skin
What happens during a Root Canal procedure?
A root canal requires one or more office visits and can be performed by a dentist or Endodontist. An Endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and injuries of the human dental pulp or the nerve of the tooth. The choice of which type of dentist to use depends to some degree on the difficulty of the root canal procedure needed in your particular tooth and the general dentist’s comfort level in working on your tooth. Your dentist will discuss who might be best suited to perform the work in your particular case.
The first step in the procedure is to take an X-ray to see the shape of the root canals and determine if there are any signs of infection in a surrounding bone. Your dentist or Endodontist will then use local anesthesia to numb the area near the tooth. Anesthesia may not be necessary, since the nerve is dead, but most dentists still anesthetize the area to make the patient more relaxed and at ease.
Next, to keep the area dry and free of saliva during treatment, your dentist will place a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) around the tooth.
An access hole will then be drilled into the tooth. The pulp along with bacteria, the decayed nerve tissue and related debris is removed from the tooth. The cleaning out process is accomplished using root canal files. A series of these files of increasing diameter are each subsequently placed into the access hole and worked down the full length of the tooth to scrape and scrub the sides of the root canals. Water or sodium hypochlorite is used periodically to flush away the debris.
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it is sealed. Some dentists like to wait a week before sealing the tooth. For instance, if there is an infection, your dentist may put a medication inside the tooth to clear it up. Others may choose to seal the tooth the same day it is cleaned out. If the root canal is not completed on the same day, a temporary filling is placed in the exterior hole in the tooth to keep out contaminants like saliva and food between appointments.
How successful are Root Canal procedures?
Root canal treatment is highly successful, the procedure has more than a 95% success rate. Many teeth fixed with a root canal can last a lifetime.
Also, because the final step of the root canal procedure is application of a restoration such as a crown or a filling, it will not be obvious to onlookers that a root canal was performed.
Complications of a Root Canal procedure
Despite your dentist’s best efforts to clean and seal a tooth, new infections might emerge after a root canal. Among the likely reasons for this include:
- More than the normally anticipated number of root canals in a tooth (leaving one of them uncleaned)
- An undetected crack in the root of a tooth
- A defective or inadequate dental restoration that has allowed bacteria to get past the restoration into the inner aspects of the tooth and decontaminate the area
- A breakdown of the inner sealing material over time, allowing bacteria to decontaminate the inner aspects of the tooth
Sometimes retreatment can be successful, other times Endodontic surgery can be tried in order to save the tooth. The most common Endodontic surgical procedure is an Apicoectomy or root-end resection. This procedure relieves the inflammation or infection in the bony area around the end of your tooth that continues after Endodontic Treatment. In this procedure, the gum tissue is opened, the infected tissue is removed, and sometimes the very end of the root is removed. A small filling may be placed to seal the root canal.
Alternatives to a Root Canal procedure
Saving your natural teeth is the very best option, if possible. Your natural teeth allow you to eat a wide variety of foods necessary to maintain proper nutrition. The root canal procedure is the treatment of choice.
The only alternative to a root canal procedure is having the tooth extracted and replaced with a bridge, implant, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. These alternatives not only are more expensive than a root canal procedure but require more treatment time and additional procedures to adjacent teeth and supporting tissues.
Before & After Picture Gallery
A Tooth-Coloured filling
Silver Fillings replaced with Composite
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