Endodontics

Apexification

Apexification is a procedure used to stimulate root development or closing of the root end ("open apex"). An open apex is often found in teeth that are not fully developed or whose roots have been eroded away by a process known as resorption. This complicates root canal therapy by making it difficult to seal the root canals with routine methods.

Endodontists are specially trained to treat these difficult situations through apexification. The goal of this treatment is to form a hard tissue barrier at the end of a root with an open apex. This allows the root canal to be sealed in a traditional manner.

Apexification is often successful, however, there are some instances when the root end barrier does not form or the resorption process continues. Situations such as these may require surgical treatment of the root end or necessitate the removal of the tooth.

Contact Gentle Dentistry of Lancaster at 716-652-7080 for more information about this procedure.

Apicoectomy

Your teeth are held in place by roots that extend into your jawbone. Front teeth usually have one root. Other teeth, such as your premolars and molars, have two or more roots. The tip or end of each root is called the apex. Nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth through the apex. Sometimes, even after root canal treatment, infected tissue can remain. This can prevent healing or cause re-infection later. In a surgical procedure called an apicoectomy, the root tip, or apex, is removed along with the infected tissue. A filling is then placed to seal the end of the root.

An apicoectomy is done only after a tooth has had at least one root canal procedure and retreatment has not been successful or is not possible. For example, retreatment is often not a good option when a tooth has a crown or is part of a bridge. Retreatment of the root canal would require cutting through the crown or bridge. That might destroy or weaken the crown or bridge.

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Cracked Teeth

Whether your tooth cracks from an injury or general wear and tear, you can experience a variety of symptoms ranging from erratic pain when you chew your food to sudden pain when your tooth is exposed to very hot or cold temperatures. There are many different types of cracked teeth. The treatment and outcome for your tooth depend on the type, location, and extent of the crack. The sooner your tooth is treated, the better the outcome. Once treated most cracked teeth continue to function as they should, for many years of pain-free biting and chewing.

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Internal Bleaching

It's possible that a tooth can undergo staining from within the tooth itself. Typically this is due to a structural defect within the tooth, a dying tooth, or because blood and other bodily fluids penetrated the tooth during prior root canal treatment. Regardless of the cause, it's possible to restore such a tooth to match the color of its adjacent teeth by bleaching the tooth from the inside-out – a process known as internal tooth bleaching. 

Internal bleaching is much different than whitening the outside of the tooth. Despite the general ease and affordability of the procedure, many aren’t even aware of the possibility to bleach teeth in such a manner, causing them to go years with stained teeth in their “smile-zone.” Studies show the procedure is safe and has good long-term results.

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Oral Trauma

Traumatic dental injuries often occur in accidents or sports-related injuries. Chipped teeth account for the majority of all dental injuries. However, dislodged teeth, knocked-out teeth, and root fractures are all considered traumatic injuries. No matter your dental injury, you should see a dentist or endodontist immediately. Endodontists specialize in oral trauma and are often able to save injured teeth.

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Pulpotomy

Underneath the exterior of a tooth is a pocket filled with nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. This is known as the “pulp” of the tooth. When a tooth has a bad cavity, the pulp of the tooth is exposed. This can be very painful because the sensitive nerves and tissue are vulnerable. If your child is complaining of a toothache, it might be because he or she has a large cavity. In this case, we’ll do a pulpotomy to remove the damaged pulp. A pulpotomy is a fairly common procedure for decayed baby molars.

During a pulpotomy, we first remove damaged tissue, sterilize the area, and then replace the pulp with a medicated filling. Sometimes, it is then necessary to place a crown to restore the structure and appearance of the tooth. A pulpotomy is usually very successful in saving a badly decayed baby molar.

Cavities that affect the pulp of the tooth can be quite painful. If your child is experiencing severe tooth pain, he or she may need a pulpotomy. Call Gentle Dentistry of Lancaster at 716-652-7080 to schedule an appointment.


 

 

Root Canal Therapy

According to the American Association of Endodontists, root canal therapy is the most feared dental procedure.

Despite this stigma, root canal therapy is actually a pain-free, quick and relatively comfortable procedure. In fact, it relieves your pain and can prevent more complicated oral issues down the road. Here at Gentle Dentistry of Lancaster, we can put your fears at ease.

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