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Root Canal Therapy

Endodontics

A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges.


Endodontics is a specialty of Dentistry that deals with diseases of the dental pulp and its supporting structures. Endodontist are dentist who have undergone a minimum of 2 years of extra postgraduate training. They study root canal techniques and procedures in greater depth, for diagnosis and treatment of more difficult cases. All dentist are trained in diagnosis and endodontic therapy, however, some teeth can be especially difficult to diagnose and treat. That's why you have been referred to an endodontic specialist.

In order to understand Endodontic treatment, it helps to know something about the anatomy of a tooth. Teeth have several layers. The outside layer of the tooth is composed of a hard layer called the enamel. Enamel is supported by an inner layer called Dentin, which has at its center a soft tissue known as the pulp.


The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue that are responsible for forming the surrounding Dentin and Enamel during tooth development. The pulp receives its nourishment supply from vessels which enter the end of the root.  Although the pulp is important during the development of the tooth, it is not necessary for function of the tooth.  The tooth continues to be nourished by the tissue surrounding it even after the pulp is removed.

  • Why would I need Endodontic surgery (Apicoectomy)?
    Generally, a root canal is all that is needed to save teeth with injured pulp from extraction. Occasionally, this procedure will not be sufficient to heal the tooth and your Endodontist will recommend surgery. Endodontic surgery can be used to locate fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on x-rays but still manifest discomfort in the tooth.
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RootCanal

Other Endodontic Procedures

Jackson L. Sullivan, DDS performs many specialized endodontic procedures in the Bradenton, Florida area.

Endodontic Retreatment

With appropriate care, your teeth that have had endodontic treated tooth can last as long as your other natural teeth.  Yet, a tooth that has received treatment may fail to heal or pain may continue despite therapy.  Although rare, sometimes a tooth initially responds to root canal therapy, but becomes painful or diseased months or years after treatment.  When either of these situations occur, the tooth often can be maintained with a second endodontic treatment (re-treatment). 

Improper healing may be caused by:

  • Curved or narrow canals were not accessible during initial treatment.

  • Complicated canals went undetected during initial treatment.

  • The crown or restoration was not placed within the appropriate amount of time following the procedure.

  • The crown or restoration did not prevent bacteria from contaminating the inside of the tooth.

  • New decay can expose a root canal filling material, causing infection.

  • A cracked or loose filling or crown can expose tooth to new infection.

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Retreatment

Endodontic Surgery (Apicoectomy)

The video here illustrates this simple procedure. An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with the end of the root tip. A root-end filling is placed to prevent reinfection of the root and the gum is sutured. The bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months restoring full function.


Following the procedure, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure. To alleviate any discomfort, an appropriate pain medication will be recommended. If you have pain that does not respond to medication, please call our office.

  • Why would I need Endodontic surgery (Apicoectomy)?
    Generally, a root canal is all that is needed to save teeth with injured pulp from extraction. Occasionally, this procedure will not be sufficient to heal the tooth and your Endodontist will recommend surgery. Endodontic surgery can be used to locate fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on x-rays but still manifest discomfort in the tooth.
Surgery

Cracked Tooth

Cracked teeth demonstrate many types of symptoms, including pain when chewing, temperature sensitivities, or even the release of biting pressure. It is also common for pain to come and go, making it difficult to diagnose the cause of discomfort.

Chewing can cause movement of the cracked pieces of your tooth, and the pulp within the tooth becomes irritated. At the same time, when biting pressure is released, the crack can close quickly, resulting in sharp pain. Eventually, the pulp will become damaged and tooth will consistently hurt, even when you are not chewing. It is possible that cracks can lead to infection of the pulp tissue, which can spread to the bone and gum surrounding the problematic tooth.

CrackedTooth
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Dislodged Tooth

Injuries to the mouth can cause teeth to be pushed back into their sockets. Your endodontist or general dentist may reposition and stabilize your tooth. Root canal treatment is usually started within a few weeks of the injury and a medication, such as calcium hydroxide, will be placed inside the tooth. Eventually, a permanent root canal filling will be implanted.

Sometimes a tooth may be pushed partially out of the socket. Again, your endodontist or general dentist may reposition and stabilize your tooth. If the pulp remains healthy, then no other treatment is necessary. Yet, if the pulp becomes damaged or infected, root canal treatment will be required.

  • Why would I need Endodontic surgery (Apicoectomy)?
    Generally, a root canal is all that is needed to save teeth with injured pulp from extraction. Occasionally, this procedure will not be sufficient to heal the tooth and your Endodontist will recommend surgery. Endodontic surgery can be used to locate fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on x-rays but still manifest discomfort in the tooth.
DislodgedTooth

Injuries in Children

An injured immature tooth may need one of the following procedures to improve the chances of saving the tooth:

  • Why would I need Endodontic surgery (Apicoectomy)?
    Generally, a root canal is all that is needed to save teeth with injured pulp from extraction. Occasionally, this procedure will not be sufficient to heal the tooth and your Endodontist will recommend surgery. Endodontic surgery can be used to locate fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on x-rays but still manifest discomfort in the tooth.
Children
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Why Choose An Endodontist?

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Save Your Tooth!

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