Save Your Tooth with Gentle Root Canal Treatment
Not only is a root canal infection painful, but it can also jeopardize the health of your tooth. Without treatment, an infected tooth will typically require an extraction. At Elements Dental in Victoria, BC, we practice biological dentistry and strive to preserve natural teeth whenever possible using biologically sound techniques. Root canal treatment can often save teeth, preventing tooth loss and other negative consequences. Dr. Ray T. Chow, Dr. Alex Kim and Dr. Elysa Kliman use the latest concepts and techniques, such as Ozone, to improve the root canal treatment success.
Biologic Root Canals
The nerve root canal system of a tooth is shaped like a tree with the nerves spreading out like tree branches. It is only possible to clean the trunk of the root canal system and not the branches. This results in about a 90-95% success rate as a nation-wide average. Therefore, a Biologic or Holistic Root Canals is not possible. Here at Elements Dental, we will make your root canal procedure as biological as possible and maximize your success rate.
Elements Dental uses a unique biologic method by incorporating the Fotona Laser’s Photon Induced Photoacoustic Streaming (PIP) to clean and disinfect the root canal and Ozone gas to further kill bacteria that causes the tooth infection. The sealant typically used is an MTA based sealer called Endosequence. This evidence base material has proven to be very neutral to tissues with high sealing capabilities. We do not use Calcium Oxide (a popular Biologic material commonly used) due to its expansion properties and root fracture risk and its toxic by-product called Ethylene Glygol (antifreeze). With our technologies, we do not need to rely on the antibacterial properties of Calcium to inhibit bacteria growth, which is the main premise of the use of Calcium Oxide.
Our goal is to provide ways to save teeth with the highest success rate possible. We understand that root canals may never be completely holistic. But, the loss of a tooth can be psychologically devastating and the alternatives to replacement can be more expensive. If not replaced, the loss of a tooth can have dire consequences such as bone loss to the site and adjacent teeth, unwanted teeth movement and collapsing bite, and cosmetic concerns. Therefore, we cannot ‘push’ our patients to remove teeth just because root canals are deemed ‘not holistic.
Root Canal Infection
A root canal infection occurs when decay enters the inner chamber of the tooth which contains nerves, blood vessels, tissue, and the root canals. Without treatment, the tooth will not be able to receive vital nutrients and may require extraction. If your tooth is extracted, it is important that you replace the tooth, preferably with a dental implant supported restoration, to restore the tooth from root to crown.
Symptoms of Infection
While some patients may not exhibit any symptoms of a root canal infection, common indicators include:
- Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Excessive toothaches when chewing
- Swelling in the gums, face, or neck
- Darkening of the tooth
If you are concerned you may have a root canal infection or are experiencing any of these symptoms, the doctor can evaluate your oral health to determine whether your teeth and gums are healthy and if treatment is necessary.
If I already had a Root Canal, how do I know if it is infected or Toxic?
The best way to determine whether a root canal has ‘taken’ or medically successful is the use of a 3D Cone Beam Scan or CBCT. Elements Dental has an advanced imaging technology called Cone Beam CT or CBCT. It can be used to determine whether a Root Canal has completely healed in a person’s jaw. The software for the image can scan through layers of bone and tissue
and see if there are any inflammation or infections present. It is a measurement to determine if there is a negative effect on a person’s body. You may choose to come into our office just to do this scan and have a discussion about your Root Canals that you have had in the past.
The Treatment Process
While root canal treatment has been considered an intimidating procedure in the past, we have integrated the latest tools for a comfortable experience. Before treatment, we will apply a local anesthetic to numb the tooth. The doctor will then use a rotary handpiece to remove infected tissue from the inner chamber of the tooth, including the root canal nerves, to alleviate infection.
Our doctors use the latest tools and techniques to improve the root canal treatment process.
Next, a laser is used to clean and disinfect the inside of the tooth which will then be filled with a rubber-like material known as gutta-percha. During this portion of the treatment, we will also use ozone therapy to disinfect the area and aid in healing.
Once the infection has been treated, we can take digital impressions which will be used to create your restoration. Typically, a dental crown is needed to provide added strength to the weakened tooth. In some cases, we can provide a same-day crown which takes about one hour to fabricate using our in-office milling machine. Otherwise, you will return for a second visit during which we will secure the crown in place using dental cement.
Saving Your Tooth and Restoring Your Comfort
If you do not receive a same-day crown, it is important to minimize chewing with the treated tooth until it is fully restored. During recovery, it is normal to experience biting sensitivity and minor discomfort for several days. The advanced holistic techniques used during our treatments typically help reduce pain and risk of complications. Many symptoms can usually be addressed with over-the-counter medication. It is recommended that you rest immediately following the procedure. Patients should be able to return to normal activities the next day.
Protect Your Oral Health
If you are experiencing tooth pain, contact us online or by phone at (250) 800-2784 to schedule a consultation. The doctors at Elements Dental can help determine whether root canal therapy is for you. Their gentle techniques and advanced methods will help relieve your pain and protect your oral health.