North York Root Canal Therapy
For many patients, hearing a dentist utter the phrase “root canal” is akin to being told the recommended treatment is sleeping in a pit of vipers. Root canals are associated with severe toothaches, infection, and tooth loss, but in most cases, a root canal treatment actually significantly relieves pain. At North York Dental, Dr. Eli Shem-Tov offers patients skilled root canal therapy to relieve pain, remove infection, and restore oral health.
What is a Root Canal Infection?
The term root canal is actually a bit of a misnomer. The root canal is the inner portion of the tooth roots where the nerve system is housed. A root canal infection is actually any decay or infection of the inner “pulp” layer of teeth. The dental specialty that focuses on treating and restoring teeth following root canal therapy is endodontics (endo = inside, odon = tooth). These pulp infections and their treatments were given the name “root canals” because the infection most often begins in the roots of teeth where the outer enamel and dentin layers are thin and most susceptible to decay, but a root canal infection can stem from decay or trauma of any part of the tooth that allows bacteria to access the inner pulp layer. Root canal infection is painful because the nerves of the tooth, housed in the pulp layer, are directly affected by these infections causing severe pain.
What is the Root Canal Treatment Process?
The first step in treating root canal infection is to relieve pain by removing infected tissue. The dentist begins by drilling an access hole (usually beginning from the area where tooth decay originates) and removing the infected pulp and nerve. Then, the inner tooth chamber is smoothed in preparation to be refilled. Gutta percha, a biocompatible substance similar in density to dental pulp, is inserted into the empty tooth chamber. Additional filling materials and sometimes a dental post are used to restore and preserve the size, shape, and stability of the dental structure. Once this step is complete, the tooth is prepared to receive a dental crown, and impressions are taken that will be used by a dental lab to create a custom crown. Before leaving, patients are fitted with a temporary crown. Once the final restoration is complete, their temporary is replaced with the custom crown. In some cases, infection has spread beyond one tooth and local or oral antibiotic treatment may be necessary following the removal of infected tissue before the restoration can be completed.
What is the Difference between Core and Post Restoration?
A core restoration simply uses amalgam or composite filling materials to provide added support for a tooth following root canal treatment. A core and post or dental post procedure is necessary when more than half of the tooth’s natural crown (visible portion of the tooth) is affected by root canal treatment and crown preparation. The post is placed to anchor the “core” filling material and crown for a more stable restoration.
Contact Your Dentist in North York to Find our More
If you experience severe toothache, sensitivity to changes in temperature that does not abate, or infected gums around one tooth, you may have a root canal infection. Contact North York Dental right away. Dr. Shem-Tov and his knowledgeable dental team are happy to schedule an appointment or answer any questions you may have.