Occasionally, even children need to see the endodontist. This is typically encountered when adult teeth have deep cavities or true root canal infections and the general dentist recognizes that due to case difficulty the child is best attended to by an endodontic specialist. In specific scenarios we can place bioceramic materials to preserve the vitality of young adult teeth, thus avoiding root canal treatment. In others, we must build barriers at the bottom of tooth roots in order to be able to achieve a normal root canal outcome. In some very limited cases, we can even regenerate a dental pulp like tissue to allow a tooth to continue to develop and survive without a root canal. Your referring general dentist likely knows about these options and may be referring you to us so that your child's tooth may be preserved for years to come.
The foundation of Endodontic Solutions is root canal therapy. A root canal is the act of removing the nerve of a tooth, while anesthetized, and disinfecting the interior of the tooth in question, followed by sealing the roots with a rubbery material (gutta percha). A temporary filling is placed at the end of each visit. This is typically completed in one or two appointments based on difficulty of case and severity of infection. This treatment preserves the natural tooth and allows for healing of the supporting bone and ligament around the tooth. After treatment, you will be referred back to your general dentist for restoration of the portion of the tooth you see and chew with.
Occasionally, a previous root canal completed some time ago may require retreatment - a second root canal. This can be due to leakage, exposure, missed anatomy, persistent infections, or any combination thereof. Endodontists are specially trained to identify root canal problems and are proficient at servicing such cases. Again, after one or two visits, and with temporary filling in place, you will be referred back to your general dentist to restore the top portion of your tooth with a core filling, fresh crown, or both.
While modern endodontics makes every effort to emphasize treatment of endodontic infections via root canals or root canal retreatment, there are scenarios that require surgical intervention. The doctor may prescribe such an intervention when instruments left in the canal cannot be retrieved, infected anatomy has been rendered inaccessible, retreatment efforts have failed to provide adequate disinfection or relief, or when it would be unreasonable to retreat a tooth due to risk of excessive natural tooth structure loss. This involves raising a small gum flap and creating access through the bone to the tooth roots. Once at the site, the doctor trims a small amount of root structure and seals the bottom with reparative cements.