Endodontic Treatment for Patients in Etobicoke & Toronto

For years, dentists in Etobicoke, Toronto and throughout Ontario have referred their patients to Endodontic Specialty Group for professional endodontic solutions. Our practice combines decades of training and education to deliver patient-focused endodontic therapy using state-of-the-art technologies. With our endodontic specialists, root canals are nothing to fear. We have clinics in Etobicoke and Toronto for your complete convenience.

When you and your dentist decide that surgical root canal therapy is right for you, Endodontic Specialty Group will provide complete service from beginning to end. Endodontists are dentists who limit their practices to root canal treatment and related procedures involving the tooth pulp, the soft inner tissue of the tooth. They are experienced in treating complicated cases and specialize in diagnosing and relieving oral pain and treating traumatic injuries to the teeth.

Understanding Root Canal Therapy

Endodontic treatment is most commonly referred to as root canal therapy. It is a preventative technique that enables dentists to save and subsequently restore teeth that might otherwise have to be removed. It is performed when the pulp of the tooth has been damaged, usually by decay or physical trauma. Treatment consists of removing the pulp and cleaning, sterilizing, filling and sealing the root canals. The tooth remains alive, nourished by the adjacent tissues of the gums and jaw.

At Endodontic Specialty Group, no tooth will be treated unless our team feels there is an excellent chance for success. While there is no absolute certainty about healing anywhere in the body, studies indicate that treatment is successful in 80 to 90% of cases. It is possible that your chances of success may fall below this expectancy or that your tooth may not be amenable to surgical root canal therapy at all. You will be advised of this at the time of your consultation and informed of your treatment alternatives. It is our policy that no treatment will be rendered until our patients are completely comfortable with all aspects of their care.

Why Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?

To answer this, it’s important to understand the make-up of a tooth. A tooth consists of a crown and one or more roots. The roots help anchor the tooth in the jawbone. The bulk of the tooth consists of dentin. Inside the dentin is a space called the pulp chamber. This chamber houses the pulp, which consists of blood vessels and nerves. This soft tissue extends throughout the root system in canals from an opening at the tip. If the pulp becomes injured or diseases, it may become infected. The germs causing the infection may spread throughout the entire pulp and eventually reach the jawbone, causing an abscess. If this happens, it is necessary to remove the pulp and to clean, sterilize and seal the root canal system of the tooth.

Other reasons for root canals include:

  • A need to institute drainage which cannot be achieved through the tooth
  • An inability to seal the root-end by normal means due to calcification, obstructions, resorption or previous treatments
  • Persistent post-procedural discomfort
  • Known trauma associated with horizontal root fractures near the apex
  • To reduce pain and swelling and the ability to disinfect a canal system
  • Failure of previous endodontic procedures
  • The presence of infection which will not heal in the normal manner

How Does the Pulp Become Infected?

There are several ways pulp can become infected. Possible ways include:

  • Bacteria from a deep cavity may infect the pulp
  • Nerves and blood vessels may be damaged by a sudden blow to your tooth
  • A fractured or broken tooth can expose the pulp to harmful bacteria in your mouth
  • Severe periodontal (gum) disease may affect the pulp, requiring endodontic as well as periodontal therapy.

Important Facts about Endodontics

Endodontic Specialty Group wants to make you aware of several important aspects of endodontic therapy.

  • Root canal therapy is about 95% successful. Your endodondist will discuss with you factors that could lower your individual success rate.
  • Your teeth may normally be sensitive following appointments and even remain tender for a time after treatment is completed. If sensitivity persists and does not seem to be getting better even several weeks after treatment has been completed, please call our office.
  • Fractures are one of the main reasons why root canals fail. Fractures are hard to detect. They can occur as a result of traumatic injury, biting on hard objects, habitual clenching or grinding or even just through normal wear and tear.
  • Since endodontically treated teeth may be more broken down and brittle than other teeth, the dentist will probably recommend a crown to prevent future damage. This is especially important with molar and bicuspid teeth.
  • Teeth treated with root canal therapy can still decay but since the nerve is gone, there will be no pain. As with other teeth, proper oral hygiene is important.
  • With some teeth, conventional root canal therapy alone may not be sufficient. For example, if the canals are severely bent or calcified, if there is a substantial or long-standing infection in the bone around the roots or if the canals are obstructed for any reason, the infection may not resolve and the tooth may remain sensitive. A surgical procedure may be necessary to resolve the problem.
  • The alternative to endodontic treatment is tooth extraction.

What Does Endodontic Treatment Involve?

Endodontic treatment in Etobicoke and Toronto can sometimes be performed in a single visit. A small opening is made through the crown into the pulp chamber. In your front teeth, the opening will be on the tongue side of the tooth; in your back teeth, it will be on the chewing surface.

After the opening has been made, the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned of all infected material. Next, the root canal system is medicated and the opening in the crown is temporarily sealed.

When the endodontist is satisfied that the root is free from infection, he will fill and seal the root canals and pulp chamber with a material which will prevent bacteria from re-entering the tooth. The next stage involves the restoration of the tooth structure by your endodontist. This can be achieved in a variety of ways. The choice as to the most appropriate method will be added when you return to your dentist after the endodontic treatment has been completed.

Surgical Treatment

The procedure involves making an incision in the gum tissue around your tooth. This tissue is then carefully lifted away so the bone overlying the area can be examined. The soft tissue infection is cleaned from inside of the bone and the end of the root is prepared to receive a root-end filling in order to arrest the infection. There are a number of filling materials that can be used. Please discuss your choice of filling material with us. Please note that silver amalgam is no longer used for this procedure.

The surgical procedure involves the use of microsurgical techniques. The area is examined under high-powered magnification for structural defects and fractures in the tooth and/or the root.

If the infection is severe, then it is often necessary to place a bone graft in the area to optimize the healing potential. If this applies to your specific care, you will be informed about this. Once the procedure has been completed, the gum tissue will be repositioned and stitches will be used to hold it in place.

The procedure is performed after the area is well anaesthetized with local antiseptic. In some instances, sedation is also recommended. If you would like to have sedation for your surgical procedure, please advise us so we can discuss your options in depth.

Schedule your surgery so that you do not have to resume any activity for the remainder of the day of the procedure. Depending on your individual situation, you should be able to resume normal activity the next day. Remember that you have stitches in your mouth. If they are not the dissolving type, these will be removed at your next appointment.

Root Canal Surgery Follow-Ups

Follow-up examinations and radiographs are part of your complete endodontic care at Endodontic Specialty Group in Etobicoke and Toronto. These follow-ups are necessary to evaluate the healing process and can be done for 6 to 18 months following your root canal. A notice will be mailed to you at the appropriate time for your re-examination.

It is important to note that we all heal differently. Successful surgical root canal therapy means that there is an absence of pain, swelling, discharge and normal gum contour and color remain. Radiographically, we expect to see the regeneration of bone around the root of the tooth. Following all surgical procedures, vague feelings, occasional twinges or the sense that the tooth is different from other teeth are all possible outcomes. This is merely part of the healing process.

Can a Pulp Be Diseased if It Doesn’t Hurt?

Yes, pain and disease do not always go hand-in-hand. Deterioration of the pulp can be so gradual that it may be nearly painless. An x-ray examination of the teeth will often show evidence of disease before you experience any pain. Radiographs are an important part of periodontic dental check-ups.

What Are the Symptoms of a Diseased Pulp?

Often, a diseased pulp is painful. Your tooth may become very sensitive to hot or cold foods and beverages. It is also possible that the tooth may be uncomfortable during chewing, or in extreme cases, highly sensitive to touch.

How Successful Is Endodontic Treatment?

Research shows that about 95% of cases are successful. In certain situations, root canal therapy is not feasible and the tooth may have to be removed. If this happens, a replacement tooth (either a bridge or an implant), should be put in its place. Your endodontist will discuss your specific chances of success with you personally.

Does Endodontic Treatment Hurt?

Endodontic treatment usually does not hurt. Local anesthetic solutions are used to eliminate any discomfort associated with the endodontic procedure. Occasionally, teeth will react to the treatment or an infection will take hold again, resulting in discomfort. Both cases can be taken under control quickly.

How Long Will Endodontic Treatment Take?

This will depend on a number of factors, such as the degree of difficulty and the tooth’s accessibility. The treatment generally takes from one to four appointments.

Will My Tooth Discolour?

It may become less translucent and, therefore, appear to darken. If this happens, the tooth can be bleached to its original color. Bleaching is a relatively simple process which is done from the inside of the tooth. If the tooth darkens again, your dentist may put a crown on it to restore its original appearance.

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