Our dental care facilities provide complete dental restoration services including bleaching and teeth whitening, porcelain fillings, porcelain crowns, bridge-work, veneers, braces, plus full and partial dentures.
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General and Restorative Dentistry
What is root canal treatment?
Root canal therapy refers to the process by which a dentist treats the inner aspects of a tooth, specifically that area inside a tooth that is occupied by its “pulp tissue.” Most people would probably refer to a tooth’s pulp tissue as its “nerve.” While a tooth’s pulp tissue does contain nerve fibers it is also composed of arteries, veins, lymph vessels, and connective tissue.
Where precisely in a tooth is its nerve?
Teeth are hard calcified objects but their inner aspects are not completely solid. Inside every tooth there lies a hollow space which, when a tooth is healthy, contains the tooth’s nerve tissue. Dentists use the following terms to refer to various portions of this nerve area
A) The pulp chamber.
This is a hollow space that lies more or less in the center of the tooth.
B) The root canals.
Each tooth’s nerve enters the tooth, in general, at the very tip of its root(s). From this entry point the nerve then runs through the center of the root in small “root canals” which subsequently join up with the tooth’s pulp chamber.
What is the function of a tooth’s nerve tissue?
Initially a tooth’s nerve tissue plays an important role in the formation and development of the tooth. Then, once the tooth has formed, the function of this tissue becomes one of helping to preserve the tooth’s health and vitality. The nerve tissue keeps the organic components of the tooth’s mineralized tissues (dentin and enamel) supplied with nutrients and moisture. The nerve tissue also produces new tooth structure (reparative dentin) as is needed so to help to wall off and protect the nerve from insult or injury (such as advancing tooth decay).
A tooth’s nerve tissue does provide a sensory function but this role is probably different from what you expect. Under normal circumstances the nerves inside our teeth provide us with very little information. Yes, when activated by extremes in pressure, temperature, or severe insult (such as a cracked tooth or advancing tooth decay) teeth do respond with a painful sensation. But under normal circumstances the nerves inside our teeth remain relatively “quiet.”
At this point you might be thinking that if you push on your tooth with a finger or close your teeth together you will feel a pressure sensation. Because of this you might assume that that sensation must come from the nerve inside the tooth. Well, in reality, that sensation comes from the nerves found in the ligament that binds the tooth to the jawbone, not from inside the tooth itself. This implies then, from a standpoint of the normal functions we perform with our teeth, that the presence of a live nerve inside a tooth is somewhat academic. If a tooth’s nerve tissue is present and healthy, wonderful. But if a tooth has had its nerve tissue removed as a part of root canal treatment then that’s fine too. You will never miss it.
Most people are surprised to learn that one American dies every hour from oral cancer; a death rate that has remained virtually unchanged for more than 40 years. In fact, recent statistics published by the American Cancer Society indicate that while the incidence and death rates for cancers overall has decreased, the incidence of oral cancer has increased by 5.5% and the death rate has increased by 1.5%
Oral cancer is far too often discovered in late stage development, the primary reason for the consistently high death rate. Oral cancer treatment often results in disfiguring effects on patients, and can seriously compromise their quality of life. Early detection and diagnosis can make a tremendous difference in life expectancy; oral cancer is 90% curable when found in its early stages. Unfortunately, 70% of oral cancers are diagnosed in the late stages, III and IV, leading to a five-year survival rate of 57%. Read more…
Sports dentistry is the aspect of dental care that is concerned with the prevention and treatment of dental injuries caused by participation in athletics. Five million permanent teeth will be avulsed, or knocked out, this year in the United States alone. Virtually all of these teeth will be lost in sports or fights.
The key to minimizing sports dental injuries is education and prevention.
Most people would assume that the majority of dental injuries are caused by “contact” sports such as football, hockey or boxing. In our practice, however, virtually all tooth avulsions are due to one particular “non-contact” sport – basketball. In football, a sport that requires the wearing of mouthguards, only .07% of injuries involve the teeth and oral cavity. In basketball, where the use of mouthguards is not required, 34% of all injuries involve the teeth and/or oral cavity.
The estimated lifetime cost of replacing and maintaining a tooth lost due to a traumatic injury is between 10,000 and 15,000 dollars per missing tooth. A tooth that is avulsed and replanted in the socket may require $5000 in initial care and follow-up treatment.
A tooth that is traumatized by a blow to the face during athletic participation may not show any symptoms at all for days, months or years. Many times the only symptom is a discoloration of the tooth due to the “nerve” of the tooth slowly dying and disintegrating. If this discoloration is noticed, contact your dentist immediately! This tooth will, in most circumstances, require immediate endodontic treatment to prevent an acute infection from occurring. This type of infection may be accompanied by pain, swelling, and possible bone loss.