What is an Endodontist?
An Endodontist is a specialized dentist that performs a variety of procedures to include treating cracked teeth and dental trauma, but more commonly root canal therapy. They are a dentist that is highly knowledgeable about the inside of teeth and how to treat them properly. Several years of extra schooling and study are required to become an endodontic specialist and once licensed as a specialist, they usually limit their practice to their specialty. Dr. Vivian Click is an endodontist with the training and experience to give you a pain free and comfortable root canal. Because she wants you to have the best visit, she’ll go the extra mile to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible. The support team at the Dental Day Spa of Hawaii Specialty Group are all compassionate and understand that a root canal can be a scary procedure but Dr. Click and her staff will make sure all your questions are answered and that they will do everything in their power to make your appointment the best it can possibly be. Watching a Netflix show with movie glasses or enjoying aromtherapy can really help relax anybody who is nervous. Heated shoulder pads, warm blankets and pillows, are also available to help reduce tension. In fact, many of our clients who do get root canals fall asleep during the procedure! If you need a root canal then contact us through the website or give us a call to setup a consultation appointment. Or you can ask your general dentist to refer you to Dr. Vivian Click who will work closely with your general dentist to make sure that you receive the best team approach with your dental care.
What is a Root Canal?
Every tooth in the mouth has a foundation, its roots! Like the roots of a tree, the roots of tooth help gather nutrients for the tooth. Each root of a tooth has a special, hollow space that houses the tooth’s blood and nerve vessels – known as the “pulp.” When the pulp of the tooth becomes inflamed or infected it can hurt, sometimes severely. Consequences of the inflammation or infection can spread to tissues surrounding the tooth causing additional sensitivity to biting, a pimple on the gum, or a local area of swelling, also known as an abscess.
A root canal is a procedure that allows you to save your own natural tooth. We gain access to that special hollow space inside of your tooth and clean things up. The infected pulp is replaced with a biocompatible filling that gently and effectively seals the cleaned space. After the root canal procedure, your dentist will apply a protective crown and the tooth will remain healthy in your mouth, especially if you continue to brush and floss regularly. It is also critical that the bite is correctly adjusted after treatment is complete because too much pressure on root canal teeth over time can also lead to early failure.
From the moment you arrive at the office, you will be surrounded with the compassionate care and concern you expect from the Dental Day Spa of Hawaii Specialty Group. From our spa aromatherapy, complimentary hot and cold beverages to video glasses for watching movies while we treat your teeth, we do everything we can to make your experience with us pleasant and relaxing. Today, a root canal is normally a pain-free, anxiety-free appointment involving one to three visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile!
The cost of a root canal is less than the alternatives of pulling the tooth out and replacing it with an implant, bridge, or partial denture. Root canal teeth can last just as long as your other teeth with the proper protection, home care and a properly functioning chewing system.
The root canal space of the tooth is cleaned with both biological and mechanical methods.
The mechanical method is the shaping of the canal, done with tiny fluted brushes (also known as endodontic files), to prepare it to receive the appropriately sized filling material.
The biological method involves introducing cleaning rinses into the canal space. The tiny tubules inside your tooth can hold onto microscopic bacteria that even the mechanical files cannot brush away. The cleaning rinse flows into the small spaces of the canal that the flutes cannot reach. The gold standard rinse agent in endodontics is sodium hypochlorite (Mohammadi, International Dental Journal, 2008).
In our office, we also use ozone as an additional biological cleaner. Once the root canal space is cleaned and almost ready to fill, ozone gas is applied to the space. A gas can permeate the small tubules and surfaces of the canal. Most importantly, due to the nature of the ozone molecule, it is able to bind cells such as bacteria and viruses and destroy their cell membranes – rendering a more completely cleaned canal space before the application of the root canal filling material. In fact, ozone gas has been shown to be more effective than other adjunctive cleaning techniques such as laser energy. (Noetzel, American Journal of Dentistry 2009).
Retreatment of Root Canals
Sometimes root canals can become reinfected. When the original root canal procedure is completed, we try our best to disinfect the root canal space the best way possible utilizing traditional and biological methods. This can minimize the chances of a recurrent infection. But even with the best techniques and great results, recurrent infections can reoccur. Leaky crowns, excessive pressure on these teeth, root fractures are just a few reasons why a root canal could fail. When faced with this situation, a retreatment of a root canal can be done. In this procedure, the old root canal material is removed. The space can then cleaned with biological and mechanical methods again and then resealed with a new filling material. In these cases, application of ozone gas may give the extra disinfection penetration to give a better chance of success. Although the chances of long term success are lower with retreatment cases, it still can give the tooth another chance at survival and help maintain your smile and chewing. There are other options that Dr. Click may discuss such as an apicoectomy which is a surgical procedure aimed at the abscessed root tip area and sealing up the root canal system from the bottom. Or there may be cases where Dr. Click believes that a retreatment will not succeed long term and she may recommend an extraction and replacement with an implant. Because Dr. Click is most interested in your long term success, she will only recommend the options she feels are right for your situation.
Here’s a video of some basic information on root canal therapy:
Below adapted from information provided the Molecular Hydrogen Institute.