A root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp), cleaning and disinfecting it and then filling and sealing it. The common causes affecting the pulp are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or trauma. The term "root canal" comes from cleaning of the canals inside the tooth's root.
Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year with root canal, or endodontic, treatment. Learn more about root canal treatment and how it can relieve your tooth pain and save your smile.
Local anesthesia is then administered to numb the affected area.
A rubber sheet is then placed around the tooth to keep the area and prevent it from the saliva.
A hole is then drilled in the affected tooth, following which the decayed pulp and nerve tissues are removed.
The removal is done by using root canal files which are inserted into the hole and then used to scrape and scrub the insides of the tooth.
After the scraping, water is used to clean and flush out the debris.
After the tooth is cleaned, it is sealed after administering medications to prevent infection.
The sealing process involves filling the inner portion of the teeth by a rubber based compound and a sealer paste.
Modern endodontic treatment is very similar to having a routine filling and usually can be completed in one or two appointments, depending on the condition of your tooth and your personal circumstances. You can expect a comfortable experience during and after your appointment.
Saving the natural tooth with root canal treatment has many advantages:
Normal biting force and sensation
Protects other teeth from excessive wear or strain
Once the treatment is done, the tooth may become sensitive due to inflammation of the tissues for the first few days.
It is advised to avoid any chewing by the affected teeth as it can slow down the repair process. You can brush and floss your teeth regularly.
Dental amalgam is a common material used to fill cavities. Fillings made with amalgam also are known as silver fillings. Over the years, concerns have been raised about the use of amalgam because it contains mercury. Here are answers to some common questions about dental amalgam.
What is amalgam?
Amalgam is a combination of metals that have been the most popular and effective filling material used in dentistry for the last 150 years. Although it sometimes is called "silver amalgam," amalgam actually consists of a combination of metals. These include silver, mercury, tin and copper. Small amounts of zinc, indium or palladium also may be used.
Tooth-colored materials now can be used to restore teeth. Therefore, amalgam is used less often than in the past. However, newer materials can't be used for all situations. Amalgam is less costly than other materials. It also holds up better over time, especially in teeth that undergo a lot of pressure and wear from chewing.
How safe is amalgam?
Millions of people have amalgam fillings. Concern has been raised over the mercury in amalgam. Many studies on the safety of amalgam fillings have been done. In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluated this research. It found no reason to limit the use of amalgam. The FDA concluded that amalgam fillings are safe for adults and children ages 6 and above.
Why is mercury used in amalgam?
Mercury is used in amalgam because it helps make the filling material pliable. When it is mixed with an alloy powder, it creates a compound that is soft enough to mix and press into the tooth. But it also hardens quickly and can withstand the forces of biting and chewing.
Why the concern about mercury in amalgam?
Mercury is a metal that occurs naturally in the environment. Mercury can exist as a liquid, as in many thermometers. When heated, it becomes a gas. It also can be combined with many other materials.
Everyone is exposed to mercury through the air, drinking water, soil and food. Concerns have been raised, for instance, about the amount of mercury building up in fish as a result of pollution. Mercury enters the air from industries that burn mercury-containing fuels. Mercury from all sources can build up in body organs.
As with most substances, the degree of harm caused by mercury in the body is related to the amount. Very low levels don't cause any ill effects. At higher levels — for instance, when workers are exposed to mercury through their jobs — mercury can cause several symptoms. These include anxiety, irritability, memory loss, headaches and fatigue.
The controversy over amalgam centers on how much mercury fillings released and how much the body absorbs. In the past, amalgam fillings were thought to be inert. This would mean that no mercury was released once the filling was placed in the tooth. In recent years, sophisticated tests have changed this view. Very small amounts of mercury in the form of vapor can be released as the amalgam filling wears.
Research on this issue is complex and has arrived at various estimates of the actual amount of mercury released. However, several reviews of the research have concluded that any amount released from Studies have shown that the amount of mercury you are exposed to from your fillings is less than the amount that most people are exposed to in their daily environment or in the food they eat.
Amalgam in the mouth is very low.
Do some people have reactions to amalgam?
In rare cases, people have allergic reactions to the mercury in amalgam. The American Dental Association says that fewer than 100 cases of this type of allergy have ever been reported. People allergic to amalgam can receive other filling materials.
Should pregnant women be concerned about amalgam fillings?
Research has not shown any health effects of amalgam fillings in pregnant women. However, mercury can cross the placenta. In general, dentists advise pregnant women to avoid unnecessary dental care. Women should not get amalgam fillings during pregnancy. Dentists can suggest other materials for any pregnant woman who needs a cavity filled.
Should anyone else consider alternatives to amalgam fillings?
Concerns about mercury are related to the total amount of mercury absorbed from all sources. Therefore, some people who have high exposure to mercury may want to avoid amalgam. Examples may include people who are exposed to mercury through their jobs, or who eat large amounts of seafood.
Because dentists work with mercury almost every day, they must take safety precautions. Without protection, dentists can inhale mercury vapors. Over time, this exposure can produce symptoms of mercury toxicity.
If amalgam is safe, why does my dentist take precautions when handling it?
To make dental amalgam, dentists mix liquid mercury with a powder containing silver, tin and other metals. Dentists buy special capsules that contain the powder and the liquid mercury, separated by a membrane. They use special machinery to puncture the membrane and mix the amalgam while it is still in the capsule. Once mixing is complete, the capsule is opened. By the time the amalgam is placed in your tooth, the mercury has formed a compound with the other metals. It is no longer toxic.
If you are getting an amalgam filling or having one removed, your dentist will use high-powered suction to remove any excess amalgam from your mouth. Dentists' offices have special disposal systems for any extra amalgam. Special traps in the sink drain and in the suction tubes prevent amalgam from entering the plumbing system.
Are there alternatives to amalgam?
There is now a dental amalgam that contains indium as well as mercury. The indium helps retain the mercury so that less is released into the environment. There are also high-copper amalgams. They contain less mercury and more copper.
Dentists use other materials to restore teeth. These include composite resin, porcelain and gold. Amalgam is stronger than composite resin and requires less time in the dentist's chair. Composite resin is a tooth-colored material. Because it wears faster than amalgam, composite resin can't be used in every situation.
It is not necessary to seek treatment at a practice that does not use mercury. However, if you have a mercury allergy, you may want to consider it. If you have any concerns about amalgam fillings, talk to your dentist about them. Ask your dentist whether alternatives to amalgam would work for you.
Should I have my amalgam fillings removed?
You should replace amalgam fillings only when they are worn, broken or when there is decay beneath the filling. There's no evidence that they can cause a problem.
Removing good amalgam fillings results in unnecessary loss of healthy parts of the tooth and can release more mercury. If you are concerned about amalgam, discuss your options with your dentist.
SILVER FILLINGS VS COMPOSITE RESTORATIONS
Silver Amalgam Fillings – Pros and Cons
Silver amalgam fillings are made of an alloy of mercury, silver, tin, zinc and copper. Silver fillings have been used for over 100 years because of the metal’s durability, but recently amalgam fillings have been getting a lot of attention for their potential health concerns. We won’t remove amalgam fillings unless there is a compelling reason to do so.
Composite Fillings – Pros and Cons
Composite resin fillings are the most popular type of filling used in modern dental practice. I place more composite fillings than any other type of fillings. They are tooth-colored fillings that replicate the natural appearance of healthy enamel, making them a more discreet cavity treatment. They form a chemical bond with the tooth for a more reliable fit. They don’t have the same risks as mercury-silver amalgam fillings and are more attractive than metal fillings. Because composite resin fillings are so versatile, we recommend them for most types of cavities.
One must know the pros and cons of both amalgam and composite restorations and proceed with procedures as per the specifications are given
Laser is used to treat a number of different oral and dental problems. Proper use of lasers potentially offers a more comfortable treatment option for a number of dental procedures involving hard or soft tissue compared to drills and other non-laser tools.
Lasers can make dental treatments more efficient, cost-effective, and comfortable.
Laser is used in a variety of oral and dental procedures, including-
1) in a decayed tooth: lasers can detect cavities early by finding evidence of tooth decay.
Tooth preparations and dental fillings. Local anesthesia and traditional drills are often not needed with laser treatments. Lasers can kill bacteria in a cavity, which can aid in the long-term health of a tooth.
2) treating tooth sensitivity. Teeth that have a sensitivity to hot and cold can be treated with dental lasers that seal tubules on the tooth’s root.
3) treating a “gummy smile.” lasers are used to reshape gum tissue associated with “gummy smile,” in which the gums’ length covers much of the tooth.
4) crown lengthening. This procedure reshapes both gum tissue and bone for healthier tooth structure, which helps with placing restorations on the teeth.
5) treating tongue frenulum attachment. Those with a thick or tight frenulum (the fold of skin under the front part of the tongue that anchors to the mouth floor) may benefit from a laser frenectomy. This treatment helps children whose restricted frenulum causes them to be tongue-tied, have difficulty breastfeeding, or have a speech impediment.
6) removing soft tissue folds. Lasers can remove soft tissue folds from ill-fitting dentures without pain or sutures.
7) removing benign tumors. Lasers can remove tumors from the palate, gums, and sides of the lips and cheeks through pain- and suture-free method.
8) treating obstructive sleep apnea. Lasers can reshape the throat and relieve associated breathing problems when sleep apnea is caused by tissue overgrowth in the throat.
9) tmj (temporomandibular joint) treatment. Lasers can help reduce pain and inflammation in the joint.
10) nerve regeneration. Lasers can help regenerate damaged blood vessels, nerves, and scars.
11) treating cold sores. Lasers can minimize healing time and reduce pain from cold sores.
12) teeth whitening. Lasers speed up the bleaching process during teeth-whitening sessions.
13) reduced mouth opening due to gutkha chewing. Lasers can open your mouth comfortably in a day visit which is almost painless and time saving for years long conventional procedures.
14) mouth ulcers. Frequent mouth ulcers/ aphthous ulcers/ painful oral sores can be treated successfully and surprisingly the effect is permanent.
There are many many more uses of lasers in the dental field which is real and more or less like a magical wand of harry potter.
Enamel loss is nothing but tooth-enamel erosion, and this is quite a pathetic kind of oral condition. If the eroded enamel does not get restored, then your oral condition will get deteriorated to a great extent.
Teeth enamel plays the most important role in protecting teeth and if this layer gets eroded, then your teeth will get heavily damaged. Your teeth will not only get eroded, but the real dental color will also get changed.
Why enamel erosion occurs?
- Drinking excessive hot or cold: your enamel is very much sensitive to hot or cold food items as a result of which email loss is invited.
- Having fruit drinks: Citric acid in the fruit drinks is the element that can cause enamel erosion.
- Sugary diet: Excessive sugary diet is the very prominent cause of this kind of dental condition, and
thus you should take more and more of non-sugary foods.
- Environmental factors: There are many environmental factors that are responsible for enamel loss, and they are corrosion, stress, tear, wear, friction and others.
- Medications: Few medications are there that can cause enamel erosion and these medicines are antihistamines, aspirin and many more.
- Gastrointestinal troubles: These kinds of troubles are prone to the frequent erosion of tooth enamel and thus these problems need to be resolved as soon as possible.
What are the leading treatments for restoring enamel loss?
- Using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash: There are many talented dentists who are strongly recommending the usage of both fluoride mouthwash and toothpaste so that tooth decay can be easily prevented. These products are now commercially available over-the-counter.
- Routine dental check-up: Daily dental check-up is needed so that oral condition can be checked so that the causes and signs of enamel loss can be detected, and then only perfect treatments can be easily applied.
- Taking vitamin-D supplements: there are many drugs and supplements that are enriched with vitamin-D, and they can be taken on a regular basis so that decayed enamel can be easily restored in a safe manner. Coconut oil can be taken in addition to these supplements for getting greater oral benefits.
- Cosmetic restoration options: There are many enamel-restoration options that can be cosmetically performed. Some of the popular options are crowning, filling, and others. On the other hand, leading a healthy lifestyle is also very important in this regard.
No one likes going to a dentist. The fear of a toothache is something that nightmares are made of...let alone the treatment. Because of this, a lot of people end up in the dentist's chair only when the pain is unbearable and it is too late to save the tooth. Just like we have a routine health check up for the rest of our body, our teeth too need to be looked at by a dentist at regular intervals to spot that cavity right when it starts. A regular visit can also allow a quick clean up to keep your teeth shining white. Here's what to expect during a routine dental check up:
1. They'll check your history: Before you actually get to the dentist's chair, your dentist will want to know your entire health background. This is done either by you filling out a detailed form that the receptionist gives you or a junior dentist filling a medical record sheet after asking you questions. You'll specially be asked questions about any pain or symptoms you might be experiencing in your teeth and other things like medications, diabetes, arthritis, pregnancy etc. Each of these problems can have a direct impact on your dental treatment, hence revealing them to your practitioner in advance is very important. Also, be sure to discuss any concerns or anxiety you are experiencing. Most dentists know how to put their patient at ease. All it'll take is a quick chat to put you at ease
2. You'll get a cleaning: Just like the car gets a good wash before the mechanic can have a look, your teeth will get a good scrub before your dentist can address any problem areas. Cleaning involves scraping off built up plaque and tartar that collects above and below the gum line before flossing between and around every tooth to remove any plaque or food particles that are clinging on. You may also get a final shiny finish for your pearly whites at the end of the cleaning session.
3. Your teeth will be examined: Your dentist will now use a metal probe with a small angled mirror to see behind and between teeth and gums, as well as check for the softening of tooth enamel and dentin. If you have a cavity or anything deeper, this is when it will surface. Once the doctor identifies a problem, they suggest the next course of action
4. You may get an X-ray: If the doctor finds a problem that needs fixing, he may ask you to take an X-ray to find out how deep the decay is. You'll be asked to bite down on a piece of plastic while the X-ray machine is placed against your cheek. Where possible, you can check if your doctor can do a digital X-ray which emits 90% less radiation.
5 Results and advice: Based on your X-ray results and overall medical condition, the doctor may recommend various procedures to remove your existing decay and prevent new ones.
Most of us suffer from some or the other dental problem in our lifetime. Majority of these problems are attributed to tooth decay. Tooth decay or cavities occur when bacteria living in the mouth produce a strong acid that slowly deteriorates the health of the teeth. If left untreated such decays will lead to infection, causing extreme pain and eventually tooth loss. To prevent this, dental fillings are done. Fillings are also used to repair broken or cracked teeth. Here is everything you need to know about fillings.
What is a Dental Filling?
A dental filling is one of the most commonly used methods that can restore the normal functioning and shape of the tooth, which may have been damaged due to tooth decay. These fillings close off the spaces where bacteria can set in and cause further decay. This protects the surrounding tissues too as food and bacteria accumulated in cavities can harm gums too.
Procedure of Dental Filling:
Before a filling session, the dentist will carry out proper assessment of your teeth. Dental X-rays may be used to ascertain the extent of the damage. This can be followed by a procedure with which the dentist will clean out the affected area of the tooth. After the decay has been cleaned out, the cavity will be filled with desired filling material.
Types of Dental Fillings:
There are various kinds of dental fillings. Let us find out a little bit about each kind.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Your dentist may locate a cavity and suggest a dental filling. This process is relatively quick with minor discomfort. He will use a drill to remove the cavity and all signs of growing bacteria on the affected tooth. Once he is satisfied the cavity is gone, he will use a composite filling to cover the drilled area of the tooth.
A root canal treatment is a different procedure for the dentist, though the experience is somewhat similar for the patient. X-rays will be taken to determine the extent of infection and the shape of the root canals in the infected tooth. The dentist or endodontist will anesthetize the area and place a sheet of rubber around the tooth. This is called a dam, and it is used to block saliva from the treatment area. The dentist will drill into the tooth until he reaches the nerves and tooth pulp. These will be removed, and the root canals will be cleaned out and sterilized. Once the canals are cleaned, they will be sealed.
A smile is said to be a person’s best accessory. No matter what the colour of your teeth may be when you were born, exposure to various things including tea, coffee, berries, wine etc can stain your teeth and mar their beauty. Thankfully this discoloration can be fixed by whitening your teeth. Here are a few things to know before you decide to whiten your teeth.
With zeal of brining new tool to fight against the everlasting battle against Tooth decay, we bring in the SDF ( silver diamine fluoride). A great alternative for all those young ones who find conventional treatment difficult. Also, parents who are too apprehensive for fillings in early age, this is an excellent substitute. As rightly said, Interrupt to Intervene, Invest in your child's dental health now!