Root Canal Therapy


       A root canal treatment is needed when a tooth's nerve and associated blood vessels are irreversibly damaged. They may be damaged by trauma, which may fracture a tooth, or by having deep decay that has infected the nerve. The end result is the same, an infection that leads to an abcess at the base of the tooth. Usually there is a throbbing pain in the tooth especially noticable when laying horizontal, ie. in bed at night. There also may be a swelling in your jaw and it may be painful to chew on. Your tooth can usually be saved at this time.

       If the abcess remains too long the tooth dies and the bone around the tooth is destroyed. The tooth must be removed if this happens.

       A dentist or endodontist (root canal specialist) can save a tooth by removing the diseased nerve tissue, cleansing and then filling the nerve chamber with a rubberlike material. This procedure can be done in one to three or more visits depending on the condition of the nerve. If there is an abcess antibiotic therapy may be used as well as possibly draining the infected site.


Gum (Periodontal) Disease


       Gum (Periodontal) disease is an inflammation or infection of the supporting structures of the teeth, the bone and the surrounding gum tissue. It is caused by a sticky, colorless film that is constantly forming on your teeth. This film is called plaque. If this film is not cleaned off the teeth with proper brushing and flossing the bacteria in the plaque cause an inflammation of the gum tissue called gingivitis. The symptoms of gingivitis are red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums. If you have any of these symptoms it would be wise to contact a dentist as soon as possible. If left untreated it progresses to periodontitis.

       Periodontitis occurrs when the plaque starts to calcify and become calculus or tartar. This then migrates under the gum tissue causing pocketing around the teeth and starts to destroy the bone tissue. If left long enough the entire supporting structure is destroyed and the tooth or teeth are lost. Unfortunately, this disease is found in 3 out of 4 adults over 35. The symptoms of periodontitis are loose or shifting teeth, gum tissue separating from your teeth, longer appearing teeth, and/or pus or an unpleasant taste or odor coming from your mouth.

       Gingivitis can be treated at home by properly brushing and flossing daily to remove the bacteria laden plaque. Periodontitis can't be treated at home. The tartar that forms under your gums must be cleaned off by a dentist or hygienist. This procedure is called root planing and scaling. If caught early enough minimum damage of the supporting structures occur and there is a good prognosis to keep the teeth. If it is more advanced other therapies including gum surgery or bone regeneration may have to be performed.In the worst case the teeth may have to be pulled.

       So, eating well balanced meals, avoiding snacking (especially sweets), regular brushing, flossing and regular check-ups should limit your risk of getting gum disease.


What is a Crown?


       A crown is the part of the tooth that you can see above the gums. If a dentist tells you 'Your tooth needs a crown' he is telling you is that your natural crown has broken or has been weakened and therefore a laboratory made or CEREC (one-visit) made crown or cover will be needed to restore your tooth. It may have been weakened by a fracture or crack in the tooth, an overly large silver filling, or having root canal therapy. Most crowns we make are made of either solid porcelain, porcelain fused to metal or a metal ( gold alloy).

       Repairing your tooth with a porcelain crown will usually take one  appointment with CEREC.

       At the appointment Dr. Widen will numb the area and prepare the tooth by removing 1.5-2 millimeters of the natural crown away until the weakened portion of the tooth is removed and solid tooth structure remains making sure there is sufficient space for a porcelain crown to fit over the tooth. This procedure requires a great deal of skill and precision to ensure a successful result. The porcelain crown must fit perfectly to prevent further decay and gum disease. This crown will also restore the patients bite, prevent shifting of the teeth and must look good. After the preparation is completed, an optical impression of the area is taken and sent to the computer to be designed. Dr. Widen will design the crown and send the information to the milling unit for fabrication. Then the crown is bonded or cemented to your natural tooth. Your new crown should look natural and feel comfortable in your mouth. It is vital that you take care of the crowned tooth. The margins are areas that are susceptible to decay and must be kept clean. If you take care of your crowns they can last 5 to 15 years or even longer.

       Crowns are not used as frequently in cosmetic dentistry as they once were because of more conservative procedures like porcelain onlays, veneers, bonding, and bleaching. However, if your front teeth have been severely damaged by decay or have large fillings in them or perhaps they are rotated or crooked and require the extra strength that a crown could provide you may be a candidate for a crown. Dentists who have experience in cosmetic dentistry understand the benefits of using the most conservative treatment possible to achieve the desired results and can advise you of the benefits of each. 

                                                                                             


            
Invisalign Cosmetic Dentistry without Drilling Zoom In-Office Cosmetic WhiteningMember American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies

                                                                                             

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© 2010 Dr. Ronald Widen | 2001 N. Halsted St. Suite 202 | Chicago, IL | 60614 | 312-266-0044