Services and Procedures
In most cases, initial root canal therapy is successful and will last many years. However, in some cases, a previously treated root canal may become infected and/or symptomatic. In these instances, retreatment of the root canal may be the best treatment option. During retreatment, an endodontic specialist will access and remove the original root canal filling material, meticulously clean and reshape the canal, and then reseal the canal. Some root canal retreatment procedures are completed in two separate appointments to allow adequate time for the infection to heal before the canals are resealed. In many cases the doctor will then place a temporary filling in the tooth and refer the patient back to their general dentist for placement of a long-term restoration. Patients must use caution when chewing on the tooth until the long-term restoration is placed.
In most cases a root canal, with appropriate care can last a lifetime. However in some cases a root canal just doesn’t fully heal. In this case a retreatment may be necessary where one of our doctors will assess, remove the original root canal filling then meticulously clean and reshape the canal. A temporary filling will then be put in place until the tooth is fully healed with no infection and then restorative material is finally places over the tooth.
An apicoectomy is a surgical procedure to access and remove the tip of an infected root inside the bone. In certain cases of root canal failure, retreatment is not an option due to the anatomy of the root or other factors. In these situations, surgical removal of the root tip may be the best treatment option. After removal of the root tip, the remaining root is sealed and the bone is allowed to heal into the area. Additional restoration of the tooth is typically not required immediately after an apicoectomy.
Dental implants are precision-milled, titanium, cone shaped implants that are surgically placed into the bone. They provide an anchor point for the attachment of one or more prosthetic teeth to the jawbone. Teeth that are connected to the bone by an implant look, feel and function very similar to natural teeth and are therefore considered to be the best replacement for missing teeth. After surgical placement into the bone, the implant is allowed three to six months of healing time prior to attachment of a prosthetic tooth. Patients typically wear a temporary, removable prosthesis during that time.
The removal of a tooth becomes necessary for a number of reasons including severe decay/fracture, infection, overcrowding, impaction, damage to adjacent teeth and tumor growth. Wisdom tooth, or third molars, are typically removed prior to the development of these problems. During the removal of a tooth, a patient may choose to be sedated with IV medication to make the experience more comfortable. In some cases, sutures may be placed and a patient may need to return for removal and evaluation of healing 1-2 weeks after surgery.
Often times a patient is nervous, anxious or scared to receive dental care, even when they are in pain. We offer intravenous (IV) sedation during surgical procedures to make everything as comfortable as possible for patients. During the initial consult, our oral surgeons will carefully evaluate each patient to determine the safest and most effective way to provide sedation for them during treatment.
Pathology in dentistry refers to the evaluation and removal of abnormal tissue in and around the mouth. Frequently, an abnormal section of hard or soft tissue will be removed and sent for microscopic evaluation to determine what type of tissue it is and whether more treatment is required. There are many benign and malignant tumors that can affect the head and neck, so it is very important to have them carefully evaluated by an oral surgeon as soon as they are detected.
The bone in our jaws is vital for a number of functions: Tooth support, facial structure, denture and implant retention. In areas where the jaw bone is deficient or to prevent future deficiency, a bone graft may be necessary. Bone for grafting can come from another part of your body or external sources such as bovine (cow) bone, cadaver bone and synthetic bone.
The maxillary sinuses are hollow spaces inside of the skull that sit very close to the roots of the upper teeth. Frequently, the sinuses inhibit the placement of implants to replace missing upper molars. In that situation, a surgical procedure can be performed to “lift” the floor of the sinus away from the area so that an implant can be placed.
During development, some teeth can become impacted in the jaw bone and fail to break through the gums. In some cases, an impacted tooth may need to be surgically exposed and have an orthodontic bracket attached. This bracket provides an anchor where braces can be attached to pull the tooth into the mouth.
Orthognathic procedures refers to a group of procedures designed to correct improper positioning of the upper or lower jaw bones and is typically done in conjunction with orthodontics. Difficulty chewing, TMJ pain, breathing issues and speech problems are all conditions for which this procedure is considered.
For many years, a traditional denture was the only option for patients that are losing or have already lost all of their teeth. Traditional dentures are plastic plates with teeth attached, that sit directly on the gum tissue. They can be uncomfortable to wear and make it very difficult to eat or speak properly. Over time, a traditional denture wearer will lose the bone that supports their denture, making these problems even worse. With the advent of dental implants and the All-On-4(™) procedure, these patients are able to have a set of teeth that attaches directly to 4 or more titanium implants in their jaw bone. This eliminates the bulky plastic plate and allows them to chew and speak with confidence and comfort. In most cases, a temporary set of teeth is able to be attached to the implants the day they are put in the bone. Then, after a three to four month healing process, a long-term set of teeth is attached to the implants. The teeth are typically removed yearly by the general dentist for cleaning and maintenance.
Cone Beam Computed Tomography, or CBCT for short, is a special type of dental x-ray that provides a three dimensional image of the teeth and supporting structures. It provides an unparalleled view of the teeth, nerve pathways, bone and soft tissues in one single scan. The CBCT is a powerful tool to facilitate interactive image manipulation and enhancement, thus significantly increasing the amount of information available to the doctor.