What is an endodontist?
Endodontists are root canal specialists. They are qualified dentists who have two additional years of education and specialized training in the care and treatment of tooth pulp and the inner parts of the tooth. If a root canal is required, a dentist often refers the patient to an endodontist for treatment. Your endodontist will work closely with your dentist to improve your oral health and restore your natural teeth.
What are some common symptoms?
See your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Tooth or gum pain, discoloration, or prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold
- A tooth that is tender when it is touched
- A tooth abscess (pus enclosed in the tissues of the jawbone at the tip of an infected tooth)
- Pus drainage in your mouth
- Swelling or tenderness in the lymph nodes under your jaw
Sometimes an endodontic problem can exist without warning signs. In these cases, a Digital X-ray taken during a routine dental checkup will reveal the tooth damage.
What is a root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment involves the removal of the diseased pulp along with the tooth’s nerve (located within a tooth’s root canal). The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of your tooth are then cleaned, medicated and sealed. A dental crown or other restorative treatment is used to protect and strengthen the tooth.
BRACES / ORTHODONTICS
Orthodontists are qualified Dentists who have an additional two to three years of education and specialized training in tooth movement and the guidance of facial development. Orthodontists work as a team with your Dentist to maximize your smile and improve your dental health.
Reasons for Referral
You or your child may be referred by your Dentist to an Orthodontist if:
Your child has:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- A finger sucking or other oral habit
You or your child has:
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Crowding, misplaced, protruding, or blocked-out teeth
- Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or retrude
- Speech difficulty
- Problems resulting from biting into a cheek or the palate (roof of the mouth)
- Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
- A facial imbalance or asymmetry
- Grinding or clenching of teeth
An orthodontic appliance is prescribed based on a patient’s age and his or her teeth and jaw alignment needs. There is a wide range of available orthodontic appliances. Each appliance has several techniques for treatment use. While dental braces are the most universally known, only your Orthodontist can prescribe the appliance and restorative technique that is right for you.
Types of Braces
The most commonly known orthodontic treatment is braces: an orthodontic appliance used to straighten teeth and correct bad bites. Braces can be prescribed for teens, adults, and children who have permanent teeth. They may be used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances prescribed to widen the palate or jaws or to shape the teeth and jaws. The average treatment time for braces is just over two years, but treatment time varies by the individual patient.
There are two major types of braces: fixed and removable. If you are a candidate for braces, your Orthodontist will recommend the type best suited for you.
A dental crown restores a tooth’s shape, size, and strength. It fully encases the visible portion of your tooth or dental implant. Once it is permanently bonded in place, only a Dentist or Specialist can remove it.
With proper care and good oral hygiene, the life of a crown can range from 5 to 15 years.
If a natural tooth-colored porcelain crown is chosen, our CEREC® CAD/CAM treatment gives patients a completed permanent crown in just one office visit. Other types of crowns require two office visits.
Tooth whitening enhances the brightness of natural teeth, but it’s not for everyone. Discuss it with your Dentist before you take action, especially if you have:
- Discolored or sensitive teeth
- White spots or decay on your teeth
- Infected gums
- A bridge, crown, or other dental work (especially involving front teeth)
The lifespan of whitened teeth can range from 4-12 months, depending on the type of treatment used and your consumption of food and drink that can easily stain teeth (such as blueberries, coffee, and tea).
To keep your teeth their whitest without undergoing tooth whitening treatment, practice good oral hygiene.
A veneer improves the appearance of a tooth by covering the visible front surface with a custom-made, tooth-colored porcelain overlay.
Our Dentists can complete a porcelain veneer treatment in just one office visit. With proper care and good oral hygiene, a veneer has a lifespan of 5-10 years.
WISDOM TEETH / ORAL SURGERY
Why get oral surgery?
While the removal of wisdom teeth is the most well-known type of oral surgery, there are many reasons why oral surgery may be required, including:
- Repairing or treating serious conditions affecting a patient’s teeth, palate, lips, jaw or face
- Alleviating problems due to obstructed sleep apnea, infections or facial pain
- Repairing maxillofacial region damage caused by a serious accident or injury
What is an oral surgeon?
Oral surgeons, also known as oral and maxillofacial surgeons, are qualified dentists who have completed an additional four years of specialized training. Their advanced education includes anesthesiology and the diagnosis and surgical treatment of defects, injuries and diseases of the mouth, jaw, teeth, neck, gums and other soft tissues of the head.
When are you referred to an oral surgeon?
Your dentist or specialist will refer you to an oral surgeon in many cases, including:
Referral by Your Dentist
- An impacted tooth is diagnosed – when a permanent (adult) tooth has not yet erupted from the bone, but is moving into or pushing against an adjacent tooth
- A lesion, tumor or other tissue of the mouth or jaw requires biopsy or removal or if oral cancer is suspected
- A dental implant is required to replace a missing tooth or support a bridge
- One or more teeth must be removed
- A tooth breaks off at the gum line and it (or its root fragments) must be removed
- Corrective surgery to soft tissues or bones in the maxillofacial region is needed
- Diagnosis and treatment of infections in the maxillofacial region are needed
- Facial pain exists, including pain suspected from TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disease)
- Obstructive sleep apnea is suspected
Referral by Your Orthodontist
- An open bite (space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed)
- An unbalanced facial appearance from the front or side
- A facial injury or birth defect that affects the maxillofacial region
- A receding chin or protruding jaw
- A problem that causes lips to not meet without straining
Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Third molars, also called wisdom teeth, are the last set of permanent teeth to erupt in a person’s mouth and are the ones least needed. Wisdom teeth can endanger a patient’s dental health when:
- They erupt through your gum, but your jaw is too small to hold them. As a result, they force other teeth out of alignment and can damage your bite.
- They do not erupt through your gum and are not in a normal position. As a result, they crowd the roots of other teeth, force them out of alignment, and can damage your bite.
When your jaw is too small to accommodate normal wisdom teeth, it is common for gum or jaw discomfort and swelling to occur. In addition, there is a greater risk of developing gum (periodontal) disease.
Surgery to remove wisdom teeth is typically the best course of action. If a wisdom tooth has fully erupted through the gum, a standard tooth extraction is performed. If the tooth has not erupted through the gum, an impacted tooth extraction method is used.