Direct Restorative Treatment
Direct restorative treatment is required when a tooth has mild to moderate dental decay (cavity) that has penetrated completely through the enamel of your teeth. When it comes to direct restorative materials there are a few options your dentist can discuss with you.
- Amalgam- Preferred restorative material for large, deep fillings on molars where isolation from blood and saliva is very difficult or impossible. Also provides the greatest longevity when used in children’s deciduous (baby) molars. More cost effective than composite restorations. (Link to Kois advantages/disadvantages)
- Composite- Preferred restorative material for smaller fillings especially in the aesthetic smile zone (Premolar to Premolar). These restorations bond to the tooth only if the tooth is kept free of moisture contamination while they are being placed. (Link to Kois advantages/disadvantages)
- Glass Ionomer Cement (GIC)- Preferred restorative material for fillings on the root surface of the teeth. Provides more predictable bonding to the root of a tooth and has more moisture tolerance than composite restorations.
Endodontics (root canals)
When dental decay is either close to or into the nerve of the tooth the dentist is no longer able to fix the tooth with a simple filling. This tooth may be in the process of becoming infected, or already have an abscess. At this point the only treatment option to save the tooth is to perform a root canal. Your dentist will determine if the root canal can be performed at our office or if you will require a referral to a specialist (Endodontist) to receive the best care.
Possible Signs/Symptoms of Needing a Root Canal
- Severe, spontaneous tooth ache that may be keeping you up at night
- Sensitivity to hot/cold/sweets that lingers
- Large hole in your tooth
- Swelling of the gums around the tooth
- No signs/symptoms
- Tooth is frozen/anaesthetized using local anaesthetic
- Rubber dam is placed over the tooth
- An access opening to the nerve is made through the top of the tooth
- The root canal system is cleaned using small files and an irrigation solution to further disinfect the canal
- Once the root canal system is cleaned it will be filled and sealed with a special dental material call Gutta Percha if your dentist feels the root canal can be finished in one appointment
- The access opening on the tooth is filled to seal off the access that was created at the beginning of the appointment
A crown is recommended to be placed on a tooth after it has been allowed to heal for 3-6 months. If a tooth is not crowned following the 3-6 months of healing the tooth is at much higher risk of fracturing. It is not uncommon to see teeth that have had a root canal and not crowned fracture in such a way that the dentist has no choice but to extract the tooth.