Prospect Heights Family Dental - Our Services -> Root Canal, Scaling Root Planing,Tooth Whitening


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Root Canal

Root Canals
Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when a cavity is allowed, through neglect, to reach all the way to this pulp. (Regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect problems early.) Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may also cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy. Once this occurs the pulp (nerve chamber) becomes inflamed and infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system. This is dangerous, not to mention very painful. Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. However, sometimes no symptoms are apparent and the patient is unaware of any problem until a checkup.
A root canal is then performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy. Sometimes patients may be referred to an endodontist (root canal specialist) for this treatment. Technological advances mean that endodontists can use a microscope to better visualize the area and identify all the infected canals requiring treatment. There are cases where a tooth cannot be salvaged and is recommended for extraction.

Scaling Root Planning

Root planning and scaling are techniques used by our dentists or hygienists during a regular dental check up if there are low to moderate amounts of gum disease or gingivitis found. After application of a topical and/or local anaesthetic, small tools are used to scrape away infected material from the tooth down to the root. Follow-up examinations will be set up so the dentist can monitor healing and any residual resurgence of infection. A proper oral hygiene regimen is important to maintain tooth and gum health following root planning and scaling treatment.

Tooth Whitening

Tooth Whitening
It is possible to rid your teeth of the discoloration from eating and drinking. Over-the-counter tooth whitening kits and dental professional-level bleaching are both useful treatments. The dental professional procedures performed by our dentists and dental specialists take about an hour, while the at-home tooth cleaning kits may take up to fourteen days or more. It may be necessary to combine both types of treatment to address some staining and produce the optimum result.