Repair Your Smile
Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp (soft tissue inside your teeth containing blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue) becomes inflamed or diseased. During root canal treatment, your dentist removes the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canal of the tooth are then cleaned and sealed. If the infected pulp is not removed, it can lead to pain and swelling, and your tooth may have to be removed.
A successful root canal treatment lets you keep the tooth rather than having to pull it out. Keeping your tooth helps to prevent your other teeth from drifting out of line and causing jaw problems. A root canal can extend the lifetime of your teeth, saving them from extraction.
A dental extraction is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are performed for a variety of reasons, including tooth decay that has destroyed enough tooth structure to render the tooth as non-restorable. Extractions of impacted or problematic wisdom teeth are routinely performed, as are extractions of some permanent teeth due to a fractured root or to make space for orthodontic treatment.
When you come in for an exam, your dentist will check your fillings and may suggest that you replace any loose or broken ones. We also look for signs of decay, such as brown or black spots, and may want to use X-rays to take a closer look at problematic areas.
If a large cavity is not filled, it can get bigger and cause pain. The tooth may even have to be removed and replaced with a false (or artificial) tooth.
If your tooth is damaged but still repairable, a crown (also called a cap) can be used to cover the damaged part of your tooth. A crown protects your tooth from further damage. You may need a crown if:
- you have a root canal
- you have a large filling in a tooth
- you have a broken tooth
- your tooth is badly stained, not the right shape or out of line
Crowns can be made from different kinds of metals, porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal. As a result, they are strong and last for many years, if you take proper care of them. It is important to brush and floss crowns, just as you would your natural teeth.
Bonding, also known as bonded restoration, is a painless way to make minor repairs to teeth. In most cases, several teeth can be bonded in one dental visit.
Bonding uses tooth-coloured material, called composite resin. Composite resin is put on the tooth, then shaped and hardened with light. The composite resin can be:
- Matched to your teeth
- Shaped to look like the missing part of a chipped tooth
- Used to build up teeth and fill between them
- Used on a broken tooth to restore it to size
- Painted over a stained tooth to make it match the colour of your other teeth