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Shalimar Family Dentistry provides care for both adults and children. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD) suggests that parents schedule bi-annual dental appointments for their children beginning six months after the emergence of their first tooth. Likewise, adults should visit the dentist at least twice a year. Starting from infancy, we treat patients and specifically counsel children and parents on proper dental care and dietary instruction. We provide a safe and comfortable dental environment for kids that include various games and activities as well as a treasure chest. Our goal is to provide dental knowledge from an early age in order to enforce the importance of dental care, and we provide knowledge in a way that will make children want to keep up with their oral hygiene. Our Tempe dental office is a place where your entire family can come in and receive treatment and our welcoming staff will make you feel right at home!

How Oftern Should Kids Visit the Dentist

Have a question? Contact us today!

Dental Check-Ups for Children

We understand that a child’s mouth is constantly transforming, which is why we keep meticulous records of your child’s tooth and jaw development. Our children’s dentist creates an enjoyable and pleasant environment for children so that they feel comfortable engaging in dental care from an early age. We provide thorough dental cleanings during each visit in order to accommodate the rapid changes a child’s mouth can face. On top of our cleanings, we continue to educate children on ways to prevent cavities at home so that smiles can stay clean and healthy. Even so, we may schedule more frequent appointments for children who seem more susceptible to orthodontic or cavity problems. Our family dental practice also uses fluoride treatments after cleanings to combat the ware of enamel. We may also apply dental sealants to a child’s teeth in order to prevent the intrusion of debris and bacteria.

The Shalimar Family Dentistry Difference

Our patients are usually surprised that the first part of their appointment is not spent talking about their teeth. We distinguish ourselves from high-volume family dental centers by creating relationships with our patients. At our family dental practice, you are not a chart number; you are a member of our family and we want to know you and your family and be sure we exceed your expectations.  

Additionally, we work with your dental insurance providers to get a comprehensive view of your dental insurance plan coverage. To minimize surprises, we will provide a breakdown of your dental insurance coverage so you can feel absolutely comfortable proceeding with our family dentistry services.

If you have questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, contact our Tempe dental office today!

There are a number of reasons that your dentist might recommend a tooth extraction. Some dental patients suffer from tooth decay; others need to remove teeth hindering orthodontic treatment, whereas various patients simply need wisdom teeth removal. While a tooth extraction can be a serious dental procedure, aftercare is just as critical as the procedure itself. As the dental patient, it is important to understand that pain and the risk of infection can be lessened with proper care.

Care immediately following surgery:

  • Keep pressure on the gauze pad that your doctor placed over the surgical area by gently biting down. Dampen the gauze sponge with water if it begins to dry out. Try to maintain constant pressure in intervals of 45-60 minutes, repeating as often as needed, or until bleeding lessens.  Change the gauze as needed. 
  • Keep your head elevated and try to lower your activity level as much as possible.
  • 48 hours after surgery, rinse mouth with warm salt water every 1-2 hours. Avoid using any mouthwash containing alcohol as it can irritate the wound.
  • Keep your mouth clean by brushing areas around the surgical site, but be sure to avoid sutures. Touching the wounded area in any fashion should be prevented.
  • Use ice packs to control swelling by placing them on facial areas near extraction.
  • Take all prescribed medications accordingly. If any itching or swelling occurs, contact the practice immediately, or go to the nearest emergency room.
  • Try to eat softer foods, preferably high in protein.
  • Keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, but do not drink through a straw for the next 5-7 days.
  • If you are a regular tobacco user refrain from smoking for the next 3-4 days as smoking increases your chances of getting a dry socket as well as an infection.

After your tooth has been extracted, healing will take some time. Within 3 to 14 days, your sutures should fall out or dissolve. For sutures that are non-resorbable, your doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment to remove the stitches for you. Your tooth’s empty socket will gradually fill in with bone over time and smooth over with adjacent tissues.

Possible complications after a tooth extraction

Bleeding – Bleeding after a tooth extraction is entirely normal. A pinkish tinted saliva and subtle oozing is fairly common during the first 36 hours. If bleeding gets excessive, control it by using dampened gauze pads and biting down to keep pressure on the area. As an alternative to gauze pads, a moistened tea bag can be used, as the tannic acid helps blood vessels contract. Apply pressure to the gauze or tea bag by gently biting down for 30 minutes. Please remember that raised tempers, sitting upright, and exercise can all increase blood flow to the head, which can cause excess bleeding. Try to avoid these as much as possible. If your bleeding does not reduce after 48 hours, please call the practice.

Bone sequestra (dead tooth fragments) – Some patients have small sharp tooth fragments that were unable to be completely removed during surgery. During the recovery period, these dead bone fragments, or bone sequestra, slowly work themselves through the gums as a natural healing process. This can be a little painful until the sequestra are removed so please call our practice immediately if you notice any sharp fragments poking through the surgery site.

Dry socket – In the days that follow your tooth extraction, pain should gradually subside. Rarely, patients report that pain increases to a throbbing unbearable pain that shoots up towards the ear. Often this is a case of dry socket. Dry socket occurs when the blood clot becomes irritated and ousted before healing is complete. Food and debris can then get into the socket causing irritation. Tobacco users and women taking oral contraceptives are at a higher risk of getting dry socket. Dry socket is not an infection but does require a visit to our office. If you think you may be suffering from dry socket, please contact the practice immediately.

Lightheadedness – Because you may have been fasting prior to surgery, your blood sugar levels may be lower than normal. Until your body has had the chance to catch up and process some sugars, you should remember to stand up slowly when getting up from a relaxed position. For somewhat immediate relief, try eating something soft and sugary, stay in a relaxed position, and reduce the elevation of your head.

Numbness – Many patients report still feeling numb hours after their tooth extraction procedure. An extended lack of feeling around the mouth is normal and can last 10-12 hours after surgery.

Swelling – Swelling should subside almost entirely within 10 days after surgery. Immediately following your tooth extraction, apply an ice pack to the facial areas near the extraction. Continue using the ice in 15 minute intervals for the first 36 hours. After 36 hours, ice will no longer be beneficial in reducing swelling and moist heat should be used instead. To decrease swelling, apply a warm damp cloth to the sides of your face.

Trismus (difficulty opening and closing mouth) – If you experience a sore jaw and difficulty chewing or swallowing, do not be alarmed. Occasionally patients’ chewing muscles and jaw joints remain sore 3-5 days after surgery. This soreness can also make it difficult to open and close your mouth. Soreness should eventually subside.

If you have any worries, or are experiencing any complications not mentioned, please contact our practice immediately so that we may address your concerns.

Following dental implant surgery, patients must take detailed care of the area surrounding their new implant.  For the first month the dental implant is still integrating with the bone and tissues so the patient’s care routine will be slightly more involved during this initial period.  Above all, do not disturb the wound in the initial days that follow surgery.  Avoid rinsing, spitting, and touching the mouth for 24 hours after surgery to avoid contaminating or irritating the surgical site.  After dental implant surgery it’s important to follow these care instructions:

  • Antibiotics – Patients should take all prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection at the surgical site.  Twenty-four hours after the surgery, patients should begin using the prescribed oral rinse twice daily alongside a warm saltwater rinse 4-5 times daily (preferably after every meal/snack).
  • Bleeding – Blood in the patients’ saliva is normal during the first 24 hours following surgery.  We suggest biting on gauze pads to help control and lessen blood flow.  Gently bite down on the gauze pad and try to maintain constant pressure, repeating as often as needed, or until bleeding lessens.
  • Dealing with pain – Shortly after your dental implant surgery the anesthetic will wear off.  You should begin taking pain medication before this happens. Any over-the-counter pain medication can be taken (e.g., Tylenol®, Aleve®, ibuprofen, etc.).
  • Diet – We recommend an initial diet of soft foods, but patients can resume a normal diet as soon as they feel capable of doing so. Stay hydrated. It is critical that you are drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Hygiene – In order for the dental implants to heal properly, the surgical site must be kept clean. Continue to brush your teeth as you normally would, but avoid any sutures and do not brush the implant. The antibiotic and saltwater rinses will disinfect the implant itself.
  • Swelling – After dental implant surgery some amount of swelling is to be expected. To help minimize swelling, try to keep your head elevated and lower your activity level as much as possible. Use ice packs for the first 48 hours and apply continuously, or as frequently as possible to minimize facial swelling.
  • Wearing your prosthesis or night guard – Partial dentures, flippers, full dentures, retainers, or night guards should not be used for at least 10 days following surgery. If there are any special circumstances, our practice will discuss those with you during your pre-operative consultation.
  • Smoking – Smoking after dental implant surgery has an increased risk of infection which also increases the risk of dental implants failing to integrate. We recommend that patients do not smoke for a minimum of 2 weeks after dental implant surgery.

What does recovery involve?

While each patient’s case is different, recovery after dental implant surgery happens in a series of phases. With your new dental implants, maintaining proper oral hygiene should be your primary focus. In order for the implant to properly fuse with the jawbone, it must remain clean. Also keep in mind that when properly cared for, a dental implant can serve its owner for life.

When maintaining proper hygiene, oral discomfort should gradually lessen. Swelling, bruising, and minor bleeding may still occur. If any pain does continue, feel free to continue using the pain medications.

Healing time differs depending on whether a patient receives immediate crown placement, or waits for the implant to fuse with the jawbone. Your recovery timeframe will depend on your individual case and treatment plan; follow-up appointments will be scheduled accordingly.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office.

While most dental surgery is performed on an out-patient basis, it remains an involved procedure that requires specific preparation and aftercare.  In an effort to provide safe, comfortable care, we encourage you to review our pre- and post-operative instructions, which are intended to facilitate a smooth operation and safer recovery.

If you have any questions or concerns about your surgery, please contact our practice today.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD) advises parents to make biannual dental appointments for children, beginning approximately six months after the first tooth emerges.

These two important yearly visits allow the pediatric dentist to monitor new developments in the child’s mouth, evaluate changes in the condition of teeth and gums, and continue to advise parents on good oral care strategies.

The pediatric dentist may schedule additional visits for children who are particularly susceptible to tooth decay or who show early signs of orthodontic problems.

What is the purpose of dental checkups?

First, the pediatric dentist aims to provide a “good dental home” for the child.  If a dental emergency does arise, parents can take the child for treatment at a familiar, comfortable location.

Second, the pediatric dentist keeps meticulous records of the child’s ongoing dental health and jaw development.  In general, painful dental conditions do not arise overnight.  If the pediatric dentist understands the child’s dental health history, it becomes easier to anticipate future issues and intervene before they arise.

Third, the pediatric dentist is able to educate parents and children during the visit.  Sometimes the pediatric dentist wants to introduce one or several factors to enhance tooth health – for example, sealants, fluoride supplements, or xylitol.  Other times, the pediatric dentist asks parents to change the child’s dietary or oral behavior – for example, reducing sugar in the child’s diet, removing an intraoral piercing, or even transitioning the child from sippy cups to adult-sized drinking glasses.

Finally, dental X-rays are often the only way to identify tiny cavities in primary (baby) teeth.  Though the child may not be feeling any pain, left unchecked, these tiny cavities can rapidly turn into large cavities, tooth decay, and eventually, childhood periodontal disease.  Dental X-rays are only used when the pediatric dentist suspects cavities or orthodontic irregularities.

Are checkups necessary if my child has healthy teeth?

The condition of a child’s teeth can change fairly rapidly.  Even if the child’s teeth were evaluated as healthy just six months prior, changes in diet or oral habits (for example, thumb sucking) can quickly render them vulnerable to decay or misalignment.

In addition to visual examinations, the pediatric dentist provides thorough dental cleanings during each visit.  These cleanings eradicate the plaque and debris that can build up between teeth and in other hard to reach places.  Though a good homecare routine is especially important, these professional cleanings provide an additional tool to keep smiles healthy.

The pediatric dentist is also able to monitor the child’s fluoride levels during routine visits.  Oftentimes, a topical fluoride gel or varnish is applied to teeth after the cleaning.  Topical fluoride remineralizes the teeth and staunches mineral loss, protecting tooth enamel from oral acid attacks.  Some children are also given take-home fluoride supplements (especially those residing in areas where fluoride is not routinely added to the community water supply).

Finally, the pediatric dentist may apply dental sealants to the child’s back teeth (molars).  This impenetrable liquid plastic substance is brushed onto the molars to seal out harmful debris, bacteria, and acid.

If you have questions or concerns about when to schedule your child’s dental checkups please contact your pediatric dentist.

Bruxism, or the grinding of teeth, is remarkably common in children and adults.  For some children, this tooth grinding is limited to daytime hours, but nighttime grinding (during sleep) is most prevalent.  Bruxism can lead to a wide range of dental problems, depending on the frequency of the behavior, the intensity of the grinding, and the underlying causes of the grinding.

A wide range of psychological, physiological, and physical factors may lead children to brux.  In particular, jaw misalignment (bad bite), stress, and traumatic brain injury are all thought to contribute to bruxism, although grinding can also occur as a side effect of certain medications.

What are some symptoms of bruxism?

In general, parents can usually hear intense grinding – especially when it occurs at nighttime.  Subtle daytime jaw clenching and grinding, however, can be difficult to pinpoint.  Oftentimes, general symptoms provide clues as to whether or not the child is bruxing, including:

  • Frequent complaints of headache.
  • Injured teeth and gums.
  • Loud grinding or clicking sounds.
  • Rhythmic tightening or clenching of the jaw muscles.
  • Unusual complaints about painful jaw muscles – especially in the morning.
  • Unusual tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods.

How can bruxism damage my child’s teeth?

Bruxism is characterized by the grinding of the upper jaw against the lower jaw.  Especially in cases where there is vigorous grinding, the child may experience moderate to severe jaw discomfort, headaches, and ear pain.  Even if the child is completely unaware of nighttime bruxing (and parents are unable to hear it), the condition of the teeth provides your pediatric dentist with important clues.

First, chronic grinders usually show an excessive wear pattern on the teeth.  If jaw misalignment is the cause, tooth enamel may be worn down in specific areas.  In addition, children who brux are more susceptible to chipped teeth, facial pain, gum injury, and temperature sensitivity.  In extreme cases, frequent, harsh grinding can lead to the early onset of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

What causes bruxism?

Bruxism can be caused by several different factors. Most commonly, “bad bite” or jaw misalignment promotes grinding.  Pediatric dentists also notice that children tend to brux more frequently in response to life stressors.  If the child is going through a particularly stressful exam period or is relocating to a new school for example, nighttime bruxing may either begin or intensify.

Children with certain developmental disorders and brain injuries may be at particular risk for grinding.  In such cases, your pediatric dentist may suggest botulism injections to calm the facial muscles, or provide a protective nighttime mouthpiece.  If the onset of bruxing is sudden, current medications need to be evaluated.  Though bruxing is a rare side effect of specific medications, the medication itself may need to be switched for an alternate brand.

How is bruxism treated?

Bruxing spontaneously ceases by the age of thirteen in the majority of children.  In the meantime however, your pediatric dentist will continually monitor its effect on the child’s teeth and may provide an interventional strategy.

In general, the cause of the grinding dictates the treatment approach.  If the child’s teeth are badly misaligned, your pediatric dentist may take steps to correct this.  Some of the available options include: altering the biting surface of teeth with crowns, and beginning occlusal treatment.

If bruxing seems to be exacerbated by stress, your pediatric dentist may recommend relaxation classes, professional therapy, or special exercises.  The child’s pediatrician may also provide muscle relaxants to alleviate jaw clenching and reduce jaw spasms.

In cases where young teeth are sustaining significant damage, your pediatric dentist may suggest a specialized nighttime dental appliance such as a nighttime mouth guard.  Mouth guards stop tooth surfaces from grinding against each other, and look similar to a mouthpiece a person might wear during sports.  Bite splints or bite plates fulfill the same function and are almost universally successful in preventing grinding damage.

If you have questions or concerns about bruxism or grinding teeth, please contact our office.

Pediatric dentistry (formerly Pedodontics/Paedodontics) primarily focuses on children from birth through adolescence.  The American Dental Association (ADA), recognizes pediatric dentistry as a specialty, and therefore requires dentists to undertake two or three years of additional training after completing a general dentistry degree.  At the end of this training, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry issues a unique diploma (Diplomate ABPD).  Some pediatric dentists (pedodontists) opt to specialize in oral care for children with special needs, specifically children with autism, varying levels of mental retardation, or cerebral palsy.

One of the most important components of pediatric dentistry is child psychology.  Pediatric dentists are trained to create a friendly, fun, social atmosphere for visiting children, and always avoid threatening words like “drill,” “needle,” and “injection.”  Dental phobias beginning in childhood often continue into adulthood, so it is of paramount importance that children have positive experiences and find their “dental home” as early as possible.

What Does a Pediatric Dentist Do?

Pediatric dentists fulfill many important functions pertaining to the child’s overall oral health and hygiene.  They place particular emphasis on the proper maintenance and care of deciduous (baby) teeth, which are instrumental in facilitating good chewing habits, proper speech production, and also hold space for permanent teeth.

Other important functions include:

Education – Pediatric dentists educate the child using models, computer technology, and child-friendly terminology, thus emphasizing the importance of keeping teeth strong and healthy.  In addition, they advise parents on disease prevention, trauma prevention, good eating habits, and other aspects of the home hygiene routine.

Monitoring growth – By continuously tracking growth and development, pediatric dentists are able to anticipate dental issues and quickly intervene before they worsen.  Also, working towards earlier corrective treatment preserves the child’s self-esteem and fosters a more positive self-image.

Prevention – Helping parents and children establish sound eating and oral care habits reduces the chances of later tooth decay.  In addition to providing check ups and dental cleanings, pediatric dentists are also able to apply dental sealants and topical fluoride to young teeth, advise parents on thumb- sucking/pacifier/smoking cessation, and provide good demonstrations of brushing and flossing.

Intervention – In some cases, pediatric dentists may discuss the possibility of early oral treatments with parents.  In the case of oral injury, malocclusion (bad bite), or bruxism (grinding), space maintainers may be fitted, a nighttime mouth guard may be recommended, or reconstructive surgery may be scheduled.

If you have questions or concerns about pediatric dentistry, please contact our office.

Implant-Supported Dentures in Tempe

Implant-supported dentures eliminate many problems associated with traditional denture use. If you experience issues with your dentures such as difficulty eating or speaking or more severe issues such as gum sores, implant-supported dentures can eliminate those issues and provide the support you need, creating a smile that is natural and alive. Having dentures does not mean you have to endure discomfort. By using implant supported dentures, you can enjoy a full-set of teeth without the difficulty of traditional dentures. Shalimar Family Dentistry is skilled and experienced at providing implant-supported dentures to our Tempe dental patients.

What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?

An implant-supported denture is a type of denture that is attached to dental implants that are secured to the jaw bone.   Implant-supported dentures are crafted from an acrylic base in order to mimic the appearance of natural gums. Porcelain teeth are also used to emphasize the natural look of your smile. Implant-supported dentures are recommended for patients who are already wearing dentures or patients who teeth are not able to be saved with other dental procedures. The implant itself is made of titanium and is surgically placed in the jawbone mimicking the root of a tooth that is strong enough to secure the dentures for use. 

Implant-Supported Dentures vs. Traditional Dentures

Traditional dentures rest only on the surface of the gums and have no support.  Implant-supported dentures add more support to your mouth and are more stable on lower jaw than regular dentures. Implant-supported dentures can be placed on both the upper and lower arches. Many patients who have worn traditional dentures admit to certain issues such as difficulty eating and speaking and feel embarrassed when their dentures begin to slip. Implant-supported dentures eliminate the risk of embarrassment and social insecurity that comes along with traditional dentures. Implants require the same oral hygiene care as natural teeth, making dentures a more natural option for patients.  Annual appointments with your dentist are needed to check the fit of the dentures, the health of mouth and the clean the implants and appliances properly.

Who is a Good Candidate?

Those with an existing full set of dentures will benefit from implant-supported dentures. Sometimes, traditional dentures can be uncomfortable and involve a number of different health issues such as oral infections and gum sores. Implant-supported dentures are a more permanent solution and do require an annual appointment for servicing and a check of your oral health by your top Tempe Dentist. The procedure is surprisingly comfortable and will take several visits of about a six month period of time, but, not to worry, you will never be without teeth. Our Tempe dentists can help answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding implant-supported dentures. 

What Are the First Steps in This Process?

Call our Tempe dental office to schedule a consultation. During your clinical and radiographic exam, we will determine the minimum number of the implants needed for your specific procedure. We determine whether enough of the jaw bone is available to place the implants and customize your procedure depending on that information. You have 100% of our attention and commitment to assuring your oral health is optimum. 

If you have any further questions or would like to get started with implant-supported dentures, please contact us!

Prosthodontics is the specialized field of dentistry concerned with diagnosing, planning and executing restorative and cosmetic treatments.  Dentists who choose to specialize in prosthodontics must complete three or four more years of dedicated training following dental school.

A prosthodontist is in essence an architect, who formulates a comprehensive treatment plan and informs the patient as to what is possible.  Missing or defective teeth can be extremely detrimental to self-esteem and self-confidence.  Using the latest technology, a prosthodontist is able to fill these gaps with functional, natural-looking teeth that boost confidence and enhance the smile.

There are many reasons why a prosthodontist may be consulted, including (but not limited to):

  • Creation of partial or full sets of dentures.
  • Desire to whiten the teeth or improve the aesthetics of the smile.
  • Filling gaps created by one or more missing teeth.
  • Interest in dental implants.

What treatments can the prosthodontist perform?

Prosthodontic treatments are designed to be functional, long lasting and pleasing to the eye.  These procedures can only be completed on generally healthy teeth.  Issues like gum disease need to be controlled before prosthodontic treatments can begin.

There are an ever-increasing number of hi-tech prosthodontic treatments available including the following:

Dental Implants – Implants are designed to replace the natural teeth in the best possible way.  Titanium roots are implanted in the jawbone in the same way as natural tooth roots.  Implants look and feel the same as natural teeth.

Dental Veneers – Veneers are porcelain/ceramic covers that are bonded to the natural teeth.  Veneers can instantly solve problems like uneven teeth, stained teeth, and chips and damage caused by general wear and tear.

Dental Crowns – Prosthetic crowns are generally made from porcelain, metal or a combination of the two.  They have been designed to mimic the natural crown (surface of the tooth) and can last for up to a decade, and possibly longer.

Dental Bridges – Conventional and cantilever bridges are used to support a prosthetic tooth.  The natural teeth can support the bridge if they are in good condition, or dental implants may be used as anchors.

Complete Dentures – A complete set of dentures can be created for people who have no teeth due to gum disease or trauma.  Complete dentures restore functionality to the mouth and make chewing and speaking easier.

Partial Dentures – Where many teeth have been lost, removable or fixed partial dentures can prove to be an excellent option.  They enhance the aesthetics of the smile in addition to improving chewing abilities.

What other problems can a prosthodontist treat?

In addition to performing the treatments described above, the prosthodontist is also adept at treating problems with the jaw (TMJ), alleviating severe snoring, managing sleep apnea, and reconstructing the teeth following oral cancer treatments.  Generally, the prosthodontist works in combination with other dental health professionals to ensure the best possible restorative results are achieved.

If you have questions or concerns about prosthodontics, please contact your prosthodontist.

In rare cases, root canal therapy fails to work as expected. The treated tooth might not heal properly or a patient might experience post-surgical complications that jeopardize the tooth. Root canal retreatment involves the removal of the previous crown and packing material, the cleansing of the root canals, and the re-packing and re-crowning of the tooth. In short, root canal retreatment is almost identical to the original procedure, aside from the structural removal. The success rate for a root canal retreatment runs at around 75%.

Root canal treatments and retreatments are a better alternative than extraction for most individuals. If a tooth has good bone support, a solid surface and healthy gums beneath it, it stands a good chance of being saved. Opting for root canal retreatment can be far less expensive than the alternatives. Dental implants, extensive bridgework and the creation of aesthetically pleasing prosthetic teeth cost far more than working with the natural tooth. They also require maintenance and feel less natural than a “real” tooth.

Why is root canal retreatment required?

Though the prospect of more endodontic surgery might not be pleasant, root canal retreatment is fairly simple. In general, the whole treatment can be completed in 1-3 visits.

There are a number of reasons why root canal therapy unexpectedly fails, including:

  • Cracked crown leaking filling material.
  • Curved or narrow canals not treated during the original procedure.
  • Delay in the placement of restorative devices following the procedure.
  • New decay to the tooth.
  • New fracture in the treated tooth.
  • Saliva entering the restorative structure.
  • Undetected complex canal structures.

What does root canal retreatment involve?

On the day of the retreatment procedure a local anesthetic will be administered, unless another type of anesthetic has been selected. The affected tooth is isolated with a rubber dam. The dam protects the tooth during treatment from bacteria and saliva. The amount the dentist can do within a single appointment will much depend on the amount of inflammation present, and the complexity of the treatment.

The first step in a root canal retreatment is to gain access to the inner tooth. If a crown and post have been placed, these will be removed.

Next, filling material and obstructions that block the root canals will be removed. This removal is conducted using an ultrasonic handpiece. The advantage of using this tool is that any unwanted material is vibrated loose. Tiny instruments will then be used to clean and reshape the root canals. X-rays may be taken to ensure that the roots are thoroughly clean. If this part of the treatment proves to be complex, medicated packing material will be applied, and the rest of the cleansing procedure will be done at the next visit.

When the dentist is confident that the root canals are completely clean, gutta-percha is used to pack the space. This rubbery material seals the canals to prevent bacterial invasion. Finally, a temporary crown or filling is applied to tooth. At a later date, the color-matched permanent crown will be placed.

If you have any questions or concerns about root canal retreatment, please ask your dentist.

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