What Is The Goal Of Preventative Dentistry?
Preventative general or family dentistry includes all treatments and services provided by general dentists that aim to prevent oral health problems, such as tooth decay, and gum disease. General dentists who pursue additional education, training, and experience to specialize in the treatment of infection, injury, and disease of the interior of the tooth (pulp) are called endodontists. Endodontists also provide treatments aimed at prevention. However, in endodontics, the focus is on preventing tooth loss by preserving natural teeth.
Preventing Tooth Loss
Teeth that suffer from significant decay, infection, or trauma are at risk of being lost. If left untreated, diseased, cracked, or deteriorated teeth will eventually fall out. This not only leaves a gap in your smile but leads to a deterioration in your jawbone. Why?
The tooth root anchors your teeth to the jawbone. When a tooth is lost or extracted so is the root. Without the tooth root, the jawbone and the soft tissues have nothing to attach to, so they begin to recede.
A receding jaw bone can cause an altered facial appearance, resulting in a sunken look around the mouth, jaw, and chin. A receding jawbone also puts nearby teeth at risk of becoming loose and ultimately lost. Endodontists specialize in treatments that prevent this from happening. As such, preserving the natural tooth and its root is the primary goal of endodontics.
Endodontic Treatments to Preserve Natural Teeth
Fortunately, even badly decayed, infected, or damaged teeth may be preserved with endodontic treatments.
A root canal is necessary to rid the tooth pulp of infection, or debris from decay. During a root canal, the interior of the tooth is accessed by the endodontist who then removes the decay and debris, and treats the infection. The canals of the roots may also be reshaped to prevent future infection. The interior of the tooth is then filled and sealed. Ultimately the tooth is covered with a dental crown. The natural tooth and its all-important root, remain intact.
Most root canals are successful. Occasionally, however, an infection can return to a tooth that has already had a root canal performed. In this case, the tooth will need another root canal, known as endodontic retreatment. The goal of endodontic retreatment is, like a root canal, to prevent the loss of the natural tooth.
When children develop an infection in their baby (primary) teeth, a pulpotomy may be necessary to treat the tooth. A pulpotomy is typically only recommended for younger children who may be years from getting their permanent teeth. The procedure is very similar to a root canal for adults, which is why it is often referred to as a baby root canal.
Cracked Teeth and Dental Trauma
Teeth that crack in half, or those that suffer acute trauma from a sports injury, car accident, bike accident, or fall will likely need endodontic treatment to prevent the loss of the tooth. Any direct hit to a tooth, or a crack in a tooth, exposes the pulp to the risk of infection or inflammation. Root canals are frequently needed for cracked teeth and dental trauma, to save the natural tooth and the tooth root.
Schedule an Endodontic Treatment
Elite Endodontics provides all endodontic treatments available that prevent tooth loss, by preserving natural teeth and natural tooth roots. To schedule an appointment, call 603-882-5455. If you prefer, you may request an appointment online, and our friendly team will contact you to schedule a convenient day and time for your treatment.