Root Canals

A root canal on the molar tooth is similar in procedure to a front tooth.

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54 Third Street
Collingwood, ON L9Y 1K3

What is a root canal?

A root canal on the molar tooth is similar in procedure to a front tooth. A front tooth will many times just have one long canal; however, molar teeth have more than one root and several nerves that need to be treated. Cleaning of these multi-rooted molar teeth can be more difficult and requires more time, skill, and equipment. At Collingwood Dentistry, we employ the latest in Laser technology by using minimal invasive treatment and decontaminate the infected tooth. The use of the laser debrides and sterilizes the inside of the tooth and greatly decreases the possibility of future re-infection or failure of root canals. If you are experiencing tooth pain, sensitivity, or swelling, it is important to act quickly, not only to relieve your pain but also to save the tooth from a possible extraction.

What is PIPS™?

PIPS™ is a patented revolutionary new method for chemically cleaning and debriding the root canal system. It uses a proprietary Er:Yag laser energy at sub-ablative power levels to create shock waves that pulse within the cleaning and debriding solutions that are introduced in the root canals. The containment of the shockwaves thoroughly streams these solutions three-dimensionally through the entire root canal system, enhancing their effectiveness. This is analogous to having the root canal system power-washed and disinfected to clean out all the bacteria, pus, and necrotic tissue. The canals and sub-canals are left clean and sterile, while the dentinal tubules are free of a smear layer.

How is PIPS™ performed during root canal therapy?

Root Canals

An access hole is made into the root canal system. A couple of files are inserted into the canals to ensure that irrigants can get all the way down to the apical third of the root canal. This helps to preserve more tooth structure, thereby improving the integrity and strength of the tooth. PIPS™ is then performed using the Lightwalker laser. Once this is complete, the canals are passively filled using a root canal sealer, and the tooth is now ready to be restored.

What are the advantages of having a PIPS™ root canal done?

  • PIPS™ effectively debride and disinfects root canals by streaming irrigants three-dimensionally in the canals, making it easier to negotiate the critical apical one-third of the root canal system.
  • The entire root canal and the sub-canal system is more effectively cleaned and debrided than with traditional instrument only techniques, reducing the risk of re-infection.
  • The minimally invasive nature of PIPS™ preserves more tooth endoskeleton than traditional instrument techniques since filing can be limited to as small as ISO #20 file, thus maintaining more tooth strength.
  • The sub-ablative power levels eliminate the risks of thermal damage, ledging, and demineralization inherent to other laser endodontic methods.
  • Since PIPS™ tips are never directly inserted into the canals, there is no risk of tip breakage or broken files from curved or narrow canals.
  • There is no unwanted apical extrusion of chemical irrigants that is associated with other methods.
  • Less filing time and less soaking time for chemical agents save time in the chair.

SEM Images Demonstrate The Effectiveness Of PIP™

Root Canals

NO PIPS™, Internal surface after conventional instrumentation.

Root Canals

Clean dentin surface achieved with the PIPS root canal treatment.

Root Canals

Another view of the apical one-third of dentin after PIPS.

Root Canals

Higher magnification after PIPS. Collagenfibers intact, no thermal damage.

Root Canals

More magnification; dentinal tubules post PIPS, no thermal damage.

Root Canals

Clean dentinal tubules after PIPS.

 

Is a root canal on the molars similar to that on the front teeth?

Teeth, in general, have a specific function within the mouth, and therefore many teeth are specifically worth saving if root canal treatment is possible. An extraction (removal) of a tooth may be an inexpensive and quick option yet often is not in the best interest of the patients’ long term dental health. Extractions can lead to other teeth moving into the now void space, food traps, and future expensive restorations such as bridges or implants.

 

Is it worth going through so much trouble just to save a tooth, instead of extracting it?

Teeth, in general, have a specific function within the mouth, and therefore many teeth are specifically worth saving if root canal treatment is possible. An extraction (removal) of a tooth may be an inexpensive and quick option yet often is not in the best interest of the patients’ long term dental health. Extractions can lead to other teeth moving into the now void space, food traps, and future expensive restorations such as bridges or implants.

 

Are x-rays really necessary during the course of root canal treatment?

Yes, x-rays are an important step in the proper treatment and final stages of root canal treatment. The dentist does not have x-ray vision, and many times root canals are very narrow and have many bends and curves. Not using an x-ray during the course of treatment would be like driving from Vancouver to Ottawa without knowing if you are actually heading east. A dentist has to know the length of the root canal he is treating, as well as the size and shape of the root’s canals, which can only be properly viewed by x-rays. Root canals in dentistry today have come a long way with incorporating digital x-rays, 3D cone beam technology, and laser root canal therapy.

 

After the first visit, when the pain has disappeared, can I just leave the root unfilled since it is not bothering me?

A root canal is only half of the final treatment of the tooth and is only as strong as the final seal around it. This seal can be in the form of a filing or a crown. Many times when root canals are performed, the dentist has had to drill through an existing large filling, or a large part of the natural tooth has broken off or is missing due to decay. Once the root canal is completed, the dentist will recommend the kind of sturdy restoration that should be placed on the tooth. In the case of a back molar tooth, it is highly advised to place a crown. This will provide an internal seal and maintain normal chewing functions.

 

 

Will it be just as strong as my other teeth, and can it decay just as my other teeth can?

If a root canal has been well restored, either by a filling or a crown, then it should be as strong as your other teeth. Just like other teeth, a tooth that has had a root canal is subject to decay and the environment within your mouth. It is important to follow up on your regular dental checkups to see if the root canal and the seal placed over the root canal maintain a proper seal.

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Collingwood Dentistry - (705) 293 7700

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