Endodontics - Root Canals
Endodontics is a speciality of dentistry that deals with the internal tissues of teeth. Root canals are the hollow channels reaching from the central chamber to the bottom of the tooth roots. Root Canal Therapy is the most common treatment performed by an endodontist.
It is important to visit Dr. Sievers when symptoms of a root canal problem (pain with chewing, sensitivity to hot and cold etc) first emerge. He will examine your tooth and symptoms, and refer you to an endodontist for confirming that a root canal procedure is necessary. Dr. Sievers or the endodontist will take x-rays to find out how close the damage is to the nerve inside the pulp chamber of the tooth. If a cavity is found to be near the pulp, the pulp will have already become infected. A root canal procedure will eliminate the pain and remove any infected tissue. If tooth infection is allowed to continue untreated, the patient may lose the tooth completely, necessitating a dental implant or a dental bridge.
Root canal treatment starts by cleaning out damaged areas of the tooth. This is performed under local anesthetic, so the root canal procedure is generally comfortable. The endodontist removes the tissue within the pulp chamber and clears any remaining nerve tissue from the root canals. Once the dental pulp tissue has been cleared, the dentist widens the root canal slightly and straightens the pulp chamber to prepare it for filling. The inside of the tooth is then disinfected.
Afterwards, the endodontist fills the root canals with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha, and a temporary filling is used to seal the opening. When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to our office. Dr Sievers will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. He will remove the temporary filling, fill the pulp chamber with a bonded core filling material to seal the tops of the root canal fillings, and then repairs the tooth with a filling or crown.
TMJ Joint Disorders
Millions of Americans suffer from a TMJ disorder which affects your jaw's temporomandibular joint. TMJ disorder can develop when one or both of the temporomandibular joints stop functioning properly. This may happen due to any number of causes and may result in chronic ear pain, jaw stiffness and soreness, difficulty opening the mouth, jaw popping or clicking, and headaches. Sufferers of TMJ disorder may experience either sharp pain or a dull, constant ache.
Most cases of TMJ syndrome are temporary and can be treated at home with over-the-counter pain medicines, compresses, and jaw exercises. If your dental problems persist, you may be given a bite plate or splint to ease the muscle tension. If these therapies do not work, Dr. Sievers may refer you to a TMJ dental specialist.