Saskatoon Endodontics Services
Endodontics is the specialty in dentistry focused on the prevention and treatment of diseases of the pulp (the nerve and blood vessel tissue within the teeth) and the tissues surrounding the teeth. It most commonly involves root canal treatment and root canal re-treatment, root canal surgery, as well as management of dental trauma and injuries to the teeth and surrounding tissues.
For some patients, apprehension is a barrier to seeking dental care. Among all of the various aspects of dentistry, endodontic treatment is often the area that induces the greatest apprehension. For this reason, Dr. Thibodeau has sought out additional training in the area of sedation. During 2015 and 2016, Dr. Thibodeau attended additional training courses at the University of Toronto, refreshing his knowledge of nitrous oxide sedation (“laughing gas”), and learning the techniques of oral sedation. These sedation options are available to patients at Saskatoon Endodontics who meet the health and safety requirements. Because of the added time, equipment, monitoring and expertise required, these procedures carry additional fees.
Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scan:
Advanced imaging now allows visualization of teeth and surrounding structures in three dimensions, and is becoming the standard of care for many applications in dentistry. Diagnosis and treatment options can be much clearer with the aid of three dimensional imaging. More and more clinical situations benefit from the aid of CT imaging, helping both dentists and patients in treatment and care.
Many times, one or more of the following treatment options are available with respect to root canal treatment:
1. No treatment.
Some patients may choose not to have a particular tooth treated at all.
2. Traditional root canal treatment or re-treatment.
Most commonly, root canal treatment involves obtaining access to the root canal system via an opening in the biting surface of the tooth. The unhealthy or non-vital pulp tissue (the nerves and blood vessel tissue inside the tooth) is removed using small, flexible files (like pipe-cleaners) within the roots. In the case of a tooth with a non-vital, bacterially-contaminated pulp space, the tooth may be medicated with an antibacterial paste and the opening in the biting surface closed with a temporary filling. A second appointment is often used to complete the treatment: removing the antibacterial paste and filling the root canal system with a rubber-like material. The same concept applies with a tooth where a previous root canal treatment has failed to heal or has become re-contaminated with bacteria from the oral cavity; however, the previous root canal fillings must first be removed before the root canal system can be re-cleaned and re-disinfected.
3. Surgical root canal treatment.
In some cases where a previous root canal treatment has failed to heal, or it has become re-contaminated with bacteria from the oral cavity, surgical root canal treatment may be the option of choice. This generally involves reflecting the gums over the affected tooth to gain access to the root end(s) within the jaw. This allows direct removal of any inflammatory tissue present around the end of the root(s). The root end is then trimmed and a special cement filling is placed in the end to better seal the root canal system. Surgical endodontic treatment does not result in disinfection of the root canal system. The goal is to remove the inflammatory tissue around the root end, remove the root end (often the most curved and possibly the area most contaminated by bacteria), and seal any residual bacteria within the root, where they are expected to go dormant or die.
When root canal treatment is required, it is always an option to remove the tooth rather than undergo endodontic (root canal) treatment. For some patients, this is the best choice. For some teeth where the chances of treatment success are small, this may be a better option. Extractions will be done at your regular dentist’s office, or co-ordinated by them with an oral surgeon.