10439 Commerce Drive
Suite 120
Carmel, IN 46032
(317) 876-3636

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ROOT CANAL TREATMENT:  Root canal treatment is required when the soft tissue (called the “pulp”) located inside your tooth has become injured and/or infected.  The purpose of root canal treatment is to retain a tooth that would otherwise require extraction.  After adequate anesthesia is administered, an opening is made into the tooth to access the pulp tissue.  Next, the pulp tissue, which extends into canals running through the roots, is removed very carefully using fine instruments.  The space that remains is thoroughly irrigated with disinfecting agents throughout the procedure.  This space is then dried and filled with a sealing material to prevent further contamination with moisture and bacteria.  A temporary filling is placed once the procedure is complete.  You are then referred back to your dentist, who removes the temporary filling material, fills in the access opening with a solid “core” material, then places a crown on the tooth for long-term protection.

APICOECTOMY (SURGERY):  An apicoectomy (also known as “root-end surgery”) is required when a tooth that has had previous root canal treatment has become infected and requires treatment, but retreatment of the root canal is not practical or possible.  After adequate anesthesia is administered, an incision is made into the gums above the tooth to be treated.  The gum tissue is gently lifted back, and an opening is made into bone to access the root of the tooth that has become re-infected.  After removal of any damaged tissue surrounding the root, the tip of the root is removed, and the canal (source of infection) is sealed off from the reverese direction.  The bony defect is often filled in with grafting material to aid in healing, and the gum tissue is sutured back in place.  The bone that was previously damaged by infection now begins to heal and fill in with new healthy bone.  

OTHER PROCEDURES:  RETREATMENT involves the same protocol as root canal treatment, with the exception that previous filling materials are removed in the process.  Retreatments are performed when a tooth with previous root canal treatment has become re-infected.  EXTRACTION/REPLANTATION is a procedure that may be considered if both retreatment and apicoectomy are ruled out as possible treatment approaches.  In this case, the tooth is extracted, the root tips are removed and the canals sealed from the reverse direction, and the tooth is replanted into the socket to re-attach and heal.  There are other procedures that may be recommended as well, depending on your situation.  Any procedure, no matter how “common” or “routine” will be discussed with you in detail beforehand.





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