Franklin Park Dental Associates, Ltd.
General Dentistry

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9767 West Franklin Avenue
Franklin Park, IL 60131
847-455-6663
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Academy of Laser Dentistry

Academy of Laser Dentistry

American Dental Association American Dental Association
Academy of General Dentistry Academy of General Dentistry
 


TO TELL THE TOOTH : Read Dr. Pietrini's current monthly article

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To Tell The Tooth
Read Dr. Pietrini's current monthly article from the Fra Noi newspaper.

 

Root Canal Treatment...

Dr. Pietrini writes a monthly column for Fra Noi, an Italian newspaper. Articles related to the topic of Root Canal Treatment are featured below. Click here to view this month's article

 

Marathon Man by Dr. Pietrini
A few years ago in a popular movie, "The Marathon Man," actor Duston Hoffman played the role of a character that was tortured in a dental chair. To often, dental treatment is portrayed unfavorably in movies or as part of comedic routines. Just to mention the words "root canal," sometimes will strike fear in the heart of many people. When I started my practice in 1972, most patients were unwilling to undergo root canal treatment unless it was to prevent the loss of one of the front teeth.

Teeth are composed of three distinct layers. The outer shell that is visible is called enamel. This is the hardest structure in the body. Underneath the enamel is the dentin and in the center if the tooth pulp, which is a network of one to four, canals that is composed of tiny nerves and blood vessels. There are several reasons why it is necessary to perform root canal treatment:
· A live pulp is exposed by decay or injury
· A tooth with a large filling or crown becomes very sensitive to hot and cold
· The pulp becomes infected (a dental abscess)
· A tooth fractures near the gum line with a healthy root remaining

General dentists perform more than half of the millions root canal treatments completed each year with specialists who are called endodontists completing the remainder of the treatments. When conventional root canal treatment is necessary, a small opening is made in the top or back of the tooth to gain access top the root canals. Various sized instruments are used to shape, enlarge and cleanse the inside of each canal to the end of the root. Recent development of mechanical devices has made treatment faster and more predictable. Eventually the canals are filled, most often with a plastic-like material called gutta percha. About one hundred years ago golf balls called "gutties" were made of this material.

When a root canal has been successfully completed, a filling and/or a crown must be placed. If the tooth has been weakened or fractured it might be necessary to anchor a post into the root before a crown is made. A tooth with healthy bone and gum support can survive a lifetime. While serving in the army in 1943, my father had an injury to one of his front teeth. Fortunately for him a military dentist performed root canal treatment and placed a crown and today he still has a healthy, functioning tooth.

Occasionally an abscess or cyst will develop at the end of the root, often years after treatment has been completed. An endodontist or an oral surgeon can perform a surgical procedure called an apicoectomy. Many offices use a surgical microscope to perform this delicate surgery, which can be done quickly and efficiently under magnification.

With proper pain management, the "dreaded root canal" can be completed as easily as most other dental treatment preventing the unnecessary lose of millions of teeth.

 

 

 

 

 

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