General Dentistry

At Inova Dental, we are responsible for providing the general diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and management of a wide range of dental conditions, disorders, and diseases. We take care to ensure the coordination of services related to the oral health needs for patients of all ages.

General dentistry includes:

  • Preventive care visits
  • Restorative services like fillings, crowns, and bridges
  • Pediatric treatment
  • Root canal therapy
  • Crowns and bridges
  • Extractions
  • Fitting and placement of dentures
  • Dental Emergency

You can count on our highly-trained team to develop the best course of treatment for your complete dental needs. Call the office to schedule an appointment today!

We specialize in all aspects of cosmetic/restorative dentistry. From composite (white fillings) to root canals and crowns, we begin with a customized treatment plan that is suited to each patient’s individual needs. We go over all the options and alternatives for each treatment. At Inova Dental, we take the time to diagnose the soft tissue (gums) and the supporting tissues of the tooth (periodontal ligament) in order to adequately address any potential problems with the dentition. Then we recommend treatment based on individual need basis.

Cavities, considered plainly, are holes in your teeth caused by decay. It is occasionally possible to spot a cavity if you notice a dark brown or gray colour in the centre of your tooth. Cavities are created by certain types of bacteria that are contained in plaque; they interact with the carbohydrates and sugars in your food, creating an acidic environment that dissolves the enamel on the outer layer of your tooth. Once the acid erodes the enamel, the soft dentin layer of your tooth is exposed, which will ultimately cause the formation of a cavity. After the dentin has been exposed, the decay process rapidly accelerates and spreads further into the tooth.

Once you have a cavity, a filling is needed to correct it. If left untreated, the decay will eventually expand and enter into your nerve canal, which can be incredibly painful. It can also lead to more serious problems such as infection or abscess. In addition to potential pain, discomfort and possible tooth loss, if you wait to have your cavity filled you may end up needing a more difficult procedure (such as a root canal) to save your tooth. It could also cost you a lot more money to fix. The bottom line is you should get your cavity filled as soon as you can.

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Process

 

Composite is the filling material of choice when it comes to matching your tooth color. Composite fillings consist of plastic and glass particles.

  1. First, the decay in your tooth is scoured and a cleansing gel is applied.
  2. Next, a bonding solution is applied, followed by the composite filling material.
  3. Composite is hardened by applying a high intensity blue light. It only takes a few seconds for the materials to harden.
  4. Once the tooth is filled and the composite has hardened, the filling is checked to insure the proper shape and look. At this point any necessary adjustments are made and then your filling is complete.

Post-procedure Concerns

 

Following the filling procedure it is very common to experience some discomfort, normally at the site of the anesthetic or in the tooth itself. In those circumstances, your dentist will recommend an over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen. If your symptoms persist or increase, you should visit your dentist – in some cases the decay could be quite deep and close to the nerve of the tooth; in these instances the nerve could already be infected with bacteria. Even though a filling has been placed, there is still a chance that the tooth may need to under-go root canal therapy to relieve the discomfort.

When the nerve of your tooth becomes infected, a successful root canal treatment lets you keep the tooth rather than having to pull it out. Keeping your tooth helps to prevent your other teeth from drifting out of line and causing jaw problems. Saving a natural tooth avoids having to replace it with an artificial tooth.

What is root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is the process of removing infected, injured or dead pulp from your tooth. The space inside the hard layers of each tooth is called the root canal system. This system is filled with soft dental pulp made up of nerves and blood vessels that help your tooth grow and develop.

A healthy tooth.

When bacteria (germs) enter your tooth through deep cavities, cracks or flawed fillings, your tooth can become abscessed. An abscessed tooth is a tooth with an infection in the pulp. If pulp becomes infected, it needs to be removed. An abscessed tooth may cause pain and/or swelling. Your dentist may notice the infection from a dental x-ray or from other changes with the tooth. If left untreated, an abscessed tooth can cause serious oral health problems.

An abscessed tooth.

Who does this procedure?

Your dentist may do root canal treatment or refer you to an endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who has completed a university post-graduate specialty program in endodontics. Endodontics is a specialty of dentistry concerned with the treatment of the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth.

If your child’s primary (baby) tooth is damaged, your dentist may refer you to a pediatric dentist for this procedure. A pediatric dentist has at least 2 years of extra university training in treating children.

How is a root canal treatment done?

  1. The dentist gives you a local anesthetic (freezing).
  2. To protect your tooth from bacteria in your saliva during the treatment, the dentist places a rubber dam around the tooth being treated.
  3. The dentist makes an opening in the tooth to reach the root canal system and the damaged pulp.
  4. Using very fine dental instruments, the dentist removes the pulp by cleaning and enlarging the root canal system.
  5. After the canal has been cleaned, the dentist fills and seals the canal.
  6. The opening of the tooth is then sealed with either a temporary or permanent filling.

 

The damaged pulp is removed. The root canals are filled and sealed.

Tooth restoration after root canal treatment

After a root canal treatment, your tooth has to be restored (fixed) to look, feel and work as much like a natural tooth as possible. If an endodontist performed your root canal treatment, he or she will fill the opening of the tooth with a temporary filling and send you back to your dentist or prosthodontist for tooth restoration.

A prosthodontist is a dental specialist who restores and replaces teeth using crowns, bridges, dentures and implants. Your dentist or specialist may use a permanent filling or a crown to restore your tooth. The choice of restoration will depend on the strength of the part of the tooth that’s left. A back tooth will likely need a crown because chewing puts a great deal of force on back teeth. If there is not enough of the tooth left, posts may be used to help support the crown.


The crown is cemented into place.
The tooth is prepared for a crown.
Posts are used to help support the crown.

 

What else should I know?

Root canal treatment may be done in 1 or 2 appointments. After root canal treatment, your tooth may be tender for the first week or two. Bad pain or swelling are NOT common. If this happens, call your dentist or endodontist.

You can still get a cavity or gum disease after a root canal treatment. Root canal treatment does not protect your tooth from other types of damage. With proper care and regular dental visits, the tooth could last as long as your other teeth. Most of the time, a tooth that has had a root canal treatment can be saved. However, there are cases where everything possible has been done to save a tooth and still the tooth must be extracted (pulled).

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