4220 Bluebonnet Blvd. Suite A
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
13234 Perkins Road Suite A
Baton Rouge, LA 70810
Sandifer, Alan D D.D.S.
6721 Government St # D
Baton Rouge, LA, 70806-6239
Brown, Edward D D.D.S.
600 Cline St
Minden, LA, 71055-3010
Germain, Lisa P D.D.S.
2633 Napoleon Ave # 701
New Orleans, LA, 70115-7416
2301 Williams Blvd # B
Kenner, LA, 70062-5721
Q. What is endodontics?
A. Endodontics is the area of dentistry that specifically deals with what is called the pulp within a tooth.
Q. What is dental pulp?
A. The dental pulp is a soft tissue comprised of tiny arteries, veins, nerves and lymph vessels for the tooth.
Q. Where does the term root canal come from?
A. The tooth is comprised of three basic components. The first component is the crown/enamel, which is seen by the naked eye.
The next level of the tooth is dentin, which is under the enamel and the "housing” for the dental pulp. The final component is the dental pulp and is the core of the tooth. This bulk of the dental pulp is in the center of the tooth or the pulp chamber, and is connected to the Mandibular Canal through the root canals. The root canals are like veins for the dental pulp.
Q. What does the procedure root canal mean?
A. Root canal has become a term for a procedure involving the dental pulp. When the dental pulp has been exposed and damaged, it must be treated professionally and this process is usually referred to as getting a root canal.
Q. What does a root canal procedure entail?
A. Once the dental pulp has been infected, it must be removed from both the pulp chamber and the root canals. Once it has been removed, the pulp chamber and root canals are thoroughly cleaned and enlarged. Based on the level of infection, the dentists may choose to clean the area more than once. After the area is free of infection, the dentist will fill the root canals and pulp chamber with a filling that will prevent any bacteria from entering the area. Finally, the dentist will place a crown over the tooth to restore it to its original shape.
Q. What causes dental pulp to become damaged or infected?
A. Normally, when a deep cavity occurs, it exposes the dental pulp to the bacteria inside the mouth. When exposed to this bacteria, the dental pulp can become infected and thus cause the inside of the tooth to be infected.
Q. What can happen if infected dental pulp is not treated?
A. Overtime, the infected pulp will die. At the same time, pus from the infection will develop at the base of the tooth and cause an abscess to form. If this occurs, it is not uncommon for the abscess to cause the bone holding the tooth to deteriorate. If this deterioration becomes too severe, the tooth will fall out.
Q. What role does the computer play in the dental care industry?
A. In the future, patient records may be kept on computer disks, including visual images captured on intraoral cameras. A computerized workstation beside the patient’s chair will give the dentist the ability to view the patient’s history from disk.
Also, the dentist might use a voice-recognition system to ask the computer to assist in finding that data, or create a “before and after” image so the patient can preview the result of dental work before it is done.
When you first visit a new dentist, part of your initial exam is an assessment of your "bite" - the way teeth meet as the jaws close. Later, after a filling or placement of a dental crown, your bite will be tested again to be sure the tooth restoration fits well with other teeth. Nearly all dental patients have "been there." And there's good reason for this attention to bite.
Chewing, tooth wear and joint function all depend on the balanced opposition of teeth in each jaw. Any disruption of a good bite, either by broken, loose, or lost teeth, is trouble in need of repair. In the worst-case scenario - the jaws themselves present skeletal problems - orthodontic treatment is considered. However, most malocclusions (bad bites) are treatable right in your dentist's office.
Your dentist will first locate ill-fitting teeth by routine bite analysis. You will bite down on a sheet of special paper that marks teeth with uneven wear. If this doesn't tell your dentist enough, he or she may take impressions, from which study models are built. This gives your dentist a very visual demonstration of what's wrong.
High points in enamel that interfere with normal contact may be filed away. Eroded fillings call for replacements. Lost teeth need a bridge or dental implants to prevent opposing teeth from overgrowth. There are any number of solutions to a bad bite, all important to your dental health.
Anytime you notice a change in your chewing habits, or feel more pressure than usual on a solitary tooth, bring it to your dentist's attention. You'll notice the abnormality, maybe before your dentist detects it. Since you'll be working together, tell your dentist your suspicions and, if it's broken, it can be fixed.