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Root Canal Therapy

Endodontic — or root canal — treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth.

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What will happen during retreatment?

If you and your endodontist chooses a retreatment of an already treated tooth, they will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. In many cases, complex restorative materials—crown, post and core material—must be disassembled and removed to permit access to the root canals.

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In this procedure, the endodontist opens the gum tissue near the tooth to see the underlying bone and to remove any inflamed or infected tissue. The very end of the root is also removed.

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Cracked Tooth

There are many different types of cracked teeth. The treatment and outcome for your tooth depends on the type, location, and extent of the crack.

Craze Lines

Craze lines are tiny cracks that affect only the outer enamel. These cracks are extremely common in adult teeth. Craze lines are very shallow, cause no pain, and are of no concern beyond appearances.

Fractured Cusp

When a cusp (the pointed part of the chewing surface) becomes weakened, a fracture sometimes results. The weakened cusp may break off by itself or may have to be removed by the dentist. When this happens, the pain will usually be relieved. A fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp, so root canal treatment is seldom needed. Your tooth will usually be restored with a full crown by your dentist.

Cracked Tooth

This crack extends from the chewing surface of the tooth vertically towards the root. A cracked tooth is not completely separated into two distinct segments. Because of the position of the crack, damage to the pulp is common. Root canal treatment is frequently needed to treat the injured pulp. Your dentist will then restore your tooth with a crown to hold the pieces together and protect the cracked tooth. At times, the crack may extend below the gingival tissue line, requiring tooth extraction. A nontreatable tooth is shown in the graphic above.

Early diagnosis is important. Even with high magnification and special lighting, it is sometimes difficult to determine the extent of a crack. A cracked tooth that is not treated will progressively worsen, eventually resulting in the loss of the tooth. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential in saving these teeth.

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The nature of the injury, the length of time from injury to treatment, how your tooth was cared for after the injury and your body’s response all affect the long-term health of the tooth. Timely treatment is particularly important with dislodged or knocked-out teeth in order to prevent root resorption.

Following the injury, you should return to your dentist or endodontist to have the tooth examined and/or treated at regular intervals for up to five years to ensure that root resorption is not occurring and that surrounding tissues continue to heal. It has to be noted that some types of resorption are untreatable.

Endodontists will do all that is possible to save the natural tooth. These specialists are the logical source of information and expertise for patients of dental trauma.

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40 Under 40

40 Under 40

Premier Endodontics named Professional New Superstar




AGES: Dr. Batsevitsky, 34; Dr. Jones, 33

CITY: Waltham, MA

SPECIALTY: Endodontics

NAME OF PRACTICE: Premier Endodontics

EDUCATION: DMD, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (both)

WHY THEY WERE NOMINATED: Drs. Batsevitsky and Jones have been friends since they met in dental residency at Tufts, and a friendly, approachable attitude resonates throughout their practice. “We’re regular, down-to-earth girls who just happen to love doing root canals,” Dr. Jones says.

“We let our patients see our personalities, not just our white doctors’ coats.”

FAVORITE ASPECT OF DENTISTRY: “It’s art blended with science, and we’re taking somebody out of pain,” Dr. Batsevitsky says.

PHILOSOPHY: “I’m whatever dentist my patient needs me to be, because we want to give every patient the experience that is best suited for them,” Dr. Jones says.

EXCITING NEW TREND: Microsurgical apicoectomies.

SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: Dr. Jones was once a broadcast journalist at her local Fox affiliate. “I wanted to be Diane Sawyer,” she jokes, “but I realized that industry wasn’t going to be a good fit long-term.” Dr. Batsevitsky competed as a rhythmic gymnast in her native Ukraine when she was just 4 years old before leaving with her parents for the United States in 1989. She still remembers her last competition in Chernovtsy. “Now I do Bikram yoga,” she says.

Photo shoot

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