Endodontics Root Canal Therapy vs Tooth Replacement Smile Solutions
General dentists and general specialists allagree on the reasons why it's so important to save patients' own teeth whenever possible,even when they're badly broken down. So I've come to Smile Solutions today to talkto Artika Soma and Greg Tilley about the sorts of considerations that come intoplay. Hello Artika, thank you for taking time outtoday. You're welcome, Christine. I believe you're an Endodontist. What doesthat entailé It means I'm a root canal specialist. Endodontistsfocus on the treatment of the tooth pulp which
is the living cells and tissues inside yourtooth. We also deal with the tissues surrounding the tooth root. Endodontists can often saveteeth that have been deemed hopeless by other practitioners. How does a patient know if they're a candidatefor root canal therapyé Well, the first matter that needs to be addressedis whether the tooth is worth saving or whether it can be saved. Endodontists are the idealdental specialists with the qualifications and experience to discuss the relevant factorswith you. And what might the treatment involveé
Well, Endodontists can root treat teeth, theycan repeat previous, failed root canal treatment, repair internal perforations, remove posts,separated instruments and carry out minor root surgeries. So tell me, how many Endodontic specialistsconsult at Smile Solutionsé We have three specialist Endodontists here,and all of us have extended careers which support our specialist practice. In my case,I have lectured and tutored in Endodontics to undergraduate university students in NewZealand and Australia. Another colleague, Chankrit Sathorn, is a published authorof important Endodontic research, and has
two PhDs in this field. And the third, DrGreg Tilley, is involved in the specialist endodontist training program at the Universityof Melbourne and consults on an international committee for the development of endodonticinstruments and materials. Well I'm privileged to have met you todayArtika, and I look forward to meeting Tilley next to find out even more about Endodontics. You're welcome, Christine. Good afternoon, Greg. I've just been hearingabout your distinguished career in Endodontics. Good afternoon, Christine.
So tell me, what qualifications and skillsdo you need to become an Endodontisté Well, following a fiveyear, basic dentaldegree, there's a minimum of two years' practice, followed by a threeyear postgraduate program.At the end of that time, the candidates are eligible to be registered as a practicingspecialist in Endodontics. So as well as a passion in Endodontics, and the science andart of Endodontics, you also need a passion and empathy for the patient because it canbe a painstaking procedure. Finally, all Endodontists need to be registered with theDental Board of Australia as specialists in their field. Their names can be found on theRegister, and anybody in Australia can check
that Register to make sure that their particularEndodontist is in fact a registered specialist. That's three good reasons to be treated bya specialist, rather than a general dentist for any root canal therapy. Exactly. And judging by the calibre of the Smile SolutionsEndodontic Team, your patients are very fortunate. Yes, that's right. Having three Endodontistshere means that the general dentists can refer their patients directly to the specialistswithout any delay. In many cases, they're in severe pain, and the ability to treat themon the day is paramount.
What are my options for replacing one missing tooth
So what we're looking at here is a removablepartial denture that's got a metal chrome framework and you can see what's holding theseteeth onto the adjacent teeth are these metal clasps. And all I want to illustrate reallyis a few different denture designs. So certainly the advantage of a removable denture usuallyis its cost in that of all the tooth replacement options this is the cheaper of the lot. Soit's usually around, say, $1,500 estimate, something you'd get a quote from the dentistfor. This denture here you just need to look atas well. The disadvantage is it is potentially going to show when you smile. It doesn't always,but can show you that clasp when you're smiling.
And also the function, you can see with thefunction of this denture, it's holding onto the teeth next door with the clasp and shouldyou not actually have a tooth behind the gap so in this instance there's no tooth behindhere quite often when you're biting it's going to rock a little. And depending on whyyou're getting your teeth replaced, you may consider that this actually, if you're goingfor function, isn't going to give you a lot of function. So a removable denture doesn'tactually give you much function, it's even worse if there's no tooth behind it.In contrast, the next option you may consider is a bridge. Now, the bridge's advantage isthat it's fixed so it's not removable. So
a denture you need to take out at night soyou don't get a fungal infection underneath the denture which sometimes occurs. A bridgeis something which is permanently fixed there. So your dentist will shave down the two teethnext door, you can see the reduction in the tooth shape that occurs with that bridge preparation,and then they cement that bridge on top. So its advantage is that it's fixed to the teethnext door. Disadvantage is probably it's price, it's roughly about $3,500, but you'd needto check with your dentist to get an accurate quote for, and it can weaken the teeth nextdoor, well, rather it does weaken the teeth next door. So sometimes you'll find that thetooth next door actually breaks because of
the load that it's taking by holding ontothese teeth. The alternative option for teeth replacementsare implants, the big disadvantage of the implants is its cost. We have the implantcomponent which might be $2,900 and the crown which might be that same amount again as well.The advantages of the implant really is that it's fixed to the jaw, it's not touching theteeth next door, and it's not something that is going to cover the palate at all or haveclasps like a removable partial denture. So they're the options really for replacingone single tooth.