Is there really such a thing as painless root canal?
"Resin Direct Pulp Cap" or "Drilless Root Canal" are a great innovation in dentistry! Rather than remove the nerve and sterilize the inside of the tooth, as in traditional root canal, thanks to modern bonding materials, if a cavity reaches the nerve part of the tooth ("pulp") it can actually be bonded over. The bond creates an hermetic seal so perfect, the nerve doesn't know whether it's covered by tooth or bonding materials.
In my experience with over 12 years of Resin Direct Pulp Caps, they have over a 90% success rate, are virtually painless, and save money & time over the $1000 - $4000 and multiple visits needed for traditional Root Canal and the necessary rebuilding with post and crown afterwards.
Unfortunately, they're not for everyone. Your tooth must not already be infected, and there must be enough tooth to repair with just a filling, not a crown. It also helps if your dentist has been trained in the latest techniques, such as those available from the Academy of General Dentistry, where I recently discussed them.
If you, or your dentist are interested in more information on this or any other modern cosmetic dental techniques, they can find out more by contacting me directly.
Teitelbaum, DMD, FAGD
Dr. T.'s latest appearance on TV? Cable Channel 12, Tue. Oct 28, tape available in our office Watch for him on WCBS TV soon, then Extreme MakeOver For more information about Root Canal Alternatives, Click here Articles about Dr. Teitelbaum's presentation at the National Meeting of the Academy of General Dentistry.
MSNBC - Less Drilling and Filling
At first, Laura Bienenfeld didn't pay much attention to the sharp pain she felt around the filling in one of her back teeth when she bit down on really hot or cold foods. Even though she's a dentist herself, she'd always had sensitive teeth and thought the new pain was part of the same old problem. But when she visited her own dentist to replace the silver mercury filling with new material, he discovered that a deep cavity had developed in the tooth and had reached the nerve.
Normally, Bienenfeld would need a root canal, a procedure that's been likened to living hell.
While there have been advances in the techniques used for treating diseased teeth over the last few decades, the fear of a bad root canal experience remains one of the leading causes of dental phobia. A root canal is generally performed when the pulp of a tooth becomes exposed or infected because of a cavity or crack, and at least 14 million of the procedures are done each year, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).
Some may say Bienenfeld was lucky. Because the nerve hadn't become infected, instead of getting a traditional root canal, which requires drilling into the tooth's crown to clean out the diseased pulp, Bienenfeld's New York dentist, Michael Teitelbaum (who is also her husband), used a newer technique called direct pulp capping that he says is faster, preserves more of the tooth and requires less time with the dreaded drill.
In a traditional root canal, a dentist removes the nerve, sterilizes the tooth canal and fills it with a rubber-like material to prevent future infection of the tooth. A substantial portion of the tooth is drilled away to fit a permanent porcelain or gold crown.
With direct pulp capping, if the nerve isn't infected, a dentist can clean out the bacteria from the cavity and cover the tooth with a resin seal over it so tight that "the nerve doesn't know whether it's a tooth or a bonding material," Teitelbaum says. Because the bonding material replaces the need for a crown, more of the tooth is preserved.
"It's not very widely used yet, but it should be," says the Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., dentist. "As long as the tooth isn't infected, about 90 percent of the time it'll heal."
For Bienenfeld, the direct capping procedure was as easy as getting a regular filling. You wouldn't expect her to criticize her husband, but she insists, "it worked out great."
Direct pulp capping has been around for several years, but newer, more effective bonding materials are helping make it a more viable alternative for root canals, dentists say.
"Most people appreciate having the option, the chance, of not having to have a root canal," says Teitelbaum.
Dr. Michael Teitelbaum - Community Dentist and Tooth Fairy
"Growing up in Briarcliff, I've been given a lot; I think it's a good idea to give something back."
Dr. Michael Teitelbaum Creating beautiful smiles is what Dr. Michael Teitelbaum does best. After all, his office specializes in cosmetic dentistry. However, this Briarcliff native also puts smiles on the faces of folks who aren't even his patients.
Dr. Teitelbaum belongs to the Crown Council, a nationwide organization that coordinates a number of philanthropic programs. Through one such program, Dr. Teitelbaum provides free cosmetic dentistry services to domestic abuse victims. Through another, he offers a discounted whitening process, with all proceeds going to Garth Brooks' Teammates for Kids Foundation.
The good dentist also spearheaded two traditions for the community's youngest residents. The first, his Halloween candy "buy back" program, reimburses kids for their Halloween treats at $1 per pound; the sweets are then shipped to American troops stationed abroad. The other involves presenting the first baby born each year at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center with a special gift, a tradition he started upon discovering he was the only doctor at the hospital who was actually born there. Visit www.DentistSpa.com for more information.
Bonding is a process whereby a substance sticks to teeth. There are at least twenty different shades of bonding that can be used as filling material that matches the tooth. The bonding material starts out as a soft putty substance that is handsculpted to look like a tooth. It can be as small as a dot or large enough to cover an entire tooth. Bonding is where the dentist's
artistic talents come into play.
In the 70s, bonding materials were softer and more porous than those used today, so they generally did not last as long as silver fillings and were prone to discoloration. Today, the bonding materials are much stronger and won't change color for years. In fact, bonding can reinforce a tooth and make it stronger.
The strength of bonding ensures that porcelain veneers remain firmly attached to teeth. In the 40s and 50s, people used to have rowns put on all of their teeth, which meant drilling all around each tooth. Now, a porcelain facing made by the lab can be put on the front of the tooth, and it stays there because it adheres so well to the bonding.
The next step up from porcelain facings is crowns. Traditional full crowns are really only needed when there is extensive decay. Otherwise, with modern dentistry, there isn't a need to cut down as much tooth any more.
With cosmetic dentistry, much improvement is possible. In only two appointments, an entire cosmetic smile "lift" might just transform your
mouth into that Julia Roberts smile you've always wanted!
Michael Teitelbaum, DMD is an Associate Attending physician at Phelps in the division of Dental/Oral Surgery. He earned his dental degree at the University of Pennsylvania, residencies at Lutheran Medical Center and
N.Y.U. College of Dentistry. His office is located in Briarcliff Manor (914-941-2000)