Your tooth roots and dentistry

You may think that all dentists have the same skills and knowledge, but in fact dentistry is a complex and varied area of care. Every dentist has to study for 5 years to become a general dentist, but after they have qualified, they can then choose an area of dentistry for more in-depth study and training. Cosmetic dentistry, braces, dental implants are all different areas of dentistry. Another is the study of tooth roots, and the living tooth material inside them.

Endodontics in Harley StreetTeeth are so hard that it can seem like they are just chunks of enamel, and like hair, no longer alive, but in fact they are complex bits of natural engineering. The outer layer is the enamel, and underneath are the dentin and the living pulp. We can see the crowns of the teeth above the gum line but below are the roots and they contain living pulp. Get a tooth infection, or suffer a trauma and you soon know that your teeth are alive; the pain is often excruciating.

In the past, your dentist might have just extracted an infected tooth, but these days, we prefer to save them if we can. Here at Harley Street Dental Clinic in Harley Street, we have a dentist who focuses solely on endodontics, which is the treatment of tooth roots and the soft tissue inside them.

Our endodontics dentist is Dr Nectaria Polycarpou. She deals with all the different aspects of endodontic treatment, including diagnosing the causes of long-term pain.

Dr Polycarpou works solely on endodontic cases and is also a consultant at King’s College Hospital, where she trains qualified dentists to become specialists in endodontics.

Root canal treatment

This treatment removes diseased pulp material from tooth roots where the crown of the tooth is otherwise still healthy and functional.

While any general dentist can carry out root canal therapy, if you need complex treatment you are likely to be treated by Dr Polycarpou here at Harley Street Dental Clinic. Complex root canal treatments usually involve teeth with more than one root needing diseased pulp to be removed.

If you need endodontic treatment, you will be in safe hands with Dr Polycarpou.

Know before you go – endodontics in Harley Street

When we think of teeth, we most often picture the visible part of them, also known as the crowns. But there is much more to our teeth than what is visible on the surface. Deep inside our teeth are tiny, cavern-like passages called canals that contain sensitive tissue, including blood vessels and nerves. Treating the soft tissue inside the tooth, also known as the pulp, is the primary concern of endodontics.

Endodontics in Harley StreetAt Harley Street Dental Clinic in Harley Street, endodontics are an important part of our dental care. Our qualified endodontists have two additional years of education and specialised training in the care and treatment of tooth pulp and the inner parts of the tooth. They work closely with the rest of our dentists to improve your oral health and restore your natural teeth.

What is a root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment involves the removal of the contaminated pulp along with the tooth’s nerve, both of which are located within the tooth’s root canal. The pulp chamber and root canal of your tooth are then cleaned, sterilised and sealed. A dental crown or other restorative option will be used to protect and strengthen the tooth.

Why get a root canal treatment?

Endodontics in Harley Street can save a severely injured, cracked, or decayed tooth when its soft inner tissue becomes inflamed or infected. If the tooth is not treated on time, pain or infection can occur leading to tooth loss.

Root canal treatment is a fairly simple procedure and is usually completed in one or two appointments, depending on the presence of infection and the required treatment plan. After restoration, your tooth will continue to function like any other tooth. With good oral hygiene and regular check-ups, your restored tooth can last a lifetime.

Do not neglect your teeth

If you have an ordinary toothache or tooth sensitivity, you should book an appointment with one of our dentists as soon as possible. Your problem could be simply tooth decay or a loose filling. However, it is possible that you may be in need of root canal treatment. In this case, immediate dental care is needed.

Worry-free endodontics

Sometimes our teeth get so badly infected that our dentist recommends root canal therapy.

This is the layman’s term for a branch of dentistry called endodontics. Harley Street Dental Clinic has a dentist who specialises in this kind of treatment.

endodontics-in-harley-streetWe know that many people get pretty frightened when they are told that they are going to need endodontics. Harley Street Dental Clinic’s, Dr Nectaria Polycarpouis our endodontist and she diagnoses inflammatory diseases and infections of the teeth, so that she can use advanced techniques, equipment and materials to resolve the problems.

Endodontics focuses on the inside of the tooth, the blood supply and nerves, and also around the tooth, if the infection has spread from the pulp. If the infection and inflammation are not dealt with, you can end up losing the infected tooth. Tooth loss leads to a whole new set of issues involving the jawbone and the surrounding teeth, so these days, dentists prefer that you hang on to your natural teeth as long as possible.

The treatment that is often recommended to deal with severe infection and inflammation inside the tooth is root canal treatment.

Root canal treatment involves the use of specialist equipment, such as a dental binocular microscope. Dr Polycarpou uses this to see into the roots of the tooth, and then clears out the infection. Once the roots have been totally cleared, they are filled, so that there cannot be further infection.

It is usually possible to carry out this treatment under local anaesthetic. But Dr Polycarpou understands that some people can become anxious at the thought of receiving this treatment, and they may also require sedation. Her main aim to make sure that the treatment is pain-free.

The treatment may require one or two visits to Harley Street Dental Clinic, with the average treatment taking between one and two hours. If you need more than one visit, you will be fitted with a temporary filling between visits to protect the tooth. Once the treatment is finished, Dr Polycarpou will most likely cover the root canal with a crown, to protect it and give it extra strength.

The ‘dontics’ of dentistry in Harley Street

Finding the right dentist in Harley Street is important. It’s as important as choosing the right car or buying the right home. A dentist can be with you for many years, perhaps for the rest of your life, and it is not uncommon for dental practices to treat generations of the same family.

cosmetic-dentistry-in-harley-streetIf you are looking for a dentist in Harley Street to treat a particular problem, it is important to understand what the various areas of dentistry are. Dentists can be general dentists. They can also have an interest in a particular area of dentistry. They can also be recognised by the General Dental Council (GDC) as a specialist in a particular area of dentistry; in which case they will have a GDC number after their name. You can use this number to look them up on the GDC website at www.gdc-uk.org.

First of all, it is vital to learn about the qualifications, and the length and range of experience that dentists in a practice have. At Harley Street Dental Clinic, we have a large practice. Between them, our 20 dentists in Harley Street cover almost every area of dentistry, from maxillofacial surgery, to prosthodontics and orthodontics, to endodontics, periodontics, paediatric dentistry, and cosmetic and restorative dentistry.

That’s a lot of ‘dontics’! What do they all mean? Let’s go through and take a look at what our dentists in Harley Street are focussing on.

Prosthodontics is an area of dentistry concerned with replacing missing teeth and the associated soft and hard tissues by crowns, bridges, and dentures (prostheses). Prostheses can be fixed removable or fixed.

Orthodontic dentists focus on developing, preventing and correcting mis-shapes, damage and misalignments in the teeth, bite and jaw.

Our paediatric dentists in Harley Street are concerned with the overall oral health of children, from the time they are born until they are going through adolescence.

Endontics is an area of interest concerning disease and injuries of the tooth root, dental pulp, and surrounding tissue: from diagnosis, to cause, to prevention and treatment.

Our periodontic dentists in Harley Street focus on diagnosing, treating and preventing infectious and inflammatory diseases and disorders of the gums and other structures around the teeth.

Why visiting the dentist is important at every stage of life

A dentist should be an essential member of your family health care team at every stage of your life. Harley Street Dental Clinic welcomes patients of all ages, from young children whose first teeth are starting to appear to older people in need of tooth replacement solutions such as dentures or dental implants.

children-teethWe have a uniquely skilled collection of dental professionals at our Harley Street clinic. Whether you need a general check-up from the dentist or are in need of more specialist care, such as periodontics, endodontics, or orthodontics, we can provide the treatment you need at any stage of your life, all under one roof.

Here are some of the ways your Harley Street dentist can treat age-specific oral health concerns:

Children

We recommend bringing your child to visit the dentist from an early age, soon after their first teeth start to erupt. This helps them to view the dentist as a friendly face, and minimises the chances of dental anxiety developing in later life.

It also enables your child’s dentist to spot problems early – from issues with the first teeth to possible orthodontic concerns. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we dream of a world where no child suffers tooth decay, but if your child does need a filling, we use a laser instead of a drill.

Teenagers

The teenage years are both exciting and daunting, and bring with them their own oral health concerns. From helping your teenage son or daughter to understand the impact of dietary factors on their teeth and gums – such as avoiding too much sugar – to early intervention orthodontics, and orthodontic care for those who don’t qualify for NHS treatment but still find their self-esteem dented by misaligned teeth, our Harley Street team can help.

Pregnancy

Thanks to hormonal increase in the body, pregnant women can sometimes develop gum disease. Acid erosion and pregnancy granuloma are also common. Your dentist can help treat and manage these conditions.

Older people

More people these days are outliving their natural teeth. Your Harley Street dentist can provide effective tooth replacements, including dentures and dental implants.

Why a dentist recommends root canal therapy, and what is involved

When a dentist recommends root canal therapy, many patients balk in fear. However, at Harley Street Dental Clinic we are keen to point out that this treatment is nothing to be afraid of – and can be essential to saving your tooth.

Why you need root canal therapy

root-canal-therapyRoot canal therapy will be prescribed by your dentist when the pulp or nerve at the centre of your tooth becomes infected with bacteria. This can happen as a result of tooth decay, or from injuries to the tooth. That’s why it is important to get even the most minor chips and cracks in a tooth’s surface treated by a dentist as soon as possible.

If a tooth becomes infected, pain is often the first symptom. Untreated, this can lead to a dental abscess and even tooth loss. Root canal therapy – or endodontics, to give it its official name – is a specialist treatment designed to remove all traces of infection, getting you out of pain and saving your tooth.

At Harley Street Dental Clinic, our specialist endodontist Dr Nectaria Polycarpou carries out our root canal therapy work. She is highly experienced and can treat even the most complex cases, such as a retreatment after an initial course of treatment has failed.

Dr Polycarpou understands that many patients – particularly those with a fear of the dentist – are anxious about root canal therapy, and she is renowned for her kind-hearted, compassionate nature and gentle treatment.

Harley Street Dental Clinic is proud to provide pain-free dentistry, and for particularly anxious or phobic patients we do offer the option of treatment under sedation.

Root canal therapy involves using special files to clean the root canal of infection, before filling the tooth and in many cases adding a crown for additional strength.

Endodontics

“Root canal treatment” is a phrase that may make even the bravest of patients less than enthusiastic about visiting the dentist. However, root canal treatment, or endodontics, is essential if your tooth becomes infected, and may prevent you from losing it.

endodonticsIf you find you need endodontic treatment, you will come under the care of our specialist endodontist, Dr Nectaria Polycarpou. As well as being a skilled practitioner with many years of experience and many happy patients, Nectaria has an empathic, caring nature, enabling her to manage even the most complex cases in a relaxed, comfortable environment. As with all of our dental team at Harley Street Dental Clinic, Nectaria is committed to pain-free dentistry.

Root canal treatment becomes necessary when the pulp or nerve at the centre of your tooth becomes infected. This may be caused by untreated tooth decay or by an accident or injury that has damaged your tooth. Often, the first symptom is severe pain or a swelling known as a dental abscess.

If your dentist discovers you need root canal treatment, you will be referred to Nectaria. She will use a binocular microscope and special tools to remove the source and all traces of infection, to thoroughly clean and shape the space inside the root, and to fill it to prevent infection recurring.

Depending on your individual case, you may need one or two appointments to complete treatment. Endodontic treatment is usually carried out under local anaesthesia, although sedation can be arranged for nervous patients. Most patients report it feels no worse than having a filling.

Because root canal treatment is a skilled and delicate procedure, appointments usually take between one and two hours, depending on which tooth is affected. Back teeth usually have more roots and root canals than front teeth.

Endodontic treatment is nothing to be afraid of and should not cause any pain. We will also provide you with analgesia to take care of any post-treatment discomfort.

How your dentist can save your tooth

As a dentist, you know the importance of preserving patients’ natural teeth whenever possible. At Harley Street Dental Clinic, we’re keen to promote preventative dentistry, which should help to stop serious problems that cause the risk of tooth loss from arising. However, in some cases teeth can become damaged or infected, in which case we will do everything we can to save your tooth.

endodonticsRoot canal treatment, also known as endodontics, is a term that can make even the bravest of patients feel somewhat nervous. However, it is nothing to be worried about – your dentist will prescribe this treatment when the pulp of your tooth has become infected, risking tooth loss.

At our Harley Street dental practice, all of our root canal treatment is carried out by specialist orthodontist Dr Nectaria Polycarpou, who is very experienced and highly skilled in treating even complex cases (including repeat treatment if root canal work with another dentist has failed). Her kind and compassionate nature helps even the most anxious patients to relax.

The pulp or nerve at the centre of the tooth can become infected through untreated tooth decay and also through trauma involving the teeth. Regular visits to your dentist and hygienist, coupled with a strong home-care routine, will help to prevent such infection from arising. However, if it does, Dr Polycarpou at our Harley Street clinic will be able to remove the infection and clean the root canal(s) to get you out of pain and preserve your tooth.

She uses the latest equipment – special files and a binocular microscope – to clear all infection from your tooth, before clearing and filling the root canal to stop further infection occurring. At our Harley Street clinic we carry out this treatment under local anaesthetic or sedation if necessary, so you will experience no discomfort.

This usually requires two appointments to ensure the infection is fully cleared. A crown may be placed on top of your tooth at the end of treatment for additional strength.