The Multi-Step Root Canal Process

Root Canals pic
Root Canals
Image: oakridgedentalnj.com

Serving patients in New Jersey’s Ocean and Monmouth Counties, Dr. Christopher Lillo has extensive experience in general dentistry. Dr. Christopher Lillo regularly addresses cavities and performs root canals. Employed on infected and badly damaged teeth, root canals involve a multi-step process of removing the pulp, or damaged tooth area, disinfecting it, and filling and sealing it.

Despite public perception, the root canal is typically no more painful than filling a normal cavity. After an X-Ray that helps define the extent of the affected area, local anesthesia is applied to the affected tooth. The dentist then performs a pulpectomy, which involves creating an opening that allows complete removal of the diseased material. Once the area has been cleaned, gutta-percha material is used to fill the area and cement employed as a sealer.

With the root area of the tooth the focus of the procedure, many patients do experience some form of pain, such as a dull ache, in the days following. In cases where the affected area gets better, then starts aching again, there may be an issue involving trapped bacteria and follow-up treatment will be recommended.

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Wisdom Teeth Removal – Why and When It Is Necessary

A 20-year veteran of dentistry, Christopher Lillo, DMD, resides in New Jersey, where he leads as partner in Oak Ridge Dental Group, PA. Dr. Christopher Lillo ensures that the office maintains HIPAA and OSHA compliance, while administering traditional dental services such as root canals and wisdom teeth removal.

Not all individuals require their molars removed. If the posterior tooth or teeth are fully erupted, healthy, and positioned correctly so daily home hygienic practices can be carried out, a person can avoid undergoing wisdom teeth removal.

On the other end of the spectrum, the third molars can lack the room to grow in completely. This issue may cause molars to become impacted and grow at an angle. Remaining hidden or partially visible, the teeth become a magnet for bacteria and require removal to avert oral problems, including infections and gum disease. A good indication that wisdom tooth surgery is needed is the presence of pain, cysts, tooth decay, and repeated soft tissue infections in the region where the molars grow.

How Dentists Can Help with Sleep Apnea

Licensed to practice dentistry in the state of New Jersey, Dr. Christopher Lillo leads Oak Ridge Dental Group, PA, in Toms River. In addition to oral maintenance and root canals, Dr. Christopher Lillo offers wisdom teeth extractions and sleep apnea treatments.

Affecting millions of Americans, sleep apnea leads to daytime drowsiness, insomnia, and excessive snoring, which can cause choking during slumber. The illness is a silent condition and often goes undiagnosed. Fortunately, dentists, who tend to see patients more than physicians, can identify symptoms early on. Complaints about lethargy and dry mouth signal to a dentist that the patient should be referred to a sleep medicine specialist, who can further exam him or her and give a proper diagnosis.

The dentist then treats the disorder, utilizing various solutions. For mild cases, a change in diet and exercise may be enough to offset future symptoms. A dentist may also suggest that the patient adjust his or her sleeping position. In extreme situations, wearing a dental device known as a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask to enhance airflow while sleeping will likely be recommended.

Sleep Apnea and Devices for Treating the Condition

Practicing dentistry in Toms River, New Jersey, Dr. Christopher Lillo received a DMD from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Christopher Lillo specializes in molar root canals and treating patients with sleep apnea.

A serious sleep disorder that largely impacts the overweight population over the age of 40, sleep apnea can affect individuals of all ages. Those living with the condition and not receiving treatment have a higher risk of diabetes, heart failure, and depression.

Sleep apnea comes in two forms, obstructive and central. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses, blocking the air passageway. Central sleep apnea results from instability in the respiratory control center, which prohibits communication between the brain and breathing muscles.

Diagnosed patients may be recommended a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to wear while sleeping. The device delivers constant air into the nose to keep airways open and working properly. A dentist can also suggest a variety of tools, including a mandibular advancement and tongue-retaining devices.

Penn Dental Medicine Provides Free Care for Give Kids a Smile Day

A practitioner at the Oak Ridge Dental Group since 1995, Christopher Lillo, DMD, regularly works with patients to provide discounted services to those in need. Before entering private practice, Dr. Christopher Lillo studied at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, where he was involved with free dental clinics serving children.

Although the Penn Dental Medicine Network has continually pursued various community outreach projects since its inception in 1878, the American Dental Association launched the Give Kids a Smile campaign in 2003 to encourage practitioners nationwide to support children from underserved communities. In Pennsylvania alone, nearly 17,000 children do not have access to regular dental care because of a lack of insurance coverage. In response, Penn Dental Medicine lent its support to the Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY)’s Give Kids a Smile Day on April 1, 2015, providing care to 75 children and helping families enroll in public health insurance programs.

Although the ADA formally designated National Give Kids a Smile Day on the first of February, the dental community hosts more than 1,500 free clinics year-round. The efforts of the students and clinicians at Penn Dental Medicine represent a portion of a professional network of 40,000 volunteers who collectively support approximately 350,000 children each year.

Types of Anesthesia Used During Wisdom Teeth Extraction

A participant of the charity Dental Lifeline Network of New Jersey, Dr. Christopher Lillo sees patients at Oak Ridge Dental Group, PA in Toms River, New Jersey. With nearly two decades of experience, Dr. Christopher Lillo offers exceptional care in molar root canal procedures and wisdom teeth removal.

When having one’s wisdom teeth removed, a form of anesthesia is utilized to help patients remain comfortable during the entirety of the procedure. The type of anesthesia employed depends on the complexity of the extraction. For instance, an impacted molar that grows at an angle and at times grows within the jawbone, rather than breaking the surface, is more difficult to remove. In this situation, a doctor would use general anesthesia to put the patient to sleep, so no pain is felt as the tooth or teeth are extracted. If given general anesthesia, a patient inhales the medication through his or her nose. Once asleep, a surgical team monitors the body to ensure the patient remains safe and healthy.

Administered either intravenously or orally, sedation anesthesia is also an option. Rather than losing full consciousness, the patient experiences suppressed consciousness. No pain is felt during extraction and the patient is also given local anesthesia to numb the affected area. Local anesthesia can be used on its own as well. A patient remains awake during the extraction, but only feels pressure and movement due to the numbing effect of the local anesthesia.

The Denture Design Process Involves Several Steps

Christopher Lillo has practiced general dentistry in New Jersey for the greater part of his career, and in addition to his practice, he provides pro bono dental services to those in need. For example, for elderly residents of local nursing homes, Christopher Lillo has designed dentures at no cost.

When a full conventional denture is made for a patient, a dentist ideally begins this process eight to 12 weeks after the teeth are extracted or lost from the mouth. The dentist takes measurements of the jaw and makes a series of impressions or molds of the supporting tissues that will hold the denture in place. Before casting the denture, the dentist tries a model on the patient to ensure a proper fit and bite, as well as an aesthetic color and shape.

The design process then usually requires a weekly patient visit over a four-to-five-week period. After the completed denture is placed, the patient may need to return to have the dentist make adjustments. In cases where teeth extractions have been planned in advance, the patient may opt to have temporary dentures made. In these situations, the dentures are designed before the teeth are extracted. The temporary appliance is used until the gums and bones have healed and a conventional permanent denture is constructed.