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The tooth is made up of an outer hard covering that consists of the enamel and dentin ,protecting the inner soft area called the pulp. The pulp is found in the centre of the tooth and in the canals (called root canals) inside the root of each tooth. Pulp nourishes the tooth when it first emerges through the gums. Once the tooth matures , its only function is sensory - to provide the sensation of hot and cold. Hence, the presence or absence of the pulp will not affect the day to day functioning of the tooth.

Removing the pulp is called endodontic treatment, but it is often referred to as root canal treatment or root canal therapy. Many people refer to pulp removal as "having a root canal." Root canal treatments are quite common. In the United States, they save about 24 million teeth each year.

Common causes for the need of endodontic treatment:

  • Inflamed/infected tooth pulp
  • Severe sensitivity to hot and cold elements
  • Tooth decay
  • Chipped or broken tooth
  • Blow to the tooth
  • Swelling or tenderness near the infected tooth
  • Repeated dental procedures on a tooth

Why would you need a root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment is needed for two main reasons. The first is infection. The bacteria first erode the enamel and the dentin leading to a cavity formation. An untreated cavity is a common cause of pulp infection. Once the pulp is infected ,it breaks down and bacteria begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. The infection may spread way past the ends of the roots leading to an abscess formation . An abscess is a pus filled pocket that forms at the end of the roots of the tooth. Antibiotics cannot get to the infections inside the tooth . Hence, a root canal treatment is required. The goal of the root canal treatment is to save the tooth by removing the infected or damaged pulp, treating any infections and filling the empty root canals with a material called gutta percha.

If root canal is not done , an infected tooth may have to be extracted(i.e removed). However, It is always better to retain your natural teeth. When a tooth is missing, the neighbouring teeth tend to drift out of line. This may lead to spacing between the teeth making them prone to cavity formation. Also, if you ignore an infected or an injured tooth , the infection may spread to other areas of the face, neck and the head. It may also lead to bone loss around the tooth.

Having root canal treatment on a tooth does not mean that the tooth will need to be pulled out in a few years. Once a tooth is treated, it almost always will last the rest of your life.

Signs & Symptoms

If you have an infection of the pulp, you may not feel any pain at first. But if it is not treated, the infection will cause pain and swelling. In some cases, an abscess will form. Your tooth might need a root canal if:

  • It hurts when you bite down on it, touch it or push on it
  • It is sensitive to heat
  • It is sensitive to cold for more than a couple of seconds
  • There is swelling near the tooth
  • It is discolored (whether it hurts or not)
  • It is broken


What is the procedure ?

During the first sitting , the dentist anaesthetises the tooth and the surrounding areas. This is followed by the removal of the decayed part of the tooth using special drills. Once this is done , the inner tissue i.e. the pulp is cleaned thoroughly by root canal files. The root canals are also irrigated with the special medicament to make them totally germ free. Then a medicament is placed within the tooth and it is closed with a temporary dressing.

During the second sitting, the temporary dressing is removed and the canals are inspected. Once the canals are ready to be filled, they are filled with a plastic material called gutta percha. After the filling is completed, the tooth is restored using strong materials like silver,composite,etc to its original shape.

How many sittings will the treatment require?

Root canal treatment can be done in one or more visits depending upon various factors such as position of the tooth, number and curvature of the roots, presence of infecton, etc.

We at Smiles Ahead, generally complete the treatment within two sittings followed by two sitting for the placement of a crown. A 2-3 days gap is maintained between the sittings, but this may vary from tooth to tooth.

After root canal treatment

It is a necessity to cap the tooth with a crown following a root canal treatment. During the treatment, a lot of tooth structure is lost due to the infection present. This lost tooth structure is replaced by materials such as silver or composite, but these materials are not strong enough to take the masticatory (i.e.chewing) load. If a crown is not placed on the tooth then it tends to fracture that in turn leads to the failure of the root canal treatment. This tooth has to be extracted then.

Please contact our office for an evaluation if you experience any of the symptoms above, and we will discuss your treatment options.


Today's alternative to unsightly, controversial mercury-silver amalgams, white composite resin fillings look just like natural teeth. Cosmetic dentistry is no longer just for the front teeth. Those old silver fillings can be replaced by tooth coloured fillings that will make your teeth stronger, healthier, and much more attractive and will end up looking as if there was never anything wrong with them in the first place. Longevity of the tooth coloured materials used to be a concern, but not anymore. These new materials are formulated to wear at the same rate as your natural teeth.


A smile makeover is the process of improving the appearance of the smile through one or more cosmetic dental procedures such as:

  • Dental veneers or laminates
  • Composite restorations
  • Dental implants
  • Teeth whitening

Some of the components taken into consideration include your facial appearance, skin & hair colour, teeth which further include their length, width, colour, shape, curvature etc; gum tissues, lips.

Smile makeovers are done for many reasons & customized according to your own considerations.

Some of the aspects of your smile that are reviewed & that could be improved include:

  • Tooth colour,length,texture & proportion
  • Alignment & spacing
  • Missing teeth
  • Harmony & balance with the surrounding tissues
  • Smile line
  • Lips, cheeks

All these factors are taken into consideration and the treatment is planned & performed accordingly, as as to give you a smile makeover that suits your requirements of function & aesthetics.


Dental Veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length.

Veneers improve the aesthetics of a smile and/or protect the tooth's surface from damage.

Laminate, on the other hand, is a thin layer that covers only the surface of the tooth and generally used for aesthetic purposes.


Tooth whitening is a bleaching process that lightens the discoloration and removes the stains from the enamel and dentin of the teeth. We offer two types of whitening. One of them is an in-office procedure that takes a little over an hour. The other procedure we use is an effective, powerful, yet mild solution retained in a custom tray that is worn over your teeth generally for an hour a day. Neither of these bleaching procedures are known to harm the teeth or gums, and significant whitening can be achieved in the majority of cases.

Why can only a dentist get my teeth their whitest?

The powerful whitening solutions can only be prescribed by a dentist. Prior to beginning treatment, we will examine your teeth and gums to determine whether you have any untreated cavities, tooth decay, or unhealthy teeth or any other contra-indications for tooth whitening. Then, depending on which procedure you choose, we will either take an impression of your teeth to make a custom-fitted trays or begin the in-office procedure at your convenience.

What causes tooth discoloration?

There are many causes. The most common include aging, consumption of staining substances (coffee, teas, colas, tobacco), trauma, tetracycline (antibiotic) staining, excessive fluoride, and nerve degeneration

Who may benefit from tooth whitening?

Almost anyone. However, there are some cases where the treatment may not be effective. Through a thorough oral examination, we can determine whether you are a viable candidate for this process. Tooth-lightening is most ideal for patients who have healthy, unrestored teeth and would like to have a whiter and brighter smile. People with yellow or yellow-brown teeth tend to bleach best. Multi-colored teeth, especially if stained due to tetracycline, do not bleach easily. In addition, fillings, bonding, veneers and crowns do not bleach, and may need to be changed to match the lighter teeth once the bleaching is completed.

What causes tooth discoloration?

There are many causes. The most common include aging, consumption of staining substances (coffee, teas, colas, tobacco), trauma, tetracycline (antibiotic) staining, excessive fluoride, and nerve degeneration.

Do I need a cleaning prior to whitening?

Yes, a professional cleaning should be done just prior to the whitening process. If necessary, we will remove extrinsic stains, and calculus (tartar) deposits that could hinder the process. Also, a professional cleaning will remove any irritants that may lead to gum sensitivity during the process. After the cleaning, it will be your responsibility to maintain excellent oral hygiene, including daily flossing, to give the teeth and gums a chance to be their healthiest.

How white will my teeth get?

As everyone presents with different circumstances, this is a difficult question to answer. There are many factors involved, including, the cause, darkness and color of the stain, and your compliance with the process. In my office I can show you some examples of what you might expect. Occasionally some teeth don't whiten evenly; this is because the biting edges and the sides of the teeth whiten more quickly than the rest of the teeth. This occurs because your enamel is thinner in these areas and may respond better to the whitening process.


An Inlay is usually an indirect restoration fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place. This technique involves fabricating the restoration outside of the mouth using the dental impressions of the prepared tooth, rather than placing a soft filling material into the prepared tooth and let it set.

An Onlay is the same as an inlay, except that it incorporates a replacement for a tooth cusp by covering the area where the missing cusp would be.


The modern method for replacing missing teeth, Dental Implants eliminates the discomfort and embarassment often associated with dentures and can provide the security and confidence not possible with dentures, you can laugh and talk without your teeth slipping or clicking and even eat something you never had the confidence to try before.

Most patients are able to have their implants procedure done right in our office using local anaesthetics to make them comfortable, patients describe their recovery period as (about the same as when they originally had their teeth pulled). ) once placed the Implants need time to heal , 4-6 months for the lower teeth and 6-8 months for upper teeth. To replace one tooth an Implant act as post( to support single crown). To replace several teeth a few implants may be used to support a fixed bridge, giving overdenture which snaps on to the implant to give a secure tight fit. The end results will depend on the number of implants used and different possible designs. For patients missing all of their upper or lower teeth, several implants can can be used with and for the replacment teeth . The patient is able to choose the results based on his or her desires and how much time and money he or she is willing to invest to acheive the best results.

Frequently asked questions about implants

Q - Are Implants always successful?

Modern implants techniques have been in use since the1950's,improvements in procedures and materials have given implants a ten year average success rate of 98% or better.

Q - Is every one a candidate for Implants treatment?

In general anyone healthy enough to undergo routine tooth extraction or oral surgery is probably able to receive an implant . There are some health conditions that warrant special considerations. Certain chronic conditions like heavy smoking or alcohol abuse may contraindicate implant treatment. After careful evaluation of your health history, we will alert you to any conditions that may affect your treatment. Remember age is not a factor.

Q - Will others know I have Dental Implant?

Todays implant treatment enables you to have your new teeth look, feel, and function like your own. Even though others will be unaware that you have dental implants, but many patients are so pleased that they tell everyone they know. Dental implants offer some of the finest restorative results possible in modern dentistry.


An immediate complete denture is a restoration fabricated prior to the extraction of the teeth, which is placed in the patient's mouth immediately following the removal of the remaining natural teeth.

Advantages of immediate complete denture:

  • The patient does not have to undergo edentulous period of healing.
  • The presence of natural teeth in the patient's mouth during fabrication of immediate dentures enables selection of artificial teeth of a corresponding size, shape and shade and their placement to the site where natural teeth were present. In this way the patient's original appearance can be restored.
  • An immediate denture has therapeutic and prophylactic impact. It is used as a bandage for extraction wounds.
  • Less change in muscles and supporting structures.
  • Appearance is affected minimally, as lip and cheek support are maintained, as also the facial height.


Wisdom tooth extraction is a surgical procedure to remove one or more wisdom teeth. If a wisdom tooth doesn't have room to grow (impacted wisdom tooth), resulting in pain, infection or other dental problems, you'll likely need to have it removed.

Why is it done?

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last permanent teeth to appear (erupt) in the mouth. These teeth usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25 years. Many people develop impacted wisdom teeth — teeth that don't have enough room to erupt into the mouth or develop normally. Impacted wisdom teeth may erupt only partially or not at all.

Problems with impacted wisdom teeth

You'll likely need your impacted wisdom tooth removed if it results in problems such as:

  • Pain
  • Food impaction
  • Infection or gum disease (periodontal disease)
  • Tooth decay in a partially erupted wisdom tooth
  • Damage to a nearby tooth or surrounding bone
  • Development of a fluid-filled sac (cyst) around the wisdom tooth.


Cosmetic fillings are increasing in popularity as they restore the tooth while keeping the natural appearance of the tooth. They come in array of tooth coloured shades to perfectly match your existing natural teeth.

These are tooth coloured composite materials bonded to the tooth which supports the remaining structure and helps reduce the amount of tooth shaping or removal before filling. This bonding quality of the material also means that chipped off or fractured teeth can be built up using the composite materials.

These can also be used to close spaces between teeth to some extent, make teeth look longer, change the shape and colour of the teeth.

Composite restorations:

Composite restoration material has lately replaced the traditionally used metallic or the silver fillings. One of the major disadvantage of the silver fillings was its metallic appearance which was not aesthetic.

Composite restorations, however, are tooth coloured materials which improve the aesthetics for the front teeth and also have good enough strength, as it is used for filling the back teeth.

Veneers :

Dental veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length.

Veneers improve the aesthetics of a smile and/or protect the tooth's surface from damage.

Cosmetic crowns:

A crown is an artificial restoration that fits over remaining tooth, inorder to rebuild a tooth which have broken or have weakened by decay or a large filling, thus making the tooth stronger.

Cosmetic crowns are full ceramic crowns. The defining feature of these crowns is that they are made from translucent tooth coloured material that gives a natural look to the tooth and blends well with the remaining natural teeth present


Orthodontics is a specialty field of dentistry that deals primarily with malpositioned teeth and the jaws: their diagnosis, prevention and correction.

Malocclusion is defined as an abnormal deviation either aesthetically, functionally or both from the ideal occlusion; the anatomically perfect arrangement of the teeth. The prevalence of malocclusions varies with a person's age and ethnicity but not all malocclusions require treatment.

There are multiple methods for adjusting malocclusion, depending on the needs of the individual patient. This can be done using fixed appliances or removable appliance therapy or both.

Currently, the majority of Orthodontic Appliance Therapy is delivered using fixed appliances, with the use of removable appliances being greatly reduced. The treatment outcome for fixed appliances is significantly greater than that of removable appliances as the fixed type produces biomechanics that has greater control of the teeth under treatment: being able to move the teeth in dimensions therefore the subsequent final tooth positions are more ideal.


The objective of full mouth rehabilitation is the reconstruction, restoration and maintenance of the health of the entire oral mechanism. It demands rehabilitation within the physiological and functional harmony.

Full Mouth rehabilitation seeks to convert all unfavorable forces on the teeth which inevitably induce pathological conditions, into favorable forces which permit normal function and therefore induce healthy conditions.

Indications for full mouth rehabilitation:

  • Restore impaired occlusal function
  • Preserve longevity of remaining teeth
  • Maintain healthy periodontium
  • Improve esthetics
  • Eliminate pain and discomfort of teeth and surrounding structures.

Full Mouth Rehabilitation vs. Smile Makeover

How does full mouth rehabilitation differ from smile makeover?

A smile makeover is something that you elect to have performed, mostly for your aesthetic requirements, while a full mouth reconstruction is something that you need for functional harmony.


Sometimes damaged teeth can't be repaired with root canal or any other treatment. This is usually if your tooth is badly decayed, fractured or if you have severe gum disease causing the tooth to become loose. In such cases, your dentist may suggest you to have the tooth removed.

Some of the common reasons for tooth extraction are:

  • Badly decayed tooth
  • Gum Disease (periodontal disease)
  • A broken tooth which can't be repaired
  • An abscess (collection of pus) on the gums or around the teeth
  • Orthodontic treatment, when the teeth are crowded and don't have enough space in the jaw
  • Impacted wisdom teeth.

Procedure for tooth extraction:

  • Your dentist will see to it that you are comfortably sitting in the chair in a comfortable environment.
  • Then a local anesthetic agent is injected into the area around the tooth/teeth to be extracted, in order to make the tooth and surrounding tissues numb.
  • Once the dentist has injected, they will wait for few minutes for the anesthesia to work.
  • The dentist will first check and make sure that the area is numb and the patient no more feels the pain.
  • Remember, during the tooth removal, the patient might feel pressure but there will be minimum or no pain at all.
  • The tooth is then loosened from the bone and gently removed out from the bone socket.
  • The dentist then places a cotton plug in order to stop the bleeding and post-extraction instructions are given.

Care to be taken after tooth extraction

  • Keep the cotton dressing in place as kept by the dentist for ½ an hour.
  • No spitting and gargling for the next 24hrs, just swallow the saliva.
  • Apply ice fermentation on the face for 10 minutes intermittently.
  • After 2 hours. Cold, soft, semi-solid food can be taken.
  • Continue the medicines prescribed for two more days as explained by the dentist.
  • Do not disturb the wound for at least 24 hours.
  • Replace the teeth removed as early as possible as per your dentist's advice to maintain the smile, function and harmony of all your teeth.


A healthy mouth is integral to overall well being. With regular preventive care, potential problems can be detected early and treated in a minimally invasive manner.

Who benefits from Preventive Dentistry?

Everyone from a child to an adult and elderly people.

  • Children, in particular, because it allows their newly erupted teeth to be strong and healthy. Pit and Fissure Sealants and Fluoride help prevent decay in your children's teeth.
  • Fluoride is beneficial for people of all ages. It's a leading preventive treatment that helps protect your teeth
  • Periodontal or the gum disease is a serious condition occurring in young adults as well as the elderly people which eventually lead to tooth loss.

Maintaining strong and healthy teeth and gums is important to ensure your overall well being.

As it is always said 'Prevention is better than cure'; Our aim is to help you and guide you to achieve and maintain it throughout.


Teaching your child proper oral care at a young age is an investment in his/her health that will help them lifelong. You can start by setting an example; taking good care of your own teeth sends a message that oral health is something to be valued.

Why are milk teeth important?

Milk teeth or the primary teeth are very important to your child's health and development. They help him/her chew, speak and smile. They also hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing beneath the gums. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other permanent teeth to find room when they come in.

Therefore it is very important to take care of the milk teeth as it is to take care of the permanent teeth.

It is therefore necessary to get them into habit of brushing daily and keeping the teeth clean all the time. Kids should be taught and made to follow proper oral hygiene practices and get them acquainted to regular check-ups with the Dentists.

Besides these, certain preventive treatments can be done to protect the teeth from decay; like Pit and Fissure Sealants & Fluoride therapy.

 Pit & Fissure Sealants

The newly erupted teeth have deep pits and grooves on its chewing surface. This causes the food to get stuck into it easily, making them difficult to clean. Hence the tooth is more vulnerable to decay.

Pit & fissure sealants are the materials placed in these deep grooves to fill them, creating a smooth surface which is easy to clean.

Such sealants are mainly used in children who are at a higher risk to tooth decay and are placed as soon as the permanent molars i.e. the permanent behind teeth, appear in the mouth.

 Fluoride treatment

Tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria that collect around the teeth and gums in a sticky, clear film called 'plaque'. If proper oral hygiene is not maintained, the teeth become vulnerable to decay.

Therefore proper oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits are important for keeping the teeth healthy.

Another key to good oral health is Fluoride, a mineral that helps prevent decay and can repair teeth in the very early stage.

Usually our drinking water and toothpaste contain fluoride. But in children who are at higher risk of tooth decay, a professional fluoride treatment in the dental clinic is recommended.

How its is done?

Dentists provide professional fluoride treatments in the form of highly concentrated gel or varnish; which is applied to the tooth surface and allowed to stay for few minutes. This causes the outer surface of the tooth i.e. enamel to strengthen and help stop the decay from penetrating deeper. The earlier the children are exposed to fluoride, the less likely they are to develop cavities.


Talking about the oral health we think the teeth are the only concerned part. But lets us not forget about the base holding and protecting the teeth ….the GUMS

Lets put it this way…

"The Teeth are as precious as pearls… but the GUMS are like the shells holding and protecting the pearls… our teeth"

Gum disease is inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria in plaque that constantly forms on our teeth.

If not removed through daily brushing and flossing, it not only infects our teeth and gums but also the Bone, causing the teeth to become loose and fall off.

Avoiding gum diseases is important for our general health too as it has been linked to conditions such as Heart diseases.

Gum diseases if detected at early stages can be reversed, so see your dentist if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Gums that are red, swollen or tender.
  • Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing.
  • Pus coming out from between your teeth and gums.
  • Spacing in between the teeth that was not present earlier.
  • Constant Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth.

There are a variety of treatments for gum disease depending on the stage of disease, how you may have responded to earlier treatments, and your overall health.

Treatments range from nonsurgical therapies that control bacterial growth to surgery to restore supportive tissues.