How many times have you had painful teeth or had root canals done in the past? This can result in root canal infections that are not seen on normal dental Xrays and thus may go undetected for years. That is until recently. Because of 3D imaging, we can uncover hidden dental infections that are not healthy and need to be treated so that the underlying infection can be eliminated. This case highlights something that happens fairly frequently, namely infected teeth are not revealed with normal Xrays.
In the image to the left, it is clear that this tooth has decay or a cavity, however it is not clear whether the tooth is infected or needs a root canal.
My question is how many infected teeth are being missed by imaging that is inadequate to uncover these infections? In the absence of symptoms what does one do? By the way, this is the biggest problem with root canal infections whether they are new or you had a root canal done on a tooth 10, 20 or even 30 years ago. In fact the older a root canal, the greater the chance it has become re-infected. What’s insidious about old root canals that are infected is that most of the time are asymptomatic, meaning your infected tooth never hurts you.
In this case it just so happened that we did a 3D scan image for this patient because he had many old root canals that he had questions about. It is very interesting what was revealed when we looked at the image. Please see my post later this week for images from this scan and an explanation of what they mean. Interesting stuff
Carey O’Rielly DDS has been a practicing dentist for 35 years. He went to USC Dental School and Duke University for his undergraduate degree. He grew up in Laguna Beach and now lives in La Costa with his wife Victoria, who runs his office.
He began his career by owning and operating a network of six offices in the San Francisco Bay Area. Presently he owns a private holistic practice in North County San Diego’s Encinitas.
Dr. O started looking for solutions to his health challenges that resulted from the stress and environmental toxicity that built up over a ten year period running his dental network. He has dedicated himself to learning about oral systemic problems and how dentistry can affect your health. He has applied what he has learned over the last twenty years to ensure he, his staff and his patients are protected from the chemicals and toxic materials found in most dental offices. He has produced an environmentally friendly office that is also peaceful and calm.
He is an expert on dental materials having looked at hundreds of biocompatibility lab tests over the years. He has identified the most bio-friendly materials to use in his practice and which dental materials can be used to replace metal fillings and crowns, including BPA free and fluoride free ‘white’ fillings. He also uses metal-free Zirconia or ceramic implants and PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) grafting materials which come from the patient’s own blood.
Dr. O’Rielly teaches C.E. courses on the systemic effects of gum disease. He is an expert in using phase contrast microscopy for analyzing dental infections, where he shows patients what kind of microbes, i.e. bacteria, amoeba, and yeasts like candida are populating the mouth and affecting the body as a whole.
He has an educational blog and is writing a book on dental health called ‘Hidden Dental Infections: Healing Root Canals and Infected Teeth with the Erbium Laser’ where he discusses dental nutrition, toxic dental materials and the effects of old root canals on inflammation and overall health.
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