Services We Offer

Here at the office of Dr. Birchfield we still believe in the power of a positive patient experience. We know getting a root canal is not how you would choose to spend your day, however we do our best to ease the stress of the procedure. Our Tampa Bay office specializes in endodontic therapy and other comprehensive therapies associated with the root canal. Choosing an endodontic specialist is not something to be taken lightly. With more than 30 years serving patients in Tampa we know that in order to keep our reputation at the highest level we must continue to stay up to date on all endodontic techniques to ensure we provide top notch care for our patients.

Pulp Testing

What it Means

In dentistry there are many simple tests that are performed to determine the vitality of a nerve. Pulp testing is usually done as a test last resort. The wand of the pulp tester is moistened with a drop of conducting paste then placed on the front side of the tooth’s enamel. The time it takes the patient to feel the slight current determines how vital or not vital the nerve is in that tooth.

Endodontic Therapy (Root Canal Treatment)

What You Need to Know

Endodontic therapy is a sequence of treatment for the pulp of a tooth which results in the elimination of infection and protection of the decontaminated tooth from future microbial invasion. Root canals and their associated pulp chamber are the physical hollows within a tooth that are naturally inhabited by nerve tissue, blood vessels and other cellular entities. Endodontic therapy involves the removal of these structures, the subsequent shaping, cleaning, and decontamination of the hollows with tiny files and irrigating solutions, and the obturation (filling) of the decontaminated canals with an inert filling such as gutta percha and typically a eugenol-based cement. Epoxy resin, which may or may not contain Bisphenol A is employed to bind gutta percha in some root canal procedures

Although the procedure is relatively painless when done properly,[2] the root canal remains a stereotypically fearsome dental operation.

Root Canal Re-treatment

What You Need to Know

Endodontic retreatment describes a dental root canal procedure that is carried out on a tooth that has previously had root canal treatment. For this reason it is also called “repeat root canal treatment”.
One reason for endodontic retreatment is failure of the initial endodontic procedure: Recurrence of symptoms, infection such as dental abscess may occur. Endodontic treatment may fail for many reasons: one common reason for failure is inadequate chemomechanical debridement of the root canal. This may be due to poor endodontic access, missed anatomy or inadequate shaping of the canal, particularly in the apical third of the root canal.
Exposure of the obturation material to the oral environment may mean the gutta-percha is contaminated with oral bacteria. If complex and expensive restorative dentistry is contemplated then ideally the contaminated gutta-percha would be replaced in a re-treatment procedure to minimize the risk of failure. The type of bacteria found within a failed root canal may differ from the normal infected tooth. Enterococcus faecalis and/or other facultative enteric bacteria or Pseudomonas sp. are found in this situation. Endodontic re-treatment is technically demanding; typical 5 year success rates are around 60% compared to around 85% for initial root-canal treatment. It can be a time consuming procedure, as meticulous care is required by the dentist.

Hemisection

What You Need to Know

Hemisection is the process of cutting a tooth with two roots in half, creating a front half and a back half. It often is done by a periodontist, but any experienced dentist, endodontist or oral surgeon can do the procedure. Hemisection literally means “dividing in two.”

Because upper molars have three roots, a hemisection cannot be done on an upper molar. However, your dentist could divide an upper molar into three parts (sometimes referred to as trisection), or could remove one or two roots (root resection).

What It’s Used For

A hemisection is done when decay or bone loss from periodontal disease extends into the area between the two roots, called the bifurcation. The procedure allows your dentist to reach the affected area and provide treatment. Once the roots have been separated, your dentist will evaluate each half of the tooth and its root separately and determine whether they can be restored with crowns. In some situations, this may require crown lengthening of one or both parts of the tooth and roots. Crown lengthening involves the removal of gum tissue, bone or both to exposure more of a tooth’s structure. In other situations, your dentist may decide that the decay or bone loss is too extensive to allow restoration of one of the halves and roots. In this case, the severely affected half will be removed (resected).

Hemisection is less common than it used to be. In certain instances, guided tissue regeneration can be used to regrow bone in the bifurcation area. In many cases, people choose to have the tooth removed and replaced with an implant. The best option depends on the amount of decay or bone loss affecting the tooth and the probability that it can be successfully restored. You should talk with your dentist about your options.

Endodontic Surgery (Apicoectomy)

What You Need to Know

on anteriors, bicuspids, and molars on the upper portion of the mouth. We also perform appendectomies on the anterior lower teeth. We refer some lower pre-molar and all lower molar surgeries out to a specialist that specializes in that area, for fear of injuring the inferior alveolar nerve, which can cause unpredictable permanent numbness.

Additional Services

Everything else we do.

In addition to your root canal, your referring dentist or your tooth’s situation may require us to perform additional services.

As needed, or upon your general dentist’s request, we also perform the following:

  • Internal Bleaching
  • Incision and Drainage of Abscess
  • Post Hole Preparation
  • Prefabricated Post and Core Build-up
  • Post Removal
  • Intentional Re-implantation
  • Retrograde Filling
  • Root Amputation

If you require a service that you do not see listed, please feel free to inquire about whether or not Dr. Birchfield is able to perform that service for you.