Listen or Read Dr. Igor Kaplansky’s Podcast Interview!
Topic – Root Canal Treatments
Below you will find an easy to read transcript of Dr. Igor Kaplansky’s interview on the razorcast™ monthly podcast. You can click the video to listen to the podcast or simply read the easy to follow transcript below. Enjoy!
RC: Hello everyone, this is Liz Harvey coming to you from our razorcast™ studios in New York City where we are dedicated to bringing you top quality advice from many of the leading expert professionals across the United States.
In today’s episode, we are speaking with Dr. Igor Kaplansky. Dr. Kaplansky is the founder of Dentistry by Dr. Kaplansky in Gasport, NY. He grew up in Russia and after receiving his dental degree, he was accepted into the International Dentist program at the University at Buffalo, School of Dental Medicine. He graduated Cum Laude in 1998 with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree and continued as a resident in the Advanced General Dentistry program at Buffalo.
Since 1999, Dr. Kaplansky has been practicing family dentistry with a special interest in orthodontics and dental implants. He has been recognized with prestigious fellowship awards from the Academy of General Dentistry and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.
Dr. Kaplansky is widely considered to be one of the top dentists in the country and he is also a contributing member of our national network of industry professionals.
Today we are going to talk about a very important topic: Root Canal Treatments
RC: Hi Dr. Kaplansky, how are you today?
Dr. Igor Kaplansky: Hi Liz, I am doing well thank you.
Question 1: What is a root canal and why might people need one?
RC: So what is a root canal, and why might people need one?
Dr. Igor Kaplansky: A root canal treatment, which would be the full name of it, is a cleaning and disinfection of a canal that is located inside a root of a tooth. Unfortunately, a lot of people have a bunch of misconceptions about this procedure. They think that when we do a root canal treatment, we pull the root out or we pull the tooth out. We don't do any of that. Just to do a brief overview of human anatomy, each tooth has a root. A root is a hard structure that holds your tooth in the jaw. Inside that root, there is a small little space called a root canal. The root canal harbors, in a healthy tooth, it harbors nerves, blood vessels and some connective tissue.
When the root canal or the tissue inside the root canal gets sick, whether due to a cavity or trauma and it dies in the end, what happens is it gets infected. When it gets infected, the infection then travels into your jaw and it can cause an abscess.
The second part of the question is, why might people need a root canal, is basically exactly that. The root canal may be necessary if a cavity reached the root canal and infected the nerve. If trauma led to the nerve death, then the root canal treatment would be indicated. It is a great way to save a tooth and extend the life of a tooth for many more years.
Question 2: Can you please describe the procedure that someone can expect when undergoing a root canal treatment?
RC: Root canal treatments have a bad reputation for being painful. Can you please describe the procedure that someone can expect when undergoing a root canal treatment?
Dr. Igor Kaplansky: Sure. The bad reputation comes, in my opinion, from two sources. One is early in the development of a root canal treatment, which was back in the 40's and 50's, obviously the technology wasn't so great yet and the procedures were not maybe as comfortable. Unfortunately, a lot of it stems from back in the day - how they did the procedure back then. The second part of it is most of the time, since we don't do root canal treatments on healthy teeth, people come in with already a swelling, an abscess or pain, and then it gets etched in their brain and it gets associated with that. That is why root canal treatments get a bad reputation.
In reality, it is really not any different than any other dental procedure that we do. The patient get anesthetized, the tooth is numb and anything that we do is comfortable and painless. As far as steps involved in performing a root canal treatment, it is very simple. We make a small opening on top of the tooth into the pulp chamber or where the pulp is or into the root canal. Then we clean it out, we remove all the infected debris and bacteria from there. We disinfect the canal with special medicines, we use different medications to disinfect and cleanse the canals. Then we seal it, we place a filling material into the canal so that bacteria and their bi-products are not harbored in there anymore. After that, the tooth is restored and it becomes a functional tooth again.
Question 3: What advanced technology and techniques due you utilize during a root canal?
RC: What advanced technology and techniques do you utilize during a root canal treatment?
Dr. Igor Kaplansky: Like I said, since the 40's and 50's, when they started doing root canals, the procedure has changed dramatically. Not only it is very comfortable, it is extremely safe and very fast actually. It used to be that root canal treatments were done in multiple visits. People would come for 1, 2, 3 or 4 visits to do a root canal treatment. Now, probably 99% of them are done in 1 visit.
After patient is anesthetized, we measure the nerve or the pulp canal length with an electronic apex locator - that is one of the advances, one of the technological marvels so to speak that we use - which is a great way, very precise. It shows us accurately where the root tip is, without taking x-rays. Another technological advance is a nickel titanium file that we use to shape and clean the canal. This is a space age alloy that is used for dental instruments and allows them to bend and then maintain their shape without breaking. That is just an amazing, amazing thing. Nickel titanium files we use for cleaning the canals and then we also utilize, obviously, newer medications. The most modern antibiotics and disinfectants to cleanse the canals. There is also a laser that can be used to sterilize the canals, which we also have.
Question 4: After the root canal, do you always cap the tooth or just use a filling?
RC: Okay, and after the root canal, do you always cap the tooth or use a filling or what do you do?
Dr. Igor Kaplansky: Great questions, this is a very good question. Unfortunately, we still see a lot of patients come to us that have had root canal treatments done years ago or at another practice, where the root canal treatment was done, especially on a back tooth - on the molar say - and they just placed a large filling into the opening and let the patient go. What happens to these teeth is very often they break. They break, they crack, the patient will then even might end up losing the tooth, which is a very sad thing because they just spent a lot of time and spent some money on fixing that tooth. The tooth in the end breaks and they have to lose it.
We do not allow that to happen to my patients. Every back tooth, molars, pre-molars, definitely gets a crown after a root canal treatment. There is no question about it. A crown is the way to safely cover and protect the tooth after a root canal treatment and not allow it to break. In the front, the situation may be different. If the damage to the coronal part of the tooth is minor, a lot of times we can fill the access cavity and not have to crown the tooth. What happens over time - sometimes root canal teeth discolor. In the front of the mouth, cosmetics and aesthetics become an issue. If the tooth is starting to turn grey or dark, then we can always go back and crown it and make it look pretty again.
Question 5: What are some of the benefits of getting a root canal treatment versus ignoring the problem?
RC: All right. What are some of the benefits of getting a root canal treatment versus just ignoring your problem?
Dr. Igor Kaplansky: When you have a situation that requires a root canal treatment, you literally have three choices. You can have a root canal treatment and extend the life of the tooth or save the tooth. You can extract the tooth and that is also a definitive way of dealing with problems that require root canal treatment, but you loose the tooth. Then you can do nothing, you can procrastinate. Usually the last, the procrastination is the worse choice. What happens is you have this reservoir inside the canal, inside the tooth, filled with bacterial, bio-film with their bi-products. They are constantly producing toxins, they are constantly attacking the immune system. People sometimes don't even realize, but all these bacteria and their bi-products that they are leaking into your blood stream from those untreated root canals can cause organ damage over time. They can cause abscesses, they can lead to swelling and severe infections, they can sometimes even be life threatening. Ignoring is never a good idea. A root canal treatment, when indicated, is a great way to save a tooth. Extraction is not such a good choice, but it is better than doing nothing.
RC: Okay great, well thank you so much Dr. Kaplansky. We know you are extremely busy, so I just want to thank you for your time and help.
Dr. Igor Kaplansky: Great. Thank you Liz, that's always a pleasure talking to you.
RC: Thank you, and for our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with Dr. Igor Kaplansky, you can either go online at www.drkaplansky.com or call 716-772-7500 to schedule an appointment.
On behalf of our entire team at razorcast, we want to thank you for listening, and we look forward to bringing you more top quality consent from our countries leading industry professionals.