Most people cringe when they hear the phrase root canal – it evokes all of the ubiquitous imagery of the horrors of the dentist, drills, and Novocain. The unfortunate truth is, if you need a root canal, you really need a root canal. But the good news is that they aren’t quite as horrifying as they make them out to be on television, and our root canal dentist in Agoura Hills has all of the tools and expertise necessary to make the process as efficient and painless as humanly possible.
So, what exactly is a root canal? Within the tooth is something called pulp, and the places where the pulp meets the roots of the tooth is called the root canal. Sometimes, the root, the pulp, or the nerve of a tooth becomes so severely infected that it cannot be saved, causing a lot of pain. In cases where the inside of the tooth is decayed beyond redemption and the outer portion can still be saved, the tissue in peril is removed in a procedure of the same name, a root canal.
Root canals are perfectly safe, as the sensitive inner tissue of the teeth really doesn’t serve much of a purpose after childhood when all the adult teeth have grown in. There are many issues which can result in a root canal being necessary. Most dentists will agree that the most common of which is probably ordinary decay. Infection and inflammation of the outer tooth can sometimes travel inward, bringing with it heightened sensitivity and severe pain. Damage resulting from physical trauma is also a frequent culprit; cracks and fractures provide outside bacteria and plaque to penetrate the enamel and affect the delicate tissue within. Disease, especially periodontal disease, also puts one at an increased risk.
How can a person know whether or not a root canal is necessary? Acute pain while eating, brushing, flossing, or otherwise putting pressure on the tooth or teeth in question is one easily-perceived early indicator of underlying damage; sensitivity to temperature is also something important to watch out for. Sometimes an infected root will present itself as a small lump pushing through the surface of your gums; bring up any newly-formed sores or lesions when you go in for your semi-yearly check-up. Discoloration may also be a warning sign, as are tenderness or swelling of the gums surrounding the affected tooth.
If you have ever had health issues concerning the inner pulp of your tooth, chances are you have been to, or at least heard of, the endodontist. But what exactly constitutes a trip to a dental specialist? Unlike a regular dentist, an endodontist specializes in root canals and procedures that take place past the dentine region of the tooth.
Although many dentists perform routine root canals, you can never go wrong with a specialist. Root canals can involve very intricate procedure, depending on your situation. Endodontists are not only incredibly skilled in performing these specific procedures, but they also have the equipment needed to locate infections within slender tooth roots.
If you need to undergo a root canal for a multi-rooted tooth, it may be a wise decision to talk to your dentist about a referral to our expert in endodontics in LA. Our specialist will provide you with exceptional care during your root canal. In the days following, you can also expect to visit your dentist for a new crown to preserve your tooth.
For more information about root canals or to schedule a consultation with one of our experts, call our office.
Endodontics is one of nine specialties recognized by the ADA. Whereas orthodontists do endless numbers of braces, endodontists do endless numbers of root canals. Official estimates have the average endodontist performing 17 root canals per week, as opposed to general dentists performing 2 or fewer.
That caseload generates a lot of experience. Furthermore, endodontists train for three years after dental school. They learn the intricacies of the inner tooth, and focus on pain management. Root canal therapy has a reputation for being painful. But improved training and practices over the last few decades have largely reduced that reputation to myth.
Thanks to our expert in endodontics in West Hollywood, your root canal procedure is relaxed and routine. Even root canal emergencies are handled with ease. It’s common for a root canal to become necessary after trauma, like a blow to the mouth. This can happen a lot to children or adolescents who sustain sports injuries or other accidents. If the tooth involved is a baby tooth, an endodontist would need to address the pulpal injury immediately in order for the tooth to be saved.
For more about endodontics, contact our cosmetic dentist in West Hollywood.
A root canal procedure is no longer a source of dread—at least, if you do your research. Knowing exactly what goes down while you’re in the chair—everything from the history of root canals to the instruments used—can act tremendously toward your peace of mind.
If you’re at a loss for good questions, try the following:
Is a root canal preferable to a simple extraction?
In some cases, you may want to keep your tooth. There are concerns—some of them legitimate—about the inability to fully sterilize the affected tooth. No matter how thorough your specialist is, it’s not always possible to eradicate every microbe from the interior of the tooth. If this is a sticking point for you, ask your root canal doctor in Los Angeles about the advantages of extraction.
What are the chances my root canal will fail?
The most recent data projects the odds of root canal success between 85 and 97 percent. When procedures fail, it’s often because they were performed by general dentists instead of endodontists. General dentists who lack endodontic training may misuse tools or fail to irrigate or seal properly.
What do you replace the inflamed tissue with?
A secondary material called gutta-percha—used in the making of canes in the 1800s—is placed inside the tooth. As stated above, it is not always possible to remove all bacteria from the root canal. The goal is to preserve the tooth, and to limit leaks and the possibility of retreatment.
Root canal therapy is essentially a radical cleaning of a tooth’s interior. A slightly darker vision is that it prepares a dead tooth for viewing by embalming it. This is not necessarily true, although necrotic tissue can be one of the reasons root canal is needed.
When performing a root canal, the dentist aims to rid the tooth entirely of any contaminate that may cause further infection or injury. This seems like a straightforward process, but it isn’t always. The root canal of a tooth can branch into more and more intricate canals that are hard for a dentist to detect, let alone clean and seal. Because these subsidiaries of the main canal are so hard to reach, they make perfect habitats for breeding bacteria. This is how a tooth can explode into pain without warning, as infection spreads throughout the main canal toward the tooth roots themselves.
Our root canal dentist in West Hollywood aims to clean and seal your infected tooth so you can avoid an extraction. They remove all the infected pulp, and replace it with a benign material called gutta-percha. This enables the tooth to stay in the mouth even after the loss of so much living tissue.
For more about root canals, contact our West Hollywood dentist.
Advances in the industry have standardized root canal well past the old stigmas. Still, some people still associate root canal therapy with traumatic stress and unbearable pain. In a significant majority of cases, this doesn’t happen and patients experience effortless recovery. If you experienced pain before your procedure, that alone is the biggest indicator of postoperative pain. It’s very unlikely your procedure will induce new pain, and even if it does, this is no indication something went wrong.
You can expect some mild bleeding and swelling, so use the gauze the dentist gave you. You can control most of the discomfort with regular pain reliever, in recommended doses.
Any discomfort that arises after your root canal is probably related to the root itself. Sometimes a dentist will inadvertently nick a ligament with a tool, or the rubber dam used to cover the surrounding teeth will pinch the adjoining gum tissue. This tenderness or awkwardness should go away within a few hours. If not, our expert in root canal in Van Nuys recommends you use a saltwater rinse every three to four hours until relief is achieved.
Make sure you get plenty of rest, remember to hydrate, and don’t chew on the affected tooth until it’s comfortable to do so.
For more, contact your Van Nuys dentists.
Root canal treatment usually goes smoothly, but complications can occur for a variety of reasons. Errors during the procedure and anomalies in tooth anatomy are often involved when problems do happen. Here is a look at the most common types of root canal complications.
Errors or missed infected tissues can allow a tooth to become re-infected right after a root canal or later. Insufficient cleaning, delayed crown placement, and incomplete removal of infected tissue from abnormal tooth canals may be involved in these cases.
Tooth roots are very delicate and often shaped in unusual ways, and they sometimes become punctured by instruments during a root canal procedure. In some cases, such punctures can be repaired immediately with no further issue.
Root or Crown Fracture
Following root canal therapy, teeth, and especially their roots, are more brittle than before. Further treatment, failure to place a crown, and habitual teeth grinding all can potentially fracture weakened roots. This often makes extraction necessary.
Complications of root canal treatment can happen during the procedure or later. Fortunately, complications are unusual and are treatable in a variety of ways. You can schedule a consultation with our Los Angeles endodontist to learn more about endodontic complications.