Published on August 19, 2020, Updated on December 14, 2021

Contents: What is a root canal? | Reasons for it? | Symptoms | Procedure | do I need Crown placement? | FAQ

What is a Root Canal?

The part that is visible when you speak or smile is your natural Tooth or Crown. It is protected by dental enamel that covers your entire tooth including below the gum. It protects the tooth down to the dentin which is slightly harder than the enamel. Inside its fortified cage, along the length of the root is a cavity called the canal. It is filled with Dental pulp called the pulp chamber. The pulp contains nerve tissues and blood vessels which are responsible for sending signals to the brain and feeding the tooth with nutrients. When the Pulp gets infected, pressure will start to build up inside the pulp because of the formation of debris and bacteria products. This results in unbearable pain that if not treated as soon as possible, will lead to tooth loss. The root canal treatment eliminates the damaged pulp, resulting in rapid pain relief. It is also one of the treatments that can prevent the tooth from getting extracted. Even though the patient wears braces or have other oral issues, it is safe to remove a root canal. With this treatment, you’ll no longer suffer from constant pain and discomfort.

How can the Root Canal get Infected?

The root canal infection begins when food particles adhere to the teeth for an extended period of time after eating, particularly when these food particles enter the interdental spaces on the chewing surfaces of the rear teeth or molars. Without brushing and flossing, bacteria from the foods you eat will remain in your mouth, giving them the opportunity to convert the sugars and carbs in food into acid. The acid depletes the protective ingredient in the saliva that protects the enamel, causing the enamel to deteriorate as a result of the acids assaulting it. This results in cavities and later on tooth decay. If dental cavities are not filled in right away, the tooth enamel will be punctured, allowing the infection to get to the pulp. This condition can also cause diseases of the Oral cavity, Jaw, and Salivary gland.

The bacteria buildup in the mouth can also infect the gums. Because of the constant exposure to acids, the gums could get loose and expose the dentin layer under the gum. The infection will progress to the pulp, which is what causes persistent pain and suffering. If the infection is already at the pulp, the pulp must be eliminated to avoid further infection. If it is not done, Abscess will develop and will later need for your tooth to be extracted.

Other reasons for a pulp infection include a crack, a chip, a root fracture, dental trauma, and perhaps infection as a result of repeated restorations.

Why Not Extract?
Root canal therapy is more expensive than a tooth extraction, so why bother saving the tooth and extracting it? It is because no prosthetic tooth, whatever its material, will ever be able to completely replace the functioning of your original teeth. Your ability to eat, talk, and smile can be compromised if the tooth is extracted. Without a new tooth, the unfilled socket might cause erosion of the jaw bone, resulting in deformed facial characteristics.

When is Root Canal Endodontic therapy needed?

This Endodontics treatment is used to treat various issues such as dead nerves, inflamed nerves, cracked, or even dead teeth. It can also help in the retreatment of a failed root canal therapy. In some cases, endodontic treatment may even need to remove the nerves or the teeth themselves. The decision will be yours, although our staff and experts can assist with your decision once we’ve listened to your concerns and thoroughly examined your oral health.

A root canal procedure can be completed in as few as 2 appointments. The second appointment will allow the Patient and Dentist to assess how the treatment is progressing and whether additional work is required. In some situations, a permanent filling is placed during the initial visit, resulting in a faster recovery time than usual. Make an appointment with us today if you are near La Habra CA.

Early Symptoms that Could Require a Root Canal

  •  Toothache
  •  Swelling
    • Infection
  •  Extremely sensitive to cold and hot.

What Your Dentist May Ask about the Symptoms

  • Onset
  • Location of pain/swelling
  • Type of pain – whether it’s continuous or pulsed
  •  Duration of pain

Observable Signs
It is plausible that you will be unaware of an underlying dental issue until it is too late. There are, however, evident symptoms that only a trained eye will notice. These include the following:

  • Color
  • Signs of pus discharge
  • Visible changes in soft tissue, and asymmetry

Tests
Additional testing may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis if the indications are insufficient. X-ray, percussion, thermal feeling, and electronic pulp testing are some of the tests available.

Root Canal Step by Step procedure

  • Imaging – The first step of this surgery is to determine the condition of the tooth. Dentists will use an x-ray image to determine the extent of the damage and the root configuration of the tooth. Molars have multiple roots and any of the roots could be infected. The dentist will need to know which of the roots has an infection and how it is oriented.
  • Anesthesia – Root canal near La Habra typically involves Surgery. Therefore, Local anesthesia is always administered before the start of the treatment.
  • Opening the Canal – When opening the canal, some patients can do away with local anesthesia, but some may need sedation. Using a drill, dentists will open a hole in the tooth to expose the trouble area. It also releases the pressure inside which is why patients will no longer feel any pain when the sedation wears off. Drilling is performed in the crown in case of molars, and in the lingual side if it is the front tooth.
  • Cleaning – The tooth will be completely rid of the nerve tissue and other pulp matter. Afterward, the canal is flushed thoroughly then dried. A similar treatment called pulpotomy removes the pulp tissue from the root of the chamber but for the baby tooth, instead of the permanent one.
  • Sealing – Now that the insides of the tooth are empty, it shouldn’t be left that way as it can risk having another abscess or infection. To fill the hollow canal, gutta-percha, a rubber-like substance, and a resin sealant are used.
  • Temporary Filling – While waiting for the mouth to completely heal, it will be covered with a temporary restoration. A root canal with a temporary crown might be done to keep the tooth safe until a permanent crown arrives.
  • Permanent Seal – If things go well and there are no other issues, the temporary fillings will be replaced with permanent fillings on the next appointment.

Why is Crown placement necessary after Root Canal Surgery?

Endodontic therapy leaves the tooth with thin walls than normal; therefore it will be very vulnerable. It is recommended that the tooth needs to be reinforced with a dental crown once the root canal treatment is completely healed.

Getting a crown is optional but highly recommended. If you opt to proceed with a crown, we will immediately provide you with a temporary crown and send the impressions of your tooth to a lab for fabrication of a permanent crown. On your next visit, you’ll be fitting the crown. In some cases where the affected tooth is weak or broken, additional work may be needed before putting the crown. See Root Canal Treatment Cost near me

Root Canals in La Habra

We can help relieve tooth pain through an emergency root canal. If you are near La Habra, CA, Schedule an Appointment with us and let us help you save your tooth.

Root Canal FAQ

Is a root canal painful?

Studies from the American Association of Endodontists, shows that patients feel little to no pain at all while the root canal is being performed. Local anesthesia is a standard procedure before the treatment therefore the procedure will not be painful. Needing a root canal causes more pain and discomfort. If you are near La Habra, meet Dr. Meghna Patel, DDS.

Why do root canals take 2 visits?

A normal RCT may require up to 2 visits. On your first appointment, the infected tissues and nerves are removed and the tooth is dressed. This process usually helps to get rid of tooth pain. On your second visit, the root canal is cleaned, disinfected, shaped and measured to avoid further infection. Learn more about it at our Summit Smiles office near La Habra.

Do you always need a crown with a root canal?

Following a root canal operation, dental crowns are a possibility but they are optional. You typically need a dental crown if the root canal treatment is at the back grinding teeth, molars, and premolars. Front teeth, canines, and incisors may not need a crown but it is up to the dentist’s evaluation and recommendation.
Studies have indicated that teeth treated with a crown have a sixfold survival rate compared to those that are not. A crown can protect the tooth from sensitivity, retains the natural color, prevents infections, and lasts longer. View the other services we offer at Summit Smiles.

How long does a root canal take?

Dental technology advancements have enabled more efficient methods of comparing a root canal surgery performed in two visits. A simple root canal treatment can last from 30 to 60 minutes. Severe dental cases may require longer than 90 minutes to complete. If you are nearby La Habra, set up an appointment with our dental office.

Can you eat after a root canal?

Yes. However, you must wait a few minutes or until the numbness subsides before eating to avoid accidentally biting your tongue or face. Do not bite down using your treated tooth until it is fully healed because it could damage it. After a root canal procedure, soft foods are strongly recommended to avoid irritating the sensitive area.

Can you drive yourself home following a root canal?

You can drive home after a root canal treatment especially if a local anesthetic is only used during the procedure. However, if the surgery requires sedation dentistry or a surgical root canal, you may require transportation home.

What can you not do following a root canal treatment?

Do not use the treated area when biting on food until it has been fully healed to avoid damaging it. Do not brush your teeth too aggressively as it could damage the fillings. Do not skip on follow-up appointments as it could cause the treatment to get worse and lenghten the healing time.

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