Root canals have a notorious reputation for being painful and scary procedures, but they’re often essential for saving your tooth from extraction. Thanks to modern dentistry, root canals are now more comfortable and successful than ever before. In this blog, we’ll explore why you might need a root canal, how to know if it’s the right treatment for you, and whether a badly decayed tooth can be saved.
What Causes You to Need a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure that’s necessary when the soft inner tissue of your tooth, known as the pulp, becomes infected or inflamed. The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, and it’s crucial for your tooth’s health and vitality. There are several reasons why your tooth’s pulp might become compromised:
Deep Decay: When a cavity progresses and reaches the inner layer of your tooth, it can cause an infection in the pulp. This is often the primary reason for needing a root canal.
Cracked or Chipped Tooth: If your tooth is cracked or chipped, bacteria can find their way into the pulp and cause an infection.
Repeated Dental Procedures: Multiple dental procedures on the same tooth can weaken it and increase the risk of pulp infection.
Trauma: A hard knock or injury to your tooth may cause the pulp to become damaged, even if there are no visible signs of harm.
How Do You Know If You Need a Root Canal?
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you might need a root canal:
Severe Toothache: A persistent toothache that gets worse when you bite or apply pressure on your tooth is a classic sign of pulp infection or inflammation.
Swelling and Tenderness: Swelling and tenderness in the gums near the affected tooth may indicate an infection.
Darkening of the Tooth: A discolored or darkened tooth may signal that the pulp inside is dead or dying.
Sensitivity to Hot and Cold: If you notice extreme sensitivity to hot and cold food or beverages that lingers even after the stimulus is removed, it could be a sign of pulp damage.
Pimple-Like Bumps on the Gums: If you see a small pimple-like bump near the affected tooth, it may be a sign of an abscess, which is a collection of pus caused by a bacterial infection.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to visit your dentist as soon as possible. They will take an X-ray and perform a thorough examination to determine if a root canal is the best course of action.
Can a Badly Decayed Tooth Be Saved?
It’s reassuring to know that even a severely decayed tooth has a high likelihood of being saved by an endodontist through a root canal procedure. This treatment involves the removal of the infected or inflamed pulp, followed by a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the tooth’s interior. Once completed, the tooth is filled and sealed to prevent future infections. Finally, a dental crown is typically placed over the tooth to provide protection and restore its functionality.
However, it’s important to note that a root canal might not be the solution for all cases. If the tooth’s structure has been severely compromised or if the infection has spread to the adjacent bone, extraction could be the only viable option. Rest assured, your dentist or endodontist will carefully evaluate your individual circumstances and recommend the most appropriate course of action.
What to Expect During a Root Canal
Contrary to popular belief, a root canal is not a painful procedure. With modern anesthetics and techniques, most patients feel little to no discomfort during the treatment. Here’s what you can expect during a root canal:
Numbing: Your endodontist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area around the affected tooth, ensuring you’re comfortable throughout the procedure.
Accessing the Pulp: A small opening is made in the top of the tooth to access the pulp chamber.
Removing the Infected Pulp: The endodontist will carefully remove the infected or inflamed pulp using specialized instruments.
Cleaning and Disinfecting: The empty pulp chamber and root canals are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to eliminate any remaining bacteria.
Filling the Canals: The cleaned and disinfected canals are filled with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha, which seals the tooth and prevents future infection.
Placing a Temporary Filling: A temporary filling is placed to close the opening in the tooth until a permanent restoration can be placed.
Final Restoration: In a follow-up appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary filling and place a permanent restoration, such as a crown or filling, to protect and restore the tooth’s function.
After the procedure, it’s normal to experience some discomfort or mild pain, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and should subside within a few days.
The Importance of Seeing an Endodontist
An endodontist is a dental specialist who focuses on diagnosing and treating issues related to the tooth’s pulp and the tissues surrounding the root. They have completed additional training beyond dental school, which makes them experts in root canal procedures.
While general dentists are capable of performing root canals, seeing an endodontist can be beneficial for several reasons:
Expertise: Endodontists perform an average of 25 root canals per week, while general dentists perform around two. This extensive experience means that endodontists are well-equipped to handle complex cases and ensure the best possible outcome for your tooth.
Advanced Technology: Endodontists often use state-of-the-art technology, such as 3D imaging and specialized instruments, to make root canal procedures more efficient and comfortable.
Higher Success Rates: Studies have shown that root canal treatments performed by endodontists have higher success rates compared to those performed by general dentists.
A root canal from an endodontist can often save your tooth, even if it’s badly decayed. With their expertise and advanced technology, endodontists are well-equipped to handle complex cases and ensure the best possible outcome for your tooth. If you suspect you might need a root canal or want to learn more about the procedure, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with our dental clinic. Our team of experienced professionals is here to help you maintain your oral health and keep your smile beautiful.
Endodontists are the unsung heroes of dental care, but many people are unfamiliar with the vital role they play in keeping our smiles healthy. While general dentists are equipped to handle a wide range of dental issues, endodontists are the specialists to see when it comes to diagnosing and treating problems with the tooth’s interior, specifically the pulp and nerves.
Endodontists have received advanced training in this area, enabling them to perform intricate procedures that may not be feasible for general dentists. They are experts at saving teeth and relieving pain, making them an essential part of any comprehensive dental practice.
In this blog, we’ll shed light on the valuable role that endodontists play in dental care.
Why Do I Need to See an Endodontist?
If you’re experiencing tooth pain, swelling, or sensitivity to temperature, it’s possible that you may need to see an endodontist. While general dentists are trained to handle many dental issues, endodontists specialize in diagnosing and treating problems that arise within the pulp, nerves, and other interior tissues of the tooth.
Endodontists have received additional training beyond dental school, and they use advanced technology and techniques to perform intricate procedures like root canals, endodontic surgery, and other specialized treatments. They’re also equipped to handle complex cases, including teeth with unusual anatomy, previous dental work, or other factors that may make treatment more challenging.
If you’ve been referred to one, there’s no need to be anxious. In fact, many patients report feeling relieved after their treatment, as they can finally find relief from the discomfort and pain that brought them in.
By seeing these specialists, you’ll receive specialized care from a dental professional who is focused solely on treating the interior of your tooth. This means that you’ll receive the highest quality care and the best possible outcome for your dental health.
Endodontist Vs General Dentist
Many people wonder what the difference is between an endodontist and a general dentist. While both are dental professionals who have received a degree in dentistry, there are some key differences in their training and expertise.
General dentists are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of dental issues, including routine cleanings, fillings, and other basic procedures. While they may have some experience performing root canals, they typically don’t have the same level of specialized training as an endodontist.
Endodontists, on the other hand, have completed an additional two or three years of training beyond dental school in the field of endodontics. This specialized training allows them to diagnose and treat complex cases involving the interior of the tooth, including root canals, and other specialized procedures.
They use advanced technology and techniques to perform these procedures, and they’re equipped to handle complex cases that general dentists may not be comfortable with. They also have a deep understanding of how the interior of the tooth functions and how to restore it to its proper health and function.
If you’ve been referred to an endodontist, it’s important to know that you’re receiving care from a dental professional who has specialized training and expertise in treating the interior of the tooth. This means that you can expect the highest quality care and the best possible outcome for your dental health.
What Procedures Does An Endodontist Perform?
Endodontists are experts at diagnosing and treating problems with the interior of the tooth. They use advanced technology and specialized techniques to perform a wide range of procedures, including:
Root canal therapy: This is one of the most common procedures performed by endodontists. It involves removing the infected or inflamed pulp from the interior of the tooth and filling the space with a biocompatible material.
Endodontic surgery: In some cases, they may need to perform surgery to treat complex cases, such as a damaged root or a tooth that has not healed properly after a root canal.
Treatment of traumatic dental injuries: They can provide treatment for teeth that have been cracked, dislodged, or knocked out due to injury.
Diagnosis of complex cases: They are trained to diagnose and treat complex cases involving the interior of the tooth, including teeth with unusual anatomy or previous dental work.
Treatment of persistent or recurring tooth pain: They can provide treatment for persistent or recurring tooth pain, which may be a sign of a more serious issue.
What Should I Expect During a Visit to an Endodontist?
If you’ve been referred to one of these specialists or are considering seeing one, you may be wondering what to expect during your visit. Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect during a typical visit to an endodontist:
Consultation: During your first visit, you’ll have a consultation with the endodontist, who will review your dental history, perform an examination, and recommend any necessary tests or procedures.
Diagnostic testing: If necessary, the endodontist may perform diagnostic tests, such as X-rays or other imaging studies, to help diagnose the problem and develop a treatment plan.
Treatment: If treatment is recommended, the endodontist will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have. Depending on the procedure, you may receive local anesthesia to ensure that you’re comfortable throughout the procedure.
Follow-up care: After the procedure, the endodontist will provide instructions for post-treatment care and schedule any necessary follow-up visits to ensure that the treatment was successful.
At Akemi Dental Specialists, our team of skilled and experienced endodontists is committed to helping patients achieve healthy, beautiful smiles. We understand that the thought of undergoing endodontic treatment may be intimidating, but we’re here to provide compassionate care in a comfortable and welcoming environment. Our state-of-the-art technology and specialized techniques ensure that you receive the most effective and efficient treatment possible, with minimal discomfort or pain.
If you’re experiencing tooth pain, sensitivity, or other symptoms, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with us. We’ll work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and concerns. We’ll also provide you with information and guidance to help you maintain good oral health and prevent future dental problems.
Remember, your dental health is an important part of your overall health and well-being.
Posted on September 19, 2022 in Root Canal by dgp-dev
For years, root canals have been one of the most uncomfortable dental procedures available. Luckily, with advancements in technology and better dental practices – a great dentist can perform a root canal with minimal discomfort and virtually no pain!
That being said, root canals are extremely important and are usually one of the last measures to save a tooth from extraction. In this blog post, we give you an overview of the procedure and what you need to know before and after the procedure.
Should I Get a Root Canal or an Extraction?
When bacteria gets too deep into the tooth, a filling is no longer an option. That leaves patients with only two options: tooth extraction or a root canal.
There are a few reasons why you might need a root canal or an extraction. If you have a tooth that is severely decayed or damaged, a root canal may be necessary to save the tooth. Unfortunately, an extraction may be necessary if the tooth is too damaged for your dentist/endodontist to save. For example, if you have a tooth that is abscessed, an extraction may be necessary to remove the abscess.
However, if the bacteria has only caused an infection in your tooth, a root canal may still be a great option to remove the infected tissue without need for extraction.
Before a tooth gets to this stage, the first sign of trouble brewing is a cavity. A cavity causes tell-tale signs and symptoms including but not limited to:
Sensitivity in the tooth
Pain in the tooth
Discomfort and/or pain when chewing or biting
It is important to never ignore any pain or discomfort that you experience. The longer you wait to seek medical assistance, the worse the condition can get. At a certain stage of infection, extraction might be the only solution to protect your overall oral and general health.
Are You Put to Sleep During a Root Canal?
You will only need to get numbed during a root canal procedure and unless you suffer from severe dental anxiety, you won’t need to be put to sleep.
A root canal is a fairly non-invasive procedure done to save your tooth. A root procedure involves removing the damaged tissue from inside the tooth, cleaning and disinfecting it, and then filling and sealing it. Root canals are usually performed by dentists or endodontists (specialists who treat conditions of the teeth and their root canals).
Although it sounds like a time consuming procedure, a root canal takes approximately one hour. Depending on how the procedure is performed, you might need two visits to complete the entire procedure. During the first visit, the dentist will clean out the root canal and place a temporary filling. The second visit is used to check that the infection has gone and permanently seal the root canal. After your root canal, it is recommended that you get a crown to protect the integrity of your enamel and prevent it from breaking.
While there are several steps involved, a root canal should be no more uncomfortable than a filling.
If you’ve had the procedure done with no sedation, you will be able to drive home. For patients that were put under sedation, they will need someone to drive them home for their own safety.
How Can You Avoid a Root Canal?
Avoiding a root canal will require you to follow basic oral health guidelines. Although it’s simple and we probably all know it by now, it is normal for people to forget every now and then. Unfortunately it takes only a few days of forgetting to brush your teeth before you get a cavity.
Here are some of the basics:
Brush twice a day. It goes without saying. However, several people (children and adults) forget to brush their teeth especially at night.
Floss daily. Brushing your teeth is just cleaning 70% of your teeth. Flossing gets to those hard to reach areas and prevents root-damaging bacteria from forming.
Avoid hard candies. Hard candies and snacks crack your teeth giving bacteria an entry point.
Avoid acidic drinks and foods. Acidic drinks weaken your enamel and fill your teeth with sugar that bacteria can feed on.
Stick to your regular dental appointments. Going for regular cleanings and checkups means your dentist can clean plaque and tartar that you can’t get rid of in a dental cleaning. This is perhaps the most important way for you to prevent a root canal. It also gives your dentist the opportunity to find any cavities before they progress and an infection gets deeply rooted and cannot be saved with a filling.
What are the Long-term Benefits of a Root Canal?
Perhaps the most important benefit of a root canal procedure is that it stops the spread of infection. This not only saves your tooth from infection, but it also protects your overall health. Dental infections can spread far into the body and can cause other health problems including health disease.
A root canal will also:
Stop your pain
Improve your chewing
Improve the aesthetic appearance of your tooth
A root canal is definitely scarier than it sounds. When done right and by a high-trained and qualified dental team like our dentists at Akemi, it should be painless and effective.
Like with any other dental procedure, it is important for you to identify a qualified dentist/endodontist who will perform the procedure. If a root canal is not done properly, the infection will still remain and will cause even more damage.
Do you think you need a root canal? Get an evaluation from our dentist to see which is the best treatment plan for you and your specific needs.
Before sharing skills about what you can do after a root canal, let’s describe what a root canal is. First, did you know that Inside your tooth, there’s something beneath the enamel and dentin called pulp. This tissue contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue, which grow the root of your tooth during its development. A permanent tooth can survive without the pulp because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it, depending on the state of your tooth and your own circumstances. Getting a root canal is relatively pain-free and very effective. How would you know if a root canal is needed? A root canal is required for genetics and injury, a cracked tooth from a large cavity, or a filling issue. Patients usually need a root canal when they notice their teeth are sensitive, particularly to hot and cold sensations.
After a root canal, you must take a rest, yes take a rest! That is, only If you want to see a better result. But don’t worry about it, because Akemi Dental Specialists are here for you, we are your endodontist and will send you home with all the instructions that you need for pain management. We love to help you with your pain, and of course, we will teach you how to care for your tooth while you’re waiting until your next appointment. You’ll have to return to your dentist for a final crown to restore the tooth entirely once your root canal is completed. It’s essential to make this appointment when your endodontist finishes work on your tooth.
What Can You Eat After A Root Canal?
Saving the natural tooth with root canal treatment has many advantages, like efficient chewing, normal biting pressure and sensation, a natural appearance, and it protects other teeth from excessive wear or strain in any way. It Is essential to know what kind of food you can eat after root canal care. You will continue to be numb for a couple of hours in the mouth area where the treated tooth is. It is ideal not to eat until the numbness completely wears off. It is hard to eat when your mouth is numb, and chewing may cause you to bite your tongue or cheek inadvertently. Suppose you grind your cheek at that moment, in that case, you will not feel anything or feel like you’re munching gum. Chewing could cause soreness in the jaw on the side doing most of the chewing. Avoid carbonated and alcoholic beverages and hot and spicy foods. Following is a list of foods that you can safely eat. Remember that your tooth is so sensitive and you need soft food.
Can You Drink Out Of A Straw After A Root Canal?
Don’t drink anything through a straw, as the sucking action could disturb the filling material in the treated tooth. Use a glass or cup and drink with caution. We recommend for 24-48 hours following your surgery, do not suck on a straw, drink from a bottle, rinse, spit, or smoke.
Can You Go To Work After A Root Canal?
Most people can go right back to work, school, or other activities. You may want to wait until the moment you feel comfortable and better. All people are different; some people need to rest to feel better. If, after a root canal, you think you can go and work, we recommend you rest because you may not be able to work safely after the procedure. Most root canal procedures are done with a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and usually don’t cause much pain or discomfort. If you receive sedation medication or general anesthesia, you’ll want to get a ride home.
Does A Root Canal Hurt?
If you present pain after your root canal, stay calm. Soon, the pain and discomfort will go away, but let me explain to you something important about the pain. There are several reasons that you may experience some pain. First, the nearby ligaments surrounding nerves and tissue may be swollen or inflamed, which can cause some discomfort and pain. The tooth nerve has been removed during root canal therapy, so it is expected that your tooth should soon feel completely pain-free. If you have some minor pain for a few days, don’t stress and don’t worry. You’ll be pain-free once the root canal site has healed and recovered from treatment. Root canal care requires us to clean out the root canal with sharp dental instruments. It’s possible to show a little minor damage and trauma from this process, which will take some time to heal appropriately.
Now let’s all remember what we learned about what we can do after a root canal; for example, take a rest to let your body recover. It is best not to try to eat until the numbness completely wears off because you can have the possibility of biting your cheek and tongue, be careful at the moment. You want to drink using just the glass, never through a straw. Avoid carbonated and alcoholic beverages and hot and spicy food. Your tooth is sensitive, and you need soft food like eggs, bananas, and fruit.
Finally, you don’t have to be scared; come here with us, we are professional, and we love to work with you and give you a beautiful and painless smile. We are here with open arms waiting for you to decide. Let us care about your smile.
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Dr. Tatsuta and all her staff are friendly, caring, professional, capable, smiling and the treatment is excellent.
My wife and I just loved Dr. Tatsuta and her staff. Very professional! On Time! Great office. I would suggest you go to Dr. Tatsuta. My wife had a tough problem. Dr, Tatsuta and Kat were just terrific… " class="more-link">Read more
The best care ever! What a team! Dr. T you are the best! I totally understood how Dr. T explains the procedure. She is the sweetest caring doctor I have ever gone to.
Dr. Okui changed my mind about so many things with my teeth. I went from some pretty bad looking teeth so getting a few replaced. I also got a root canal from Dr. Tatsuta. Both are excellent. I never … " class="more-link">Read more
Akemi Dental is the best I have found! I have a lot of mouth problems and they give painless complete care. I would refer them to everyone I know. Thank you for your great care!
Something one is not looking forward to could not be made more comfortable and reassuring by Dr. Tatsuta and her staff.
Very professional, yet attentive and caring, not only in the office but in the follow up! I highly recommend them.
Dr. Tatsuta and her staff provided me with the best care and customer service. The entire procedure of my root canal was painless (and I have low tolerance for pain). Dr. Tatsuta is the best Endodon… " class="more-link">Read more
If you must-this is a great place that saves-smiles!
I appreciate Dr. Tatsuta making every effort including three root canals to save my tooth! For the extraction, she referred me to a very competent specialist. The staff could not have done more for me… " class="more-link">Read more
(818) 990-6222 for Dr. Cynthia Tatsuta
(818) 990-5222 for Dr. Matthew Okui
16055 Ventura Blvd. Suite #820, Encino, CA 91436
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About Akemi Dental
Akemi Dental Specialists features the skill and expertise of Endodontist Dr. Tatsuta DDS and Periodontist Dr. Okui DDS.
Both Encino dentists are known for their skill at building a solid foundation for dental health and tooth preservation.
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Akemi Dental Specialists, 16055 Ventura Blvd. Suite #820, Encino, CA 91436
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