So You Need a Root Canal

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Root canal therapy is a legendary procedure that once struck fear into the hearts and
mouths of its recipients. Much of this reputation has always been unwarranted. Especially by today’s dental standards, a root canal is routine. The procedure itself does not cause pain,so much as it provides relief from pain.

Root canals are named for the part of the tooth they’re meant to repair. Each tooth can
have multiple root canals, or smaller root systems branching off the main root. The root
canal itself is filled with a pulp that can become infected. If left untended, pus can form
below the root, causing extreme pain and risking abscess. This tooth must either be
extracted, or left in the mouth after a pulpectomy. This is the part of the root canal
procedure that removes all infected pulp and replaces it with a secondary material called gutta-percha.

Our endodontist is highly skilled, and can counsel you both on ways to prepare for the
procedure, and aftercare tips. All that should happen is a little bleeding, which you can
control with gauze. In the event of extended discomfort, you should alert your dentist right away—it’s abnormal.

Contact our root canal dentist in Los Angeles today.

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What is Endodontics?

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There are several forms of dentistry, practiced by experts who studied these specific avenues of the profession. For example, cosmetic dentists are concerned with the appearance of teeth, while periodontists diagnose and treat gum disease. Endodontists are experts in the inside of the teeth, where the pulp and nerves are found. This can be easily realized by the fact that ‘endo’ means inside, and ‘odont’ refers to teeth.

Our teeth are comprised of a soft inner tissue called pulp, which can be found alongside the nerves and blood vessels in the tooth’s canals. Sometimes the pulp becomes infected or inflamed. This is usually due to a lack of sufficient dental hygiene leading to plaque, which can make its way to the center of the tooth, though may also be caused by a crack or a fracture. An endodontist can diagnose the exact cause, and perform the treatment necessary to correct the issue and restore the tooth.

The solution to an infected, inflamed, or injured tooth is usually a root canal treatment. During your first visit to our San Francisco endodontist for a root canal therapy, the infected pulp will be removed and replaced with a temporary filling, or left to drain for a few days. During your second appointment, you will get your permanent filling, and can then return shortly after for a crown.

Purpose of Root Canal Therapy

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Given the perhaps unwarranted reputation of root canals being exceptionally painful, it is natural for patients to wish to avoid them whenever possible. However, root canals are an exceptionally important tool that endodontists use when treating painful and decayed teeth.

Root canal therapy is done when a tooth has developed extensive decay or inflammation in the inner core of the tooth. If the infection is left untreated, it can spread even deeper, going into the supporting structure of the tooth. This is called an abscess. A bad enough abscess may necessitate the removal of the tooth. The process is therefore done to clean out the infection, and then prevent the tooth from feeling such pain in the future. Our expert in root canal therapy in Los Angeles will tell you that they are exceptionally effective treatments, successfully handling infections 95 percent of the time.

The primary advantage that root canals have over newer options like dental implants is that a root canal will save the original tooth. While the value of saving the natural tooth is actually a matter of how a patient personally feels about it, there is significant benefits in doing so. Keeping a tooth anchored in a jaw prevents the jaw from reabsorbing that bone, which can cause facial deformities. Dental implants also address this issue, but given that root canal therapy is actually easier and cheaper, it becomes the more conservative approach.

Our Los Angeles endodontist would be happy to provide you with more information on the process if you have any questions.