What is a Root Canal?

When we hear the term “root canal,” pain often comes to mind and that’s it. Despite what you’ve heard, the purpose of a root canal is not to cause pain. Rather, the purpose of this procedure is to save a tooth that is severely infected or deteriorating from bacteria inside the tooth.

If you have chronic or severe tooth pain, join us at Glendora Family Dentistry for an expert consultation on our dental services in Los Angeles. We will discuss and review your options to help you find the best treatment for your oral health.

How Is a Root Canal Performed?

A root canal is treatment to repair and save a tooth from severe infection and dying or dead tissue from inside the tooth. The procedure involves removing the damaged area of the tooth, cleaning and disinfecting the area before filling and sealing it, which is usually performed over two office visits.

During the procedure, the dentist administers local anesthesia to numb the tooth. After the anesthesia is applied, a small sheet of rubber that insolates the tooth is inserted to keep the treated area clean and dry during the procedure.

Then, a small drill is used to access the inside of the tooth by creating an opening in the top portion of the tooth. Next, the dentist will use small files to remove the damaged and infected pulp from the inside of the tooth. The files may also be used to sculpt and shape the inner chamber of the tooth for filling. Your dentist might also apply antimicrobial solution in the chamber to kill any remaining bacteria and reduce the risk for further infection.

Once the chamber is cleared out and cleaned, the dentist will fill it with a rubber-like material called gutta percha. To finish, your dentist will close the opening in your tooth with a temporary filling while you wait for the permanent crown in your next visit.

After a few weeks, you will return for a second visit to finish the treatment by placing a permanent crown on top of the tooth.

Will I Need a Root Canal?

Root canals are recommended when there is an infection deep inside the tooth. The pup inside the tooth is infected with bacteria caused by severe, untreated cavity or an injury. Without treatment, the infection can become severe enough that the tooth has to be removed.

Bonus Tips: How to Avoid a Root Canal

We love seeing you in our office, but we wish we didn’t have to! Root canal treatment is a tooth-saving tool that is available, but the best treatment is always prevention. Here’s what you can do to avoid root canals:

Brush twice daily. Classic dental hygiene but far too many adults and children neglect this step, especially at night.

Floss once daily. Flossing is just as important as brushing. This helps bad breath and it removes root-damaging bacteria.

Avoid hard foods. Candies and lollipops cause cracks that allow bacteria to enter your root system.

Break away from the ice. Chewing ice is a cool, refreshing treat but it can easily fracture, crack or break a tooth or filling.

Wear a mouth guard at night. If you grind your teeth at night, a mouth guard will protect your teeth from fractures.

Wear a mouth guard while playing sports. Mouth guards are essential to all contact sports such as football, soccer and even sports such as snowboarding.

Avoid acidic drinks and high-sugar foods. Acidic and high-sugar content foods break down enamel creating a coating for bacteria to live and thrive.

Get your tooth pain checked immediately. If pain surfaces, it is a sign of infection or trauma. Ignoring it will only make treatments more serious.

Dental Services in Los Angeles

Glendora Family Dentistry strives to create the ultimate pediatric and family dental care experience. Our state of the art facility provides patients with a plethora of dental services in Los Angeles to choose from.

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