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June 29, 2017
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Everything I need to know before entering endodontist office

endodontic file close-up on a white background

When your tooth is highly decayed and infected you may need root canal treatment to repair it and save it as long as possible.

During the treatment tooth’s pulp, which is composed of infected and damaged vessels and nerves, is removed, cleaned and sealed.
People fear this treatment because of pain that was experienced before seeking dental care. But the procedure itself shouldn’t be more painful than having a filling replaced.

Dental Pulp

The pulp contains blood vessels, nerve, and connective tissue. The root canals connect pulp chamber with the tip of the root.
Main nerve’s function is to provide a sensation of heat and cold. Even though the nerve will be removed from the tooth, he will still be able to function in the mouth. What will happen, you just won’t feel the sensation of it.

Why does pulp need to be treated?

When the pulp cracks down, the bacteria infects the chamber and begins to multiply. The bacteria and dead cells cause infection and abscess of the tooth. The tooth can swell and infection can even spread to the other areas. What is more, it may start bone resorption which can lead to bone loss. Also, if the abscess is a little bigger there can be a lot of drainage problems.

Causes of damaged pulp

Tooth’s pulp can be damaged by:

  • Trauma
  • Deep decay
  • Repeated dental procedures
  • Large fillings
  • Cracks of the tooth

Symptoms

There are some symptoms, from which you could suppose that you need root canal treatment:

  • Severe pain
  • Pain while chewing
  • Tooth sensitivity to temperature changes
  • Pain of hot and cold food
  • Color change. (The tooth may become darker)
  • Swelling of the gums
  • Sometimes there are no symptoms, but a tooth may need root canal treatment also

The Root Canal Procedure


Root canal procedure is being made by an endodontist or general dentist. It depends on the difficulty of the case and dentist’s confidence level of doing the treatment successfully. You may need one or more visits, depends on how many canals do you have and how difficult your case is.

1.X-ray

All you need is an x-ray to see how many canals do you have and how they are shaped. Also, to determine whether there are any signs of infection or bone loss around the bone, which surrounds the tooth. The dentist may foresee how difficult your case is.

2. Anesthesia

During the procedure, dentist would use local anesthesia to make you feel relaxed and comfortable. If the tooth is already dead, you may not need anesthesia.

3. Rubber dam

Your tooth will be isolated with a sheet of rubber during the procedure, just to keep the area dry and free of saliva. Also, this barrier will prevent you from swallowing the endodontic instruments.

4. Endodontic treatment

Firstly, the dentist will drill the tooth to have an access with the pulp. By that, they will remove all the infected tissues, bacteria and debris along the way. The canals will be shaped and cleaned by special endodontic instruments, called root canal files. They will be subsequently placed into canals to increase the diameter of them. The canals will be constantly irrigated with sodium hypochlorite to flush away any debris and prevent the reinfection of the tooth. After that, they will be sealed if root canal filling. What is more, after endodontic treatment you will need your crown be filled with the permanent filling or restored with crown, inlay or onlay. The restoration will be determined by the size of how damaged your tooth was and your further treatment plan.
If you are thinking about getting endodontic treatment, visit us at Endo LA to plan your appointment or you can call us: (310) 649-3636.

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