In root canal treatment, there is complete removal of the dental pulp that is infected. This provides pain relief, eliminates the infection, and conserves the exterior tooth structure. The dentist will delicately remove the pulp as well as the nerve in a root canal treatment. She will then clean the area properly and seal the inside of the pulp chamber.
If this condition is left untreated, it may lead to the tissue surrounding the tooth becoming infected, causing abscess formation. Dr. Terri M. Nguyen of West Portal Family Dentistry provides root canal therapy in San Francisco, CA.
“Root canal” means the tooth’s natural central space that contains the nerve of the tooth. After the tooth erupts, the tooth’s nerve does not play an essential function impacting its health. It merely serves a sensory function of feeling hot or cold sensations. Summarily, the presence or absence of a nerve does not impact the routine function of the tooth.
The patient may need to visit the dentist one or two times for a root canal treatment. The selection of the dentist will depend on two variables – the level of difficulty of the root canal treatment that the tooth requires and the dentist’s expertise. It is important to choose a trained and experienced dentist for a root canal procedure.
The dentist commences the treatment by taking an x-ray to evaluate the root canals’ shape. This enables her to determine the signs of infection in the surrounding bone. The patient may receive local anesthesia to numb the surrounding region near the tooth. The nerve of the tooth may or may not be dead, depending on whether the tooth has sustained trauma. Therefore, the dentist provides anesthesia to make sure that the patient is comfortable and at ease during the procedure.
In the next step, the dentist will place a rubber dam or a sheet around the treated tooth. This will make sure that the area stays dry and saliva-free during the procedure. Following this, they will drill a hole into the tooth to access and remove the nerve tissue, pulp, bacteria, and associated debris. The dentist accomplishes the cleaning process using root canal files.
Lastly, the dentist will seal the tooth following a proper cleaning. In this step, the dentist will place gutta-percha (a rubber compound as well as a sealer paste) into the root canal. The dentist applies a filling to seal the access hole which was generated during the commencement of the treatment.
The last step usually involves additional tooth restoration. Generally, a tooth requiring root canal becomes brittle after treatment. Therefore, the tooth usually requires a crown restoration. This will offer protection to the tooth, prevent it from eventually breaking, and restore it to its normal, complete function.
The tooth may feel sensitive for the initial few days following a root canal. There may be natural tissue inflammation because of infection. The dentist may prescribe mild pain meds such as ibuprofen or naproxen to control the discomfort or sensitivity. A majority of patients return to normal activities on the same or next day.
Root canal procedure has a success rate of more than 95 percent. Therefore, it is essential to choose an experienced root canal provider who can offer safe and predictable outcomes. Now, innovative dental techniques and instruments are utilized to create targeted and sustainable tooth restorations in a manner that is minimally invasive.
A tooth that receives root canal therapy may last a lifetime. The last step of the treatment involving the application of a restorative material such as a crown or filling furthers the tooth’s longevity.
Certain causes of infection and inflammation in the tooth nerve are large fillings, deep decay, and repetitive dental treatments. A person may reduce the chances for root canal requirement by practicing good oral hygiene such as brushing twice a day as well as daily flossing and visiting their dentist regularly. Wearing a mouth guard to reduce the risk of sports-related injury is also advisable.
A graduate from UC San Francisco with a Doctor of Dental Science degree, Dr. Terri Nguyen has over 20 years of expertise in the field of dental practice. She is known for her caring and passionate nature towards her patients whilst having a wealth of knowledge and technical skill.
Dr. Nguyen continues to update herself with newer and tested treatment methods and technology to ensure that she is capable of delivering the best possible service to her clients. Her areas of specialty include root canal therapy, implant dentistry and cosmetic treatment. She is also a prestigious member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.
Dr. Laura Huynh dedicates herself to providing the highest level of dental care to patients of all ages. While she has over 15 years of experience in all areas of general practice, she especially enjoys pediatric dentistry and cosmetic dentistry for adults.
A UC Irvine graduate, Dr. Huynh obtained her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Arthur Dugoni Dental School at University of Pacific. She stays on top of the latest trends and technologies in dentistry by following continuing education courses annually. She is a member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, and San Francisco Dental Society.