When there is an infection or inflammation in the tooth’s pulp, it is necessary to undergo endodontic therapy, commonly known as root canal therapy. This condition may result from various factors, such as broken, deep decay, or chipped teeth, or specific dental treatments. It's important to note that even without visible cracks or chips, a strong impact on the teeth can lead to significant damage and may require endodontic treatment. An untreated tooth infection or inflammation can lead to an oral abscess, causing serious pain. If you're in Anaheim, California, and need a reliable endodontic service, you can reach out to us at Beach Dental Care Anaheim.

Understanding Endodontic Treatment

Endodontic treatment refers to dental procedures that involve addressing the inner tissues of the tooth, also known as the pulp or nerve. The word "endodontic" is derived from the combination of "endo," which means inside, and "odont," referring to the tooth. Diagnosing teeth that require endodontic therapy can often be challenging. However, an endodontic professional can assist in such cases. The primary goal of endodontic treatment is to remove the infection from the affected area, preserving or protecting the tooth.

The following conditions require endodontic services:

Chipped or Fractured Teeth

Chipped teeth can be easily fixed with a dental filling and do not require extensive treatment. In some cases, a tooth chip may expose the pulp of the tooth, but dentists can fill in the damaged area to address these concerns. However, root canal therapy may be necessary in other situations.

If you’ve got split teeth, broken cusps, or more serious injuries, such as cracked teeth, your dentist may recommend an endodontic procedure. In cases where the crack in your tooth doesn't reach the root, a crown can be used to repair the tooth. However, if the break goes all the way to the tooth’s root and damages the pulp, a root canal procedure may be required to save the remaining part of the tooth.

Dislodged or Intruded Tooth

If you receive a blow to the mouth or sustain any other type of damage, the tooth may be forced into its socket. In cases of severe injury, it is advisable to seek the expertise of an endodontist who can realign and stabilize the affected tooth. Following the accident, the endodontist would typically initiate the root canal procedure a few weeks later.

Throughout the process, the endodontist may administer medications, such as calcium hydroxide, to the tooth. Your dentist will install a permanent endodontic filling at a later time. Your dentist needs to schedule routine follow-up appointments after root canal therapy to ensure proper healing of the tooth.

Extruded Teeth

In certain cases, an injury can dislodge your tooth from its socket, requiring it to be steadied and repositioned. If the tooth’s pulp is still in good condition after realigning the tooth, there may not be a need for endodontic therapy. However, if the tooth’s pulp is damaged, your dentist or endodontist may have to perform a root canal. During the root canal procedure, the dentist will fill the tooth with medicine, such as calcium hydroxide. Later on, the dental professional will carry out a permanent filling of the root canal.

Avulsed or Knocked-Out Teeth

If a tooth gets knocked out of your mouth, time is of the essence. In this instance, you should carefully pull up the teeth by the crown, which is the chewing surface, rather than the roots. If the teeth are dirty, give them a gentle rinse in clean water. However, avoid using any cleaning solution like soap when cleaning your teeth.

You can replace the teeth in their sockets and seek oral care immediately. If you are unable to do so, make sure to keep the tooth wet. The more you can do to prevent your teeth from drying out, the greater your chances of maintaining their integrity. You could purchase a prescribed solution from a pharmacy and soak your teeth in it.

Another option is to soak your teeth in a glass of either salt water or milk. Another way to keep your tooth wet is to sandwich it between the cheek and gums. Make sure to get to the dentist right away.

The dentist can use splints to support the teeth after repositioning them in their sockets. If the teeth are not in their sockets, your endodontist will examine them, clean them, and place them back in their sockets. To stabilize the tooth for a certain period, your dentist would need to make use of splints.

The dentist could begin an endodontic or root canal procedure after a certain period. Before placing the root canal filling, the dentist may administer medication. The duration of time the teeth were outside of your mouth and how you preserved them before seeing your dentist will determine the type of care you will receive.

Root Fractures

A root fracture in your tooth may also necessitate endodontic or root canal therapy. Traumatic dental injuries often result in horizontal root cracks, and the location of the fracture will determine the long-term health of your teeth. If the crack is near the root tip, the chances of success are greater. Furthermore, if the fracture prevents the tooth from splitting in two, there is a better probability of success.

Regardless of whether the tooth has become separated, the chances of successful treatment decrease if the crack is near the tooth’s chewing surface. In such cases, the dentist would need to use a splint to stabilize your teeth. If there is damage to the tooth's internal tissue, a root canal may be necessary. The dentist would medicate the affected teeth to prepare them for root canal fillings.

Root Canal Therapy

Bacteria from the affected root pulp or canal can be effectively removed through root canal therapy. This procedure not only helps preserve the original tooth but also protects it from reinfection. The dentist thoroughly cleans and disinfects the interior of the damaged tooth, removes the infected and inflamed pulp, and then seals and fills the tooth.

Many people are unaware of the benefits of endodontic therapy. If your dentist suggests a root canal, there's no need to be alarmed. Root canal therapy is a quick and painless process that can prevent tooth loss and alleviate discomfort. Each year, millions of patients undergo endodontic services to save broken or infected teeth. This procedure not only restores the health of your teeth but also helps eliminate pain.

Beneath the enamel and dentin of a tooth lies a substance called the pulp of the root. During the development stage, the tooth’s pulp contains blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerves that aid in the expansion of the root. Once the teeth are fully matured, they can survive without the pulp, as it’s nourished by the surrounding tissues.

Contrary to popular belief, root canal therapy has evolved significantly. Nowadays, your dental professional can typically complete it in just one or two dental appointments, making it comparable to a standard dental filling. The number of appointments needed for an endodontic treatment depends on your specific situation and the condition of the tooth. After the procedure, you will find it relatively easy to resume normal activities such as biting, smiling, and chewing.

Candidates Suitable For Endodontic Treatment

Patients with deep cavities, fractured teeth, or problems with previous fillings can greatly benefit from root canal therapy. If you experience sensitivity to cold or hot beverages, it could be an indication that you require an endodontic procedure.

Here are a few signs that you might need a root canal:

  • Experiencing extreme discomfort while eating or biting.
  • A chipped or fractured tooth.
  • Acne or uncomfortable lumps on the gums.
  • Discoloration, gum disease, or severe tooth decay.
  • Continuous sensitivity to hot or cold objects.
  • Swollen or sensitive gums.

The Cost of Getting an Endodontic Operation

The cost of root canal fillings will depend on the condition of the affected teeth and the nature of the issue. Molars, being more difficult to treat, may incur higher costs for a root canal procedure. It's worth noting that dental insurance plans typically cover endodontic treatment.

Restoring your teeth’s natural appearance through endodontic therapy is a more cost-effective option compared to having your teeth extracted. When teeth are removed, it is important to replace them with implants or bridges to prevent adjacent teeth from moving. However, the cost of these dental operations is likely to be more expensive than that of endodontic therapy and tooth repair.

Endodontic Retreatment

Teeth that have gone through endodontic treatment can last a lifetime with the proper care. However, it is possible that years or even months after the treatment, the teeth may experience incorrect repair, resulting in sensitivity and discomfort.

If you find yourself in this situation, endodontic retreatment provides an opportunity to save your teeth. Retreatment can help manage pain and aid in recovery. If you believe that teeth that have previously undergone root canal fillings need to be retreated, it is important to contact your dental professional promptly.

Endodontic retreatment may become necessary if the tooth does not recover as expected due to various reasons:

  • If the initial operation does not involve treating the narrow or curved canals.
  • During your initial root canal procedure, the dental professional was not aware of the intricate anatomy of the canal.
  • The placement of a dental repair, such as a crown, following the initial endodontic therapy was delayed.
  • The dental restoration didn’t prevent salivary contamination inside your mouth.

Teeth that have undergone root canal therapy may occasionally require endodontic retreatment due to the development of new issues. Recent dental decay can lead to reinfection of the tooth by exposing the root canals to microorganisms. It is crucial to address any loose, fractured, or cracked crown or filling promptly, as this could potentially allow a new infection to enter the tooth.

During endodontic retreatment, an endodontist would open up the tooth and get rid of the filling materials that were inserted during the initial procedure. This is done if the tooth breaks or if bacteria enter the tooth. In addition to inspecting the tooth, the dentist will also check for any new canals or infections.

Before applying the new filling materials, the dentist would clean the teeth, address any infections, and shape and clean the canals. The dentist would then place a temporary filling to seal the teeth's opening. Once the teeth have fully healed, the dental professional would place a new crown and permanent filling to ensure the tooth's preservation.

Endodontic Surgery

If the dentist determines that a non-surgical endodontic treatment may not be enough to save your teeth, they could suggest getting an operation. Through root canal surgery, the dentist can discover hidden root canals and small fractures that were not visible on the initial X-rays. Surgery may also be recommended to get rid of calcium deposits from the root canal or repair damaged surfaces of the root canals and the surrounding bone of the teeth.

If an endodontist recommends surgery, there’s no need to be scared. Thanks to cutting-edge technologies like digital imaging and operating microscopes, these operations are simple to carry out. Dental professionals can perform numerous surgical operations to save a failing tooth. The two most common surgical operations are apicoectomy and root-end resection. If the bone around the tip of the teeth remains inflamed or infected after a root canal treatment, surgery may be necessary.

Before beginning any surgical operation, your dental professional will first provide local anesthesia to ensure your comfort. Then, they will carefully cut open the gum tissue surrounding the affected teeth to assess the condition of the underlying bones and remove any inflamed or infected tissue. Following dental surgery, the majority of patients can resume their regular activities the day after the procedure. The post-surgery pain is typically minimal.

If Endodontic Service Isn't Enough

The primary goal should be to preserve your natural teeth following an infection or injury. Natural teeth are superior to any bridge or dental implant, regardless of their sophistication or modernity. Therefore, it’s crucial to promptly consult with an endodontist when you begin experiencing pain. If your dentist recommends tooth extraction, it is advisable to seek the opinion of an endodontist to determine if root canal therapy can save your tooth.

Tooth extraction could be the only option if endodontic treatments, like endodontic surgery, fail. After having a tooth extracted, you may consider getting an implant, which can enhance your ability to chew or bite food. Moreover, dental implants help maintain your natural appearance and prevent adjacent healthy teeth from moving. To determine the best course of action for your overall health, it is advisable to take your time and discuss your options with your dentist.

Preparing for Endodontic Treatment

With the abundance of myths surrounding root canal therapy, it can feel like a daunting task when your dentist recommends it. However, instead of panicking, it is important to take the necessary steps to prepare for the endodontic treatment.

Here is a guide on how to get ready for a root canal treatment:

  • Refrain from consuming alcohol and tobacco for a full day before your root canal surgery. The orthodontist will administer anesthesia into your gums during the procedure, and it is important to note that alcohol or smoking may have adverse reactions to the anesthesia.
  • Before the root canal, it is important to have something to eat. Because of the local anesthetic the dentist used during the procedure, you might feel numb for several hours afterward. Eating might be challenging during this time due to the numbness. By eating before the endodontic process, your recovery will be much smoother.
  • Some dentists may urge their patients to take painkillers before receiving treatment. For instance, they may recommend taking the anti-inflammatory painkiller ibuprofen.
  • In addition, it is important to get enough sleep both before and after the root canal treatment. Rest is when the human body heals the most effectively. Therefore, getting sufficient sleep will help facilitate a quick recovery from your endodontic treatment.
  • To fully comprehend the scope of endodontic therapy, make sure you have all the necessary questions. Knowing what to expect and understanding the treatment process will help you feel more at ease.

After Endodontic Therapy

After undergoing an endodontic procedure, it is advisable to avoid biting down on the treated tooth for 30 minutes to allow the filling to set properly. Additionally, while the anesthesia is still in effect, it is important to refrain from eating or accidentally biting your tongue, cheek, or lip, as this could cause injury to your mouth. If your child undergoes endodontic therapy, it is crucial to closely monitor them immediately.

The dentist may prescribe painkillers, which should be taken as soon as the anesthesia wears off. After the procedure, you can continue taking the painkiller for one or two days. If your dentist deems it necessary, they may recommend a stronger medication. After a root canal, antibiotics are typically not necessary. However, if your dentist deems it essential, they may prescribe antibiotics.

Find an Anaheim Endodontist Near Me

The key to obtaining high-quality endodontic services lies in choosing the right endodontist. While there are many professionals to choose from, only a select few have the necessary resources and experience to provide exceptional services. When selecting a professional, it is crucial to carefully consider your options. If you reside in Anaheim, California, Beach Dental Care Anaheim can provide you with exceptional endodontic services. To arrange a consultation, call us now at 714-995-4000.