Root Canals Los Alamitos CA
Many people dread hearing their dentist say the words, "You need a root canal." Root canals have a reputation for being scary and painful, but this reputation is undeserved.
If you have a tooth needing a root canal, fear not! Today's root canals are a simple and mostly pain-free procedure that can save a tooth that would otherwise require extraction.
Why Do I Need a Root Canal?
Most of the time, decay can be treated with a simple filling if it's caught early, but if the decay is left untreated, it will eat deeper into your tooth, eventually reaching the tender center beneath the enamel known as the pulp. The pulp contains the nerves of your teeth, and when it becomes infected, it's known as an abscess.
Abscessed teeth can be extremely painful as the nerves become inflamed and infected. In fact, abscesses are probably the number one reason that root canals are thought to be so painful. The root canal doesn't cause this pain, though; it treats it!
Once a tooth abscesses, the only way to save it is through root canal therapy. During a root canal, the infected pulp and nerves are removed, eliminating the pain and allowing Dr. Luong, your dentist in Los Alamitos, to disinfect the tooth and seal it off, reducing the risk of future decay recurrence.
What to Expect During a Root Canal
When you arrive for your root canal appointment, we will first apply local anesthetic for your comfort. The tooth is isolated using a rubber dental dam for a safe and thorough procedure. Dr. Luong will remove the decayed areas of your tooth and open access to the pulp. Then, using a series of high-tech rotary instruments, the infected pulp and nerves are removed and the canals are cleaned and shaped.
Once all infected material and decay are cleared away, we will disinfect the canals and seal them, usually with gutta percha, a pliable and meltable rubbery substance that can be used to make sure the canals are completely filled so future decay has no place to grow within the tooth.
After a root canal, we will usually recommend a dental crown. Most teeth requiring root canals have suffered from extensive decay and are not good candidates for a filling. In addition, crowns offer additional structure and protection to your tooth after a root canal. Teeth that have undergone a root canal can become brittle as they no longer receive blood supply through the roots. Dental crowns protect these brittle teeth from cracking or breaking.
After your root canal, the area may be tender for a few days. Over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen should be enough to eliminate any pain after your root canal. If you continue to experience pain in the area for more than 72 hours, the pain is extreme, or you have any other unusual symptoms, contact our office immediately.
Safe, Pain-Free Root Canal Treatment
If you are in need of root canal therapy or are experiencing extreme tooth pain and suspect you may have an abscess, contact our Los Alamitos dental office today. Don't suffer with the pain of an abscessed tooth; treat it today with a root canal from Dr. Luong.