Mission Viejo & Fullerton, CA
Endodontics and Root Therapy in Southern California
OC Smile, Protecting and Treating Roots and Dental Pulp
Root Canal Therapy in Mission Viejo
Root canals are needed when the pulp in a tooth is infected or inflamed, which can happen because of extreme tooth decay, because of a crack in the tooth, or because of some sort of trauma to it. Symptoms of infection include sever throbbing pain in the tooth or more generalized pain around the head and neck. If the condition isn’t treated quickly, the infection can damage the jaw and spread to other teeth.
Root canals are outpatient procedures done in OC Smile Dental & Orthodontics’ offices under local anesthesia. We will gently remove the decayed pulp, disinfect the area, and fill the cavity with a specialized putty. Often, we will finish the procedure by putting a crown on the tooth to seal and protect it.
Microsurgery in Fullerton
OC Smile Dental & Orthodontics uses modern microsurgery equipment that allows us to see incredible detail and work with precision when performing root canals, dental implants, and other procedures. In medicine, microsurgery is basically any sort of surgery that requires a microscope, and today’s Dental Operating Microscopes are a large advancement over precious technologies. Using fiber optic lighting, we can magnify surgical areas up to 20 times normal views. More traditional magnification instruments can only magnify up to 6 times normal vision, and Dental Operating Microscopes are more versatile and easier for us to use.
For our patients, this technology means we can be more precise and sparing with our incisions. That means less pain, swelling, and bleeding. Treatment is faster, outcomes are better, and recovery is quicker. At OC Smile, we embrace new technologies for the comfort of our patients.
The “Root” of the Problem
What could cause the pulp tissue to become diseased and lead to root canal problems? One potential source of infection is untreated tooth decay, which can allow bacteria from the tooth’s surface to work its way deep inside. A crack or fracture in a tooth could offer another pathway for microorganisms to infect the pulp.
Dental trauma — from a sports injury, for example — may also damage dentin or pulp, or expose it to infection. Extensive dental procedures (such as multiple fillings or restorations on the same tooth) may cause trouble; occasionally, even routine procedures like orthodontics may eventually lead to root canal problems.
Endodontic Treatment in Mission Viejo & Fullerton, CA
The old gag line “I’d rather have a root canal” may still get a laugh — but root canal problems are no joke. It’s important to remember that root canal treatment doesn’t cause pain; it relieves pain. A typical root canal procedure is performed with local anesthetics, and doesn’t cause any more discomfort than having a filling. Here’s what to expect:
First, you will receive anesthesia (usually a numbing shot) — and for many patients, the worst is now over. Next, a small opening is made in the tooth surface to give access to the pulp chamber and root canals. Then, tiny instruments are used — often with the aid of a microscope — to remove dead and dying tissue from inside the narrow passages. These passages are then cleaned, disinfected, and filled with a safe, inert material. Finally, the opening in the tooth is sealed to prevent contamination.
Other endodontic treatments may be recommended for removing sources of infection and preventing future problems. Following an endodontic procedure, it may be necessary to have a restoration (such as a crown) placed on the tooth to restore it to full function and aesthetic appearance. After that, with proper care the restored tooth should last for many years.
Root Therapy in Fullerton, CA & Mission Viejo – Endodontic Dentists Proudly Serving Mission Viejo, Fullerton & The Surrounding Areas
Root canal therapy, commonly known as endodontics (“endo” means within, “dont” means tooth), is a group of specialist operations used to treat issues with the delicate pulp (nerve) tissue inside the tooth. While some people wrongly believe it is a particularly painful process, it is usually no more painful than having a filling. It’s actually one of the most efficient treatments for certain types of tooth pain.
When infection or inflammation develops in the pulp tissue of the tooth, a root canal operation is required. Pulp tissue is made up of blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerve cells, which is why a malfunction here can cause severe discomfort. The discomfort may fade away over time… at least briefly. The infection, on the other hand, will not go away without therapy. It can result in a dental abscess and possibly cause systemic issues in other sections of the body.
Root Canal Treatment Is Your Friend
“I’d rather have a root canal…” is a joke we’ve all heard. This remark about the operation being likened to something truly dreadful may be amusing, but putting off necessary endodontic treatment is no laughing matter. The notion that a root canal operation will always result in complications and pain is an old wives’ tale. It’s true that infection or inflammation in the pulp of the tooth can cause agonizing pain. However, you should keep in mind that a root canal just relieves the acute pain; it is not the cause of the discomfort.
Do you need another reason to get a root canal? Consider this: When a natural tooth is saved by root canal treatment and restoration, you can avoid the issues that often emerge when teeth must be extracted. These include tooth migration or shifting, which can cause chewing problems; the necessity for bridgework or dental implants, which can be expensive and time-consuming; and even the ultimate loss of bone structure in the location of the missing tooth.
Causes of Root Canal Problems
Infection and inflammation of the pulp tissue of the tooth cause root canal complications. Deep dental decay is one possible source of infection. Bacteria will gradually work their way down to the core of the tooth, where they may infect the pulp tissue if left untreated. Bacteria may also get into touch with the pulp through broken or damaged teeth. Bacteria can gain access to the tooth’s pulp through any crack in the protective enamel coating.
Trauma to the tooth, such as those that are caused by a sports injury or an automobile accident, is another common cause of pulp tissue destruction. In this instance, it’s critical to seek treatment right away, both to save the tooth and to avoid future complications.
In some circumstances, significant dental work might damage the pulp tissue, necessitating a root canal. This form of injury is more likely if you have many fillings or restorations on the same tooth. Root canal complications might occur as a result of common operations such dental crown preparation or orthodontics.
What to Expect During Root Canal Therapy
Don’t panic if a checkup reveals that you require root canal therapy; it’s one of the most common and effective operations in the dental armory, and it may often be completed in just one visit.
The root canal procedure usually begins in the same way that a filling does, with no more pain: an anesthetic is used to numb the tooth and surrounding area. For a lot of patients, the worst is already behind them.
The pulp chamber and root canals are then accessed through a small incision in the damaged tooth’s surface. To remove the dead and dying pulp tissue from inside these narrow pathways, tiny devices are employed, sometimes with the help of a microscope. The chamber and empty canals are then cleansed, disinfected, and readied for the inert, biocompatible substance to be filled. Finally, sticky cement is utilized to close the tooth’s opening, preventing infection in the future.
Following root canal treatment, your tooth may feel some sensitivity or tenderness for a few days. Ibuprofen and other over-the-counter pain medicines are usually beneficial, although prescription medications may be prescribed if necessary. It may be beneficial to avoid biting hard on the impacted tooth during this time. All of these symptoms, on the other hand, should only last a short time.
A crown or other treatment is frequently required to further safeguard the tooth and restore it to full functionality. Restorations come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from standard gold crowns to high-tech dental replicas made of tooth-colored material. In any case, you’ll have made a long-term investment in maintaining your dental health.
Signs and Symptoms of Root Canal Problems
How can you tell whether you require a root canal? It’s sometimes painfully evident. If you are experiencing frequent and severe pain and pressure in your mouth, as well as visible swelling and high sensitivity in your gums, it is apparent that you require immediate evaluation and treatment. Sharp pain when biting down on food is another unmistakable sign of pulp tissue injury. Pain that persists after eating hot or cold foods is also a sign of trouble. If you observe any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention right once.