When Do You Need a Root Canal?
The most common reason for a root canal treatment is due to tooth infection. There’s living material inside of the teeth made up of connective tissues, cells, and blood vessels. This tissue is called dental pulp.
Tooth infection occurs when bacteria contaminates dental pulp and begins replicating. Causes of infection can include:
- Damaged fillings
- Deep cavities
- Chips and cracks in the tooth
In cases like this, the inner canals and the root of the tooth have to be cleaned out. Hence the name, root canal therapy.
If you’re suffering from a tooth infection, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. At Mid-Valley Dental Care, Dr. Lau provides root canal treatment to put an end to your tooth pain.
Are Root Canals Necessary?
Tooth infections can be very uncomfortable for patients and interfere with regular activities. However, the greatest risk with tooth infections is that they can spread to other parts of your body when left untreated. Avoiding necessary treatment for an infected tooth can lead to serious issues such as:
- Losing the tooth
- Losing part of the jaw
- Blood Borne Infections
Root canal therapy can prevent the need for a tooth extraction while also preventing these potential serious illnesses.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
You may need a root canal if:
- You experience lasting sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- You experience severe pain in your mouth
- There are bumps, acne, or abscesses on your gums
- Your gums are swollen, tender, or darkening
- Your tooth is chipped or cracked
What Happens During A Root Canal
At Mid-Valley Dental Care, Dr. Lau uses advanced technology to ensure that your root canal treatment is quick and virtually pain free. Your treatment can be completed in the following six steps:
Step 1: We’ll provide dental sedation during your root canal procedure, ensuring you’ll be comfortable and pain-free during treatment.
Step 2: A rubber dam will be placed around the tooth to prevent saliva from entering the area.
Step 3: An opening will be made in the top of the tooth so our dentists can access the infected pulp.
Step 4: The infected portions of the tooth are removed and the canal is cleaned out.
Step 5: A composite filling is used to seal the tooth and fill in the canal for lasting stability.
Step 6: A crown is placed on top of the tooth to protect it from bacteria and restore it to full function.
Frequently Asked Questions
Modern root canal therapy is not a painful procedure. A local anesthetic will be administered to the treated area to relieve any pain. Our team will be with you every step of the way to guarantee your experience is as comfortable as possible.
Some lingering soreness after the procedure is normal and should go away within a week. If your pain becomes significant or persists for more than a week, contact us immediately.
Wait until the numbness from your anesthetic subsides before eating again. This is to prevent you from biting your tongue and cheeks or potentially biting down on the treated tooth and damaging it. Numbness usually fades after 24 hours.
Good foods for people who have just undergone root canals include softer dishes like:
- Cooked Vegetables
Foods to avoid include:
- Hard foods like nuts and hard candy
- Sticky foods like jelly beans and gum
- Crunchy foods like pretzels
You should also avoid drinks that are:
After root canal therapy, you’ll need to monitor your treated tooth carefully. Once the healing period is over, you can slowly return to your normal diet. Pay close attention to whether or not your tooth is sensitive to certain foods and drinks.
Visit Drs. Terence and Casey Lau at Mid-Valley Dental Care Today!
The discomfort of a tooth infection won’t subside on its own, professional treatment is necessary to resolve your symptoms and prevent health complications. If you think you might be suffering from a tooth infection, reach out to Drs. Terence and Casey Lau at Mid-Valley Dental. Call (818) 886-3500 to get the care you need to keep a healthy smile.