Root Canals and Endodontics
If hearing the words “root canal” makes you cringe, you’re not alone. But we have good news for you.
Dental technology has come a long way, and what was once one of the most dreaded dental procedures around is now far more effective, efficient, and (most importantly) comfortable than it once was.
The American Association of Endodontists recently conducted a study that showed that people with a negative perception of root canal therapy were more likely to have never actually experienced the procedure and those who had experienced a root canal were far more likely to describe the procedure as painless!
At Lomita-Torrance Dental, we are proud to have an endodontic specialist as part of our team. Dr. Darren Smolkin received graduate training in the art of endodontics (root canal therapy) from the University of Southern California. He is skilled in the use of advanced, state-of-the-art technology to perform root canals and other treatments and will work hard to keep your dental work comfortable and easy.
What Is a Root Canal?
While many people refer to the therapy as “getting a root canal,” the root canal itself is actually part of the structure of your tooth. The root canal sits in the middle of your tooth and houses the pulp chamber of your tooth as well as the nerve.
When a tooth becomes infected or seriously injured, the tissue inside the root canal can become damaged, and bacteria can begin to multiply. If this is not treated, the tooth becomes extremely painful and the infection can actually spread to other teeth and even enter your bloodstream.
Root canal therapy cleans out the infected pulp chamber, removes the nerve, and relieves your pain.
How Is Root Canal Therapy Performed?
We begin the procedure by making sure you are completely numb, and then we open up the tooth with specialized instruments to gain access to the root canal and pulp chamber.
At this point, we use another instrument to clean out all of the infected material and debris from the inside of your tooth. If necessary, we may also apply a local antibiotic to make sure the infection is completely destroyed. To close your tooth and make sure the infection doesn’t return, we use filling material to seal off the tooth. You may also need a crown following a root canal to protect the tooth since this process can weaken your tooth’s structure.
You may experience some discomfort and swelling following the procedure. This is because your body is still reacting to the infection and trauma to the tooth. Once your immune system recognizes that the infection is gone, your discomfort will quickly subside.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
Often people come to us for a root canal because they are in significant pain and are experiencing swelling or an abscess – the hallmark signs that a root canal is necessary.
In some cases, though, we may find that the root of your tooth is infected by looking at an x-ray. If this happens, we will show you what is going on and talk to you about why we recommend a root canal. We would rather not wait until you are in pain before providing treatment.
Call today to schedule an examination at Lomita-Torrance Dental. If you are in pain, we offer same-day emergency appointments, and you can always call our 24/7 line to speak with an on-call dentist.