An Inside Job
A root canal is a form of “endodontic” treatment. The term derives from the Greek word “endo,” meaning “inside” and “odont,” meaning “tooth.”
Pulp is found within the teeth, extending from the crown to the tip of the roots. It can be damaged in several ways:
Deep tooth decay
A crack or chip in a tooth
Trauma from repeated dental procedures on the tooth
Other tooth injuries that may not result in a visible crack or chip
If pulp becomes inflamed or infected, it must be treated. Not only does the infection cause pain, there is the risk that it can cause an abscess or cause you to a tooth. The infection can be addressed with antibiotics, but the actual problem must be resolved from within the tooth itself or the infection will progress – which is dangerous to your health.
How is a Root Canal Done?
Fortunately for those suffering from this infection, pulp is not necessary to the survival of a mature tooth. Once a tooth is fully grown, surrounding tissues nourish it. In a root canal procedure, the dentist removes the pulp that is infected and then cleans and shapes the canal running down the root of the tooth. After cleaning the space, he fills it and seals it – it is now restored to health.
The procedure is complete when a crown is placed over the treated tooth. In most cases, a patient will return to the dentist for a second visit for the crown to be placed. Your tooth is now restored, with no more worries about infection or tooth loss, except in rare cases. Hillock Family Dentistry performs some of the fastest and most thorough endodontic therapy in Modesto, so you will be in competent hands with us.
Saving a Tooth
A root canal does not really “save” a tooth, as a tooth with infected pulp is dying. However, it does preserve the tooth and help you avoid the need to extract and replace it. Root canals have an anticipated success rate of 90 to 95 percent, and if performed with high-level skills, can last a lifetime.
Same Day Root Canal
There’s no significant downside to a patient having to wait for a second visit to have a crown placed, though they will have to make a special effort not to chew with the tooth that has been treated. Even so, the sooner the crown can be placed the better.
The crown provides the final seal over the treated area, keeping new bacteria out of the interior of the tooth. Hillock Family Dentistry can provide same-day root canal treatment for patients who desire it.
Aside from the preventive health benefits, same-day treatment may be preferred by patients with busy lives who would prefer to have the entire process completed in one day. Thankfully, if you are looking for a same-day root canal in Modesto, Hillock Family Dentistry can help.
Once the root canal is complete, a camera scans the tooth to make a three-dimensional image. While you wait, the image will be used to design and create a custom crown that will seal perfectly to your tooth.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
It may be that you have not been told you need a root canal based on a dental exam but suspect you may have an infected tooth.
Symptoms of an infection include:
- You feel severe pain in the tooth when you chew or apply pressure.
- Exposing your tooth to hot or cold temperatures results in prolonged sensitivity, even after the hot or cold substance is no longer in the mouth.
- A tooth has become darkened or discolored.
- The gums near the tooth are swollen and tender.
- You have a consistent raised, sensitive area on your gums.
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is an important part of overall health, and if you have put it off for too long due to any fears, we will soon put those fears to rest. We listen, we care, and we are here to help you have a smile you love to share. If you are concerned about needing a root canal in Modesto, give us a call.
Getting a crown involves a few steps. First, your tooth is prepared for restoration.
This entails removing any decay and a minimal amount of the tooth surface to prepare it for restoration, so the crown fits perfectly.
For custom porcelain crowns, impressions are made so that the new tooth is a perfect match for your gums and other teeth.
For CEREC same-day crowns, an intraoral (within the mouth) camera takes digital images of the tooth needing a crown, along with the adjoining teeth. The innovative CEREC software then creates the perfect design, sent digitally to the CEREC milling machine where it is created – ready to go.
If you are getting a porcelain crown, you will have a temporary crown while you wait. Once your crown has been completed at the lab, you will return for another appointment to put it in place. The temporary crown will be removed, the area cleaned, and the new crown secured with a dental cement. It is then smoothed so it is a perfect fit – and will function exactly like a normal, healthy, natural tooth.