Root Canals and Endodontic Therapy in Madera, CA
There is a lot of misinformation out there about root canals. Root canals are not as common as some other routine dental procedures, such as cavity fillings and teeth whitening, which means people often know less about them.
If you were told you need a root canal, you might be feeling panicked or overwhelmed. While root canals have a reputation for being scary, there is nothing about the procedure that you should fear. Even though we often associate root canals with pain, the truth is that they relieve pain associated with an infected or abscessed tooth.
A root canal is often the last attempt to save a compromised tooth from extraction. Dentists across the world perform millions of root canals every year to protect their patients’ teeth—and the treatment we offer at Keledjian Dental is no exception. Our family dentist in Madera will do everything he can to save your tooth and get you feeling comfortable again.
If you want to learn more about root canal procedures, we invite you to read the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions below. When you are ready to schedule your root canal at our Madera dental office, please call Keledjian Dental at (559) 673-2257.
- What are root canal procedures?
- Why do I need a root canal?
- What happens during my root canal procedure?
- How long does it take to heal after a root canal?
What are root canal procedures?
Each one of your teeth has roots that extend far below the surface of your gums. These tooth roots contain passageways, or “canals.” Your canals are filled with dental pulp, and the pulp contains tissues, nerves, and blood vessels.
Your tooth rests on top of your tooth roots and is visible above the gum line. You use your teeth to chew food and speak clearly, and the crowns of your teeth are what people see when you smile.
Unfortunately, bacteria can build up on top of and around your tooth crown, leading to dental decay. When the decay, or “cavity,” is minor, your dentist can remove it from your tooth and fill the space left behind with artificial material, or a “dental filling.”
If your dental decay becomes more severe, however, it can penetrate your tooth enamel and spread to the area underneath your gums. When this happens, the decay can seep into your tooth root canals and infect your dental pulp. Because your dental pulp contains so much sensitive material, you will likely experience pain, swelling, and abscesses as the infection spreads and worsens.
To relieve your symptoms and protect your tooth from bone loss and additional pulp decay, your dentist needs to clean out your tooth’s infected interior and replace the material with an artificial substitute. This procedure, which takes place inside your tooth canals, is commonly known as a “root canal” or “endodontic treatment.”
Root canals heal the area in or around the root of your tooth. Our Madera dentist performs our root canal procedures right here in our dental office. If you have additional questions about what happens during a root canal, a member of our clinical staff would be happy to speak with you! Please call us today at (559) 673-2257 to learn more.
Why do I need a root canal?
As we discussed above, dentists use root canals to save infected teeth that would otherwise need to come out. An adult tooth can still thrive even without pulp inside it, which means that root canals provide a fantastic way for us to clean, disinfect, and strengthen compromised teeth.
You will often realize you need a root canal based on your pain and symptoms alone, but sometimes, our dentist will need to diagnose your infection first. Some dental infections will show up on an x-ray. Other times, we may even notice the infection simply by looking in your mouth. It’s important to stay current on your regular dental exams and cleanings so that our treatment team can monitor your mouth several times each year.
If you are starting to experience any of the following symptoms, give our family dentist in Madera a call right away:
- Swelling in the gums or jaw area
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
- Dull throbbing pain
- A pimple-like eruption on the gums
- Pain while biting down or chewing
- A darkened tooth
If you suspect you need a root canal in Madera, CA, do not delay in contacting us. Early treatment increases the likelihood that we will be able to save your tooth and that we won’t need to extract it. Call us at (559) 673-2257 to get your root canal appointment on Dr. Keledjian’s calendar!
What happens during my root canal procedure?
When we perform a root canal procedure at Keledjian Dental, Dr. Keledjian will first make sure you are completely comfortable and numb. Because we use local anesthesia for root canals, just like for cavity fillings, you should not feel anything other than slight pressure during your procedure.
Then, we will begin by making a tiny access hole in your tooth so that we can clean and sterilize the area. We will use special, small dental instruments to access your tooth root canals and reach the infected pulp. In most cases, this “tooth cleaning” is performed throughout two separate dental appointments. The first dental appointment will focus on removing the infected pulp material and alleviating your pain. The second dental appointment will focus on the more technical cleaning, disinfecting, and filling process.
Once we remove all signs of infection, we will add any necessary medication to help your tooth heal and seal off the access to the canal with a filling. Root canals are complex dental procedures that require time and skill from your dental team. The average length of each root canal appointment is around 90 minutes.
After a tooth undergoes root canal treatment, the tooth will become brittle and weakened as a natural result of losing pulp volume. For this reason, we typically recommend placing a dental crown over your root canal tooth. A tooth crown will strengthen and stabilize your tooth, keeping it protected from future fractures. Your dental crown will look just like a natural tooth crown, but the texture and feel will be unavoidably different from natural tooth enamel. It might take you a little while to get used to your new tooth crown, but you should adjust over time.
How long does it take to heal after a root canal?
Your mouth will likely be numb for several hours after your root canal procedure until your anesthesia wears off. It is normal to experience mild to moderate pain or pressure in the first several days following your root canal treatment.
Many patients choose to stick to a soft or liquid diet for the first day or two of recovery, but you should not be in too much pain to eat. Our family dentist in Madera, CA may prescribe antibiotics or painkillers after your treatment to help with your healing.
If you are experiencing any abnormal symptoms or are in severe pain after your root canal treatment, contact our dental office immediately. Symptoms like these are usually a sign that something is not right, so Dr. Keledjian will want to examine your mouth right away.
Schedule Your Root Canal at our Madera Dental Office
If you suspect you may need a root canal, contact us for a dental appointment immediately. Don’t take your endodontic care lightly, as doing so could mean the difference between saving and losing an infected tooth.
Give us a call today if you are experiencing pain when you chew, extreme sensitivity to hot and cold, pus around your tooth, or swelling in your neck.