An estimated 3.5 billion Americans suffer from oral diseases and conditions. Among these Americans, dentists perform 15 million root canals every year. A root canal, medically known as endodontic treatment, is an oral procedure designed to remove bacteria from an infected tooth, prevent further infection of the tooth, and save the natural tooth.
The infected pulp of a tooth is removed and then the inside of the affected tooth is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Once it has been fully cleaned of all bacteria and infection, it is then filled in and sealed.
How do I know if I need a root canal?
When one begins suffering from oral diseases they will exhibit several symptoms. Likewise, if you find yourself experiencing the following symptoms it is imperative that you speak to your dentist about the possibility of a root canal.
- Pain while eating, chewing, or biting
- Pimples located on the gums
- A cracked or chipped tooth
- Sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages
- Swollen gums
- Decay or darkening of the gums surrounding the infected tooth
The Root Canal Procedure
If you and your dentist have determined that you are in need of a root canal, they will set you up with an appointment date for the procedure. A root canal is often completed in one appointment. However, depending on the extent of the infection, it may require an additional appointment.
At the start of your appointment, the dentist or hygienist will inject you with an anesthetic for numbing purposes. Root canal treatment is often referred to as being similar to getting a filling. Once the anesthesia has taken full effect, your dentist will begin cleaning out the infection and bacteria from the affected tooth.
Once the tooth has been fully and properly cleaned and disinfected, your dentist will fill the tooth and seal it off, usually with a crown. This is done to help to prevent reinfection of the tooth and to protect the filling within the tooth.
What to Expect After a Root Canal Treatment
A root canal treatment is not a painful procedure for the patient. With a routine root canal without complications, a patient can expect slight pain or discomfort when the anesthesia begins to wear off. The anesthetic used for the procedure is known to wear off 2-4 hours after the procedure.
It is recommended that patients eat soft foods after the procedure if they experience discomfort with eating regular solid food. Pain can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication. If you experience constant or worsening pain, reach out to your dentist for further evaluation of your tooth.
Ensuring proper dental hygiene after a root canal treatment is imperative in an effort to prevent reinfection of the recently cleaned-out tooth. This includes brushing twice a day for two minutes, flossing, and keeping up with recommended dental cleanings every 6 months.
Dental Group Of Simi Valley
The Dental Group of Simi Valley, located in Simi Valley, CA, was founded in 1963 by Dr. Ivan Berger. Dr. Berger’s son, Dr. Herschel Berger, now operates the dental practice with his wife Dr. Laura Jen Kin. The pair both graduated from Dental School at the University of the Pacific.
At the Dental Group of Simi Valley, you will find warmth, compassion, and honesty. Our staff is here to assist you in any way we can. We offer several services including:
Dr. Berger and Dr. Kin assess dental work on a case-by-case basis, fully catered to the needs and health of each patient. We understand the anxiety that comes with a dental procedure, which is why we strive to provide our patients with friendly service and a relaxing environment.
Whether you are in need of an oral procedure or simple teeth cleaning, our expert dentists are here to help. To schedule an appointment with one of our certified dentists you can call or stop by our office, or even send us a note through our website. We look forward to helping you maintain your smile and your oral health. Call us today for more information and to schedule an appointment!