In the past, to hear from your dentist that you need a root canal probably sent shivers down your spine. Today, Nevada Dental Esthetics takes the worry and dread out of root canals.
Dr. Jorge Paez and his staff practice gentle dentistry. With today’s advanced techniques, materials and anesthetics, many of our patients say that having a root canal was a comfortable experience and not traumatic at all. If you need root canal treatment in the Las Vegas area, please contact Dr. Paez immediately by calling 702-737-3553.
What Is a Root Canal?
The actual root canal is a tunnel in the center of the tooth, underneath the enamel and dentin layers. It runs from the tip of the tooth, deep inside the jawbone, up to the tooth’s crown, the visible part above the gum. Inside this tunnel is the "pulp" of the tooth, which consists of blood vessels as well as the tooth’s nerve and connective tissues.
When a tooth is neglected and becomes decayed, bacteria can multiply and spread through the tooth’s tissue into the root canal. They excrete acids and toxins, which eat away at the tooth tissues, the gum tissue, and even the bone, if nothing is done to stop them.
Ordinary decay resulting from poor dental hygiene can start this process. So can an injury to the tooth that cracks the enamel, inviting bacteria inside the tooth. Both of these can result in the need for a dentist to provide root canal treatment.
Symptoms of a Root Canal
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you need to call Dr. Paez’s office right away to determine if there’s a problem and if it involves any root canals:
- Tooth pain
- Prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold
- Tooth is sensitive or tender to the touch
- Discoloration of tooth
In addition, you may need root canal treatment but not currently be experiencing any pain. You may have had pain in the past, but without any intervention, the decay continued until it destroyed the tooth’s nerve. With its nerve dead, the tooth will give you no pain, but it will be in need of immediate care.
Candidates for Root Canal Treatment
Candidates for root canal treatment are experiencing inflammation or infection inside one or more of their teeth. These problems can happen due to deep decay or repeated dental procedures on the affected tooth. They can also occur due to a faulty crown, a crack or chip in a tooth, or an injury to a tooth that damages the pulp.
The pulp is the soft tissue inside the root canal. These are some of the clinical reasons why you may be a candidate for a root canal. However, there are many practical reasons to save a natural tooth through root canal treatment as well. Not only can this procedure relieve painful symptoms such as sensitivity, but it can also help maintain the look and function of your smile for years to come.
Is a Root Canal Painful?
Patients avoid necessary root canals because they assume that they hurt. In reality, root canal treatment is virtually painless and more comfortable than extracting the tooth or leaving it alone. Thanks to modern technology and anesthetics, the experience is similar to getting a cavity filled. Leaving a tooth untreated is the more uncomfortable route. A root canal can quickly and comfortably relieve aches, swelling, and sensitivity caused by damaged tissues in the tooth. The longer you delay the treatment, the more difficult it will become to save your natural tooth.
How Should I Prepare for a Root Canal?
Root canal procedures don’t require much preparation on your part. However, there are a few things that you can do to help ensure a successful outcome, including:
- Avoiding smoking
- Asking about antibiotics
- Taking pain medication as instructed
- Eating before your appointment
You may need to complete additional steps depending on your situation and the details of your procedure. Dr. Paez will give you specific instructions for getting ready for your root canal.
Root Canal Treatment
If Dr. Paez determines that you do need root canal treatment to save your tooth and restore it to health, he’ll start by taking an X-ray of the affected tooth.
Next, he will make a small opening in the tooth’s crown and clean out the infected and inflamed pulp from the pulp chamber, along with the bacterial debris. He will then fill and seal that space with a rubber-like filler. He will fit you with a temporary crown while a permanent crown is custom-made for that tooth. You’ll come back in a couple of weeks to have the permanent crown cemented in place.
"Dr. Paez and his entire staff are outstanding! I have been his patient for 3-4 years and Couldn’t be happier. His state of the art and professionalism is beyond reproach. I would recommend him to anyone." -Mike Gibbs
What Is the Recovery Like?
You will most likely be numb for 2-4 hours after your root canal. Most patients are able to return to school or work right away, though you can also choose to take the day off and rest at home. Do not eat anything until the numbness is gone because you will risk biting your cheeks or lips. Your tooth may feel sensitive for a few days after treatment. While over-the-counter medications are usually enough to provide relief, prescription medications may be necessary in some cases. It can take time to get used to the way that your tooth feels after endodontic treatment. However, if you experience lasting discomfort or pressure, call our dentist to make things right.
What to expect from your results
Your root canal treatment results can greatly improve your quality of life. You should be able to bite and chew more comfortably than before your procedure. This change can help protect your other teeth from wear or strain because they won’t have to pick up the slack anymore. Additionally, a root canal can improve the appearance of your tooth by restoring shape and size with a crown. You will be able to laugh and smile with confidence, knowing that your treated tooth looks great.
What Kind of Aftercare Steps Should I Follow?
The good news is teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime with proper care. You can protect your teeth by brushing, flossing, and scheduling regular dental appointments. If you experience pain or swelling after a root canal, be sure to return to our dentist for a checkup. Root canal retreatment gives you another chance to save a tooth that becomes infected or compromised in the future. It can reduce dental discomfort while promoting proper healing.
Can I Combine a Root Canal With Other Procedures?
Root canal treatments are often performed on their own. Under some circumstances, they can be performed alongside other dental procedures and services. For example, it is possible to get a root canal and fillings on other teeth during the same visit. Talk to our dentist to learn about the treatment plan that is best for your unique needs and goals.
Schedule a Client Consultation
If you have unexplained tooth pain and live in the Las Vegas area, please call 702-737-3553 or email Nevada Dental Esthetics right away to schedule an appointment or free initial consultation. Left untreated, infection or decay can cause long-term damage. Dr. Paez serves patients in Summerlin, Spring Valley and other nearby communities.