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The Unknown Benefits of a Root Canal

The root canal has gained a fairly negative connotation with most people, but the treatment deserves a much better reputation than it has. The truth is, a root canal is a vital component of modern dentistry to help save teeth that would otherwise be destined for extraction. A root canal procedure offers more benefits than you might realize, and believe it or not, it doesn’t actually hurt!

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is often necessary when a tooth becomes deeply infected and inflamed due to dental decay. Since the injured tissue cannot heal like normal tissue, the level of pain caused by such infection and inflammation is often excruciating. A root canal prevents further damage by removing the infected nerve and pulp out of the center of the tooth. Once that soft tissue is removed, a dentist cleans the space, fills it with a material called gutta percha, and seals the top so no other bacteria can enter. Read more…

Happy Holidays from Citrus Endodontics!

citrusAs you can see, we’re all ready for the holidays. We hope you are, too. Everyone here at Citrus Endodontics wishes you and yours a warm and joyous holiday season and an amazing New Year!

Lessons Learned from Pulpotomy Infection Outbreak in California

root-canal3It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: Your child receives medical treatment to become healthier, and ultimately becomes severely ill or injured. This is exactly what happened to nearly 60 children who underwent baby tooth root canals, known as pulpotomies, at Children’s Dental Group in California.

About a Pulpotomy

Though it is most common to see advanced tooth problems in adults, children are at risk of infections as well. A pulpotomy is a procedure that counteracts infection in the pulp tissue of a permanent tooth in order to save the tooth and prevent a dental abscess. Unlike a standard adult root canal treatment that irrigates all pulp out of the root canal cavity and replaces it with gutta-percha, a pulpotomy is meant to only remove the decay so that the tooth can be restored to health. Read more…

Three Common Root Canal Questions

cracked toothIf you listen carefully, you will notice that root canals are often mentioned in analogies to make some type of statement or comparison. A family magazine recently stated that the words “Parenting” and “Perfect” go together about as well as “Root Canal” and “Sexy.” Esteemed actor Tom Hanks even compared the 2016 election season itself to a root canal: “It’s like if you have a horrible, painful tooth, and you need a root canal. Who are you going to see? A guy who says, ‘Oh, I think I can figure that out, lay down.’ Or are you going to see somebody who’s done 6,000 of them?”

According to these cultural references, a root canal sounds like an ugly, undesirable thing, but that’s an unfair portrayal of a truly critical oral health procedure. Here are three of the most common questions asked about root canals to help you understand the true nature of the treatment. Read more…

Common Questions that General Practitioners Want to Ask about Root Canals

tooth decayThe root canal procedure is a critically important one in the world of oral health, which is why many general practitioners refer their patients needing root canals to specialized endodontists. Dentistry continues to evolve, and the root canal is a very different procedure now than it was 50 years ago, so the following are questions that GPs may want to ask.

What Medications Do You Prescribe After a Root Canal?

Amoxicillin is always the first antibiotic of choice because it’s broad spectrum can fight bacteria that tries to invade the root canal as well as polymicrobial infections. If amoxicillin is still ineffective after two to three days, the addition of metronidazole is clinically proven to guarantee 99 percent efficacy. Some patients do have an allergy to amoxicillin, in which case clindamycin makes an effective alternative. Read more…

Safety Factors to Consider after Your Root Canal

Dr D with Scope 3532Nobody hopes to have a root canal, but we are lucky enough to live in an age where root canals are relatively quick and surprisingly painless. According to the American Association of Endodontists, “Advancements in medicine, techniques and technologies have made endodontic treatment a more predictable, successful treatment than ever before. Today, digital imaging, rubber dams, rotary instruments, powerful disinfectants and medicated filling materials help ensure successful root canal treatment.”

While the root canal treatment itself is in the hands of your endodontist, your recovery process is largely determined by your willingness to be cautious and attentive to your saved tooth.

Post-Treatment Care

In the days following your root canal treatment, your mouth will be undergoing a natural healing process that may cause you to feel some tenderness around the treated tooth and in your jaw. These symptoms are common and temporary. Be sure to follow your endodontist instructions regarding pain relief. As the days go by, you’ll notice that your tooth with the root canal may feel a bit different from your other teeth. It’s all normal unless you are suffering from severe pain and pressure, in which case you need to contact your dentist. Read more…

Stem Cells Could Revolutionize Dental Health as We Know It

stem cellsThe medical implications of stem cells have already transformed many different areas of health, from orthopedic surgery to cosmetic enhancement, and now they are making their way into the realm of oral health. If stem cells can be applied as experts are predicting, cavity treatment will never be the same.

About the Mouth and Cavities

The mouth is always teeming with bacteria, but some is actually helpful bacteria. However, the damaging bacteria teams up with the sugars and starches found in food to produce acid. That acid eats away at the outer surface of the teeth known as enamel. Over time, too much acidity causes the enamel to lose minerals and become weak and decayed. This decay is what we know as a cavity.

Read more…

How Exactly Does a Dentist Fill a Cavity?

dentist cavityWhen you head into the dentist for your six month checkup, the last thing you want to hear is, “Well, it looks like we have a cavity back here!” The existence of a cavity requires for that tooth to be filled, a process that most people dread more than they need to.

What Is a Cavity?

Inside of your mouth at any given time live saliva, plaque, calculus, and bacteria. Saliva is your spit, which is actually incredibly important because it helps keep your gums hydrated and washes away food particles to protect against viruses and keep acid levels balanced in your mouth. Though saliva can reduce a great deal of plaque, the soft gooey substance still sticks to teeth due to the existence of bacteria in the mouth. Plaque that isn’t brushed and flossed away turns to calculus, a hardened tartar that can do damage to your teeth.

A cavity forms when all of the bacteria, plaque, and calculus cause the tooth to decay. All of the bad forces eventually work against the tooth to the point that it begins to break down and dissolve. A cavity itself is a hole in the tooth that can grow bigger the longer it is left unattended. If a cavity is ignored for too long, it causes extreme pain and eventually leads the the death of the tooth. Read more…

Be Thankful for These Advances in Root Canal Technology

root canal 2Endodontic treatment, which is the official term for root canal treatment, arose back in the 17th century. Charles Allen put endodontics on the map in 1687 when he wrote the very first book devoted strictly to the field of dentistry. Rudimentary endodontic explorations had begun to relieve tooth pain and preserve teeth as best as possible. Since then dentistry and the field of endodontics in particular has surged forward.

Individual advancements throughout the 18th and 19th centuries helped to make root canals more efficient. For example, clove oil was utilized for its sedative properties during treatment, and the man considered to be the founder of modern dentistry described pulp tissue and its removal process in 1746.

The first official root canal tool wasn’t developed until 1838, when Edwin Maynard of Washington D.C filed down a watch spring to be used during root canal treatments! A few years later the substance called gutta-percha, which fills the tooth’s canal after infection is cleared, was developed by Edwin Truman.Read more…

Two Reasons Root Canals Really Aren’t So Bad

root canalIf you’re like many people, the thought of heading into the dentist makes you nervous and jumpy. But when it’s a root canal that you’re about to endure, chances are your stomach is churning and you’re having trouble breathing. Well stop worrying, because the truth of the matter is that root canals really are not as bad as their reputation.

A Quick Reminder About Root Canals

A root canal is a necessary treatment when the soft pulp inside of your tooth becomes infected, inflamed, and diseased. Sometimes a tooth can become so damaged from a deep cavity, but other times excessive cracking or repeated dental procedures can also contribute. Eventually, the tooth becomes too damaged and painful to remain in its current condition, so a root canal is performed.Read more…

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