Carmel Valley Root Canals

Restore Infected Teeth

Root Canals

An infected tooth doesn’t just cause a painful toothache. It can lead to further complications, and even cause your tooth to die and fall out of your mouth completely. The best way to restore your smile and your bite is to see Dr. Lindsay Bancroft for root canal therapy in Carmel Valley. Learn more below, or contact Carmel Valley Dental now for a consultation.

man with a toothache

What Is Root Canal Therapy?

Understanding The Basics

Root canal therapy, or a “root canal” as the treatment is commonly known, is a treatment that’s used to restore an infected tooth. Tooth infections happen when the blood vessel and nerve-filled “pulp” inside your tooth is exposed to oral bacteria and becomes infected.

The pulp is what keeps your tooth alive, so this eventually results in the death of your tooth. Tooth infections commonly occur when a cavity is very deep and destroys the outer layers of enamel and dentin that protect the pulp. They can also occur if the outer layers of the tooth are cracked or broken by an oral injury.

To prevent your tooth from dying, a root canal is used. This treatment involves creating a small hole in the tooth, and using dental tools to extract the infected pulp. Then, the tooth is sanitized and filled with an inert material to strengthen it from the inside, and it’s capped with a dental crown. This eliminates the infection and restores your smile.

Do I Need

A Root Canal?

If your tooth is infected, a root canal is the only way to remove the decayed and infected pulp from the inside of your tooth, and to restore your smile. There are a few signs that may indicate the presence of a tooth infection.

The most common symptom is a painful, throbbing toothache that lasts 1-2 days or longer without getting better, or that continues to get worse and cause more pain and discomfort. This is almost always a sign of a very deep cavity or an infected tooth, so you should get help right away.

In addition, you may notice that your tooth feels very sensitive or sore when you consume hot or cold foods and drinks, or that it hurts when you chew hard foods. The gum tissue around your tooth may be discolored, or the tooth may look discolored and grayish in some cases.

If you notice one or more of these issues, you should get help from Dr. Lindsay Bancroft and the team at Carmel Valley Dental right away. Your toothache and other symptoms will only get worse without proper treatment, and you may even lose your tooth if you don’t get a root canal.

man at the dentist

The Benefits Of

Root Canal Therapy

The most obvious benefit of a root canal is that you can get rid of the pain and discomfort of your toothache, and get back to your day-to-day life without the debilitating pain of an infected tooth.

In addition, you’ll save your tooth. Without root canal therapy, an infected tooth will eventually fall out and die, requiring replacement with a dental bridge, partial denture, or dental implant.
 

These procedures are all more lengthy and complex than root canal therapy, and are more expensive, too, so getting a root canal also helps you save money.

What To Expect From Treatment

Is A Root Canal Painful?

No. Root canal treatment is not painful at all. Dr. Bancroft will completely numb the nerve and surrounding area of your tooth before treatment begins. You may feel a little bit of pressure as the tooth is cleaned out and repaired, but you won’t feel any pain at all.

Once your numbing wears off, you may feel a little bit of pain and discomfort, since the process of cleaning out your tooth can irritate the nearby oral tissue. This is normal, and should fade very quickly. 

We understand that getting a root canal can be intimidating, so we do our best to keep you feeling safe and comfortable throughout the entire process. At Carmel Valley Dental, Dr. Bancroft will help you get the care you need to restore your oral health without fear and anxiety.

How Should I Care

For My Tooth After A Root Canal?

For the most part, you don’t need to do anything special to care for a tooth after a root canal. You can eat your normal diet, brush and floss normally, and continue with your normal routine. There is no downtime or difficult recovery process.

However, there is an exception. If your tooth needs to be repaired with a dental crown, Dr. Bancroft may place a temporary resin crown on the tooth to protect it until you get your final porcelain crown.

If you have a temporary crown, you will need to take a few steps to make sure it stays in place and protects your tooth. Avoid eating really sticky and gummy foods like candy, caramel, and taffy, which can weaken the temporary crown.

You should also take care when brushing and flossing the crown. Normal brushing and flossing should not dislodge it, but be gentle. Over time, vigorous brushing and flossing could weaken the crown and cause it to pop off.

How Can I Avoid

Future Root Canal Treatment?

The best way to avoid future root canal treatment is to maintain good at-home oral hygiene. Cavities are the most common cause of infected teeth that require treatment with root canal therapy. By reducing your risk of cavities, you can avoid future root canal treatment, both in the already-treated tooth and in your other natural teeth.

So make sure you take simple steps to maintain a healthy mouth. Brush twice a day with a fluoride-based, ADA-accepted toothpaste. Floss once per day, and consider using antibacterial or antibiotic mouthwash, too. 

You should also see Dr. Bancroft for a preventive cleaning and oral exam every six months. Routine checkups help her catch cavities early if they do occur, which means she can provide treatment with a filling before the tooth becomes infected and requires a root canal.

In addition, consider making some other lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of cavities. Quitting smoking and other forms of oral tobacco will help you maintain a healthy mouth, as will reducing alcohol consumption. Eating a healthy diet low in sugar and avoiding sugary drinks is also a very effective way to prevent cavities.

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