Dental Tips Blog

Sep
12

A Root Canal, Step by Step

Posted in Root Canals

A root canal is performed when a tooth has such deep decay that the roots and pulp, the deepest part of the tooth, are inflamed, infected and likely causing you a great deal of pain. Despite its poor reputation among dental patiens, a root canal is usually as comfortable as having a cavity filled and it can be the best way of saving a natural tooth.

The term “root canal” is sort of a misnomer, since it refers to the place within the tooth that stores the soft area known as pulp and the nerve. In the procedure, your Mobile dentist will remove the both the pulp and nerve, and the root is sealed to prevent further decay and infection.

The procedure usually involves a number of steps:

  • The dentist takes an x-ray of the affected area to determine the extent of the damage and confirms that a root canal is needed.
  • Preparation is next. The dentist, or endodontist, will anesthetize the affected area to relax the patient, and cover the surrounding gum tissue with a dam to keep it dry.
  • Next, the dentist will drill an access hole through the tooth, and remove the pulp and nerve, using root canal files of varying sizes.
  • Once the root canal has been thoroughly cleaned, the dentist will seal the tooth. This could be done right away, or it may have to wait a week or so if there is an infection.
  • The dentist will fill the canal with a sealer and a rubber compound called gutta percha.
  • Finally, the dentist will fill the top part of the tooth, or add a crown or bridge, depending on what is needed. Typically, a tooth in need of a root canal has already sustained quite a bit of damage.

Depending on the extent of the decay, the entire process usually takes two appointments about two to three weeks apart.  At the initial appointment, your dentist will perform the root canal therapy and protect the tooth with a temporary crown.  A permanent crown will be made and placed during the follow up appointment.  Some dentists can make crowns in the office and complete the entire procedure in a single appointment.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Byron Scott, Springhill Dental Health Center

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Aug
9

Same Day Dental Care

Posted in Crowns

Advanced dental technology is making dental care more convenient for patients. What used to take 2 or even sometimes 3 appointments can now be done in one visit at some dental offices. Virtual 3D imaging technology can now allow dentists to have on-site equipment that fabricates custom dental restorations in just a short amount of time. Instead of the patient seeing the dentist for a crown prep, impression and come back 2 or 3 weeks later for a dental crown, in-office equipment allows the fabrication of a custom porcelain crown at the same time of the first visit. This same day dental care saves the patient valuable time, and enables the dentist to work on a more efficient level.

A variety of restorations can be made using this technology, such as dental crowns, inlays, onlays, bridges and implant crowns. While your appointment will be just a little longer than a normal crown prep appointment, you will be able to walk out of the office with a new tooth on the same day that you came in to have the tooth prepared.

Because this technology is so advanced, there is a very small margin of error used in same day dental treatment. Crowns and other permanent restorations fit even more accurately than if they were made in an off-site traditional dental laboratory. It’s fairly common for traditional restorations to be tried in the patient’s mouth and them not fit appropriately, requiring them to be sent back to the dental lab where they came from and waiting another 2 weeks for a new restoration. Same day dental restorations prevent this from happening and will have you smiling right away.

Posted on behalf of Springhill Dental Health Center

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