Smiles for Life Family Dentistry

Root Canals

At Smiles For Life Family Dentistry, Dr. John Quinn and Dr. Mitchell both have undergone specialized endodontic training. Unlike other dentists, they can perform a wide variety of endodontic treatments in-house, without requiring referral to an outside endodontist.

What is Endodontics

Endodontics is a field of dentistry that is related to the interior of your tooth. Many people only think about the exterior of their teeth, but what’s on the inside is just as important. Your teeth contain delicate ligaments, nerve pulp, and roots.

If these delicate tissues become damaged or inflamed, you may have serious oral pain, and could even be at risk of losing your tooth.

Root Canal Therapy – The Most Common Endodontic Treatment

Root canals are, by far, the most common endodontic treatment. Root canals are used to treat teeth that have been severely damaged by infection. Infection is usually caused by advanced tooth decay, but may also be caused by an impact injury that exposes the nerve pulp to bacteria.

The pulp of a tooth is the soft tissue that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. While the tooth is developing, the pulp helps to provide it with nutrients. However, the pulp is of very little use to teeth that are fully developed.

When a tooth becomes infected, the interior nerve pulp becomes inflamed and begins to decay. This causes significant tooth pain, and can even cause inflammation of surrounding gum tissue, as well as symptoms like jaw pain and headaches.

What is the Procedure Like?

The best way to treat an infected tooth is with a root canal. In this procedure, our team, led by Dr. Quinn or Dr. Mitchell, will create a small opening in the tooth, and remove infected dental pulp. The interior of the tooth will be cleaned thoroughly.

The pulp is cleaned out using a tool called a root canal file, and the debris is flushed out with sodium hypochlorite. If the pulp is infected, the dentists will treat the area with an antimicrobial to kill off any bacteria that might be left behind.

The interior of the tooth is then filled with a material called ‘gutta-percha,’ which supports the structure of the tooth. Finally, the entire tooth is capped with a dental crown.

Contrary to popular belief, root canals are not painful. The process is very similar to having a cavity filled, and is usually performed only under local anesthetic. The entire procedure usually takes less than an hour.

Signs You Might Need a Root Canal

You might need a root canal if:

  • You experience severe pain when trying to chew your food
  • Your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold items
  • Your tooth starts to get discolored
  • You have swelling in your gums
  • You have a pimple or abscess on your gums

What Happens After a Root Canal Procedure

After the root canal procedure, you will notice that all pain and sensitivity has been relieved. You will be able to chew your food comfortably, and the tooth will feel stronger. Your dentist will give you a set of aftercare instructions that you need to follow carefully.

Maintain good dental hygiene to prevent infections and inflammations in other teeth. Don’t bite on anything too hard to prevent the crown from getting damaged. If you experience any pain or discomfort after the procedure, you can always contact us at Smiles for Life Family Dentistry.

Other Common Endodontic Treatments

Root canals are not the only endodontic treatment. Other common procedures include:

Apicoectomy: This surgery treats inflamed roots that were not treated properly by a root canal, due to depth or incorrect treatment. The root of the tooth is removed and replaced by an amalgam filling or a composite resin. This removes the infection completely and provides a stable base for the tooth.

Endodontic Retreatment: Endodontic retreatment may be necessary if infection recurs after a root canal. If a treated tooth does not heal properly or poor oral habits lead to the recurrence of tooth decay, endodontic retreatment is used to remove the source of infection.

Traumatic Injury Treatments: Endodontic treatments are often required after traumatic injuries such as knocked out (avulsed) teeth, and to treat issues like loose or cracked teeth.

Come to Smiles for Life Family Dentistry for Endodontics in Las Vegas!

If you suspect you may need endodontic treatment because of tooth decay or an impact injury, you’ll want to come to Smiles For Life Family Dentistry. We serve the greater Las Vegas area with specialized endodontic services, and we can help determine the treatment that is the best for your particular needs. Call today for an appointment or schedule a consultation online.