Root canal therapy is an alternative to a dental extraction. When the pulp (the soft tissue in the tooth’s center) becomes inflamed, infected, or dies due to trauma, a root canal procedure can help save the tooth.

Why Might I Need Treatment from a Santa Maria Root Canal Dentist?

Why Might I Need Treatment from a Santa Maria Root Canal Dentist?

Your natural teeth are composed of three distinct layers:

  • The enamel
  • The dentin
  • The pulp

The enamel is the outer protective layer. It’s very strong but can become damaged due to bite pressure, erosion, trauma, decay, and abrasion.

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The next layer is called dentin. It’s a delicate, porous layer that protects the tooth’s inner chamber. This chamber is home to the pulp, also often referred to as the nerve of the tooth. The pulp consists of nerve, vascular, and connective tissues. The pulp tissues extend down the root of each tooth in canals that lead to the base of the nerve. The nerves and blood vessels in the root’s canals supply the tooth and periodontal ligament with nutrients to keep the tooth healthy.

If a tooth is traumatized or dental decay reaches the pulp chamber, the pulp becomes inflamed and even infected. When this happens, the pulp starts to die, which causes the tooth to die. Once a tooth is dead, it’s weak and vulnerable. Root canal therapy is indicated to save the tooth and protect it from further damage.

Are Root Canals Painful?

Are Root Canals Painful?

Typically, root canals in Santa Maria alleviate tooth pain. Sometimes, though, patients experience some soreness or discomfort after the procedure as the tooth needs to heal from the infection or trauma it’s sustained. Facial swelling is common in some people as well.

Any discomfort should dissipate within a few days. If the pain or swelling gets worse or lasts for more than a few days, contact Santa Barbara Family Dentistry. These could be signs of an infection.

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What Are the Signs I Might Need
Root Canal Treatment in Santa Maria?

Not everyone who needs root canal treatment has symptoms. Sometimes, your dentist may identify a dying tooth due to discoloration or calcifying canals noted in an x-ray. In other cases, you may notice some symptoms that are a good indicator you might need to talk to your Santa Maria dentist about restorative treatment like root canal therapy. Signs can include:

  • A constant toothache (with or without stimulation)
  • Lingering sensitivity
  • Sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Sensitivity to bite pressure
  • Exudate
  • The tooth turns grayish black
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What Happens During a
Root Canal Procedure?

Your Santa Maria root canal dentist will start by numbing the tooth to ensure your comfort during treatment. Then, they’ll isolate the tooth using a rubber dam. Isolation is vital to prevent introducing oral bacteria into the tooth.

Your dentist will use a dental handpiece or laser to open the top of the tooth (if it’s a posterior tooth) or the back of a tooth (if it’s an anterior tooth) and access the tooth’s pulp chamber.

Using instruments that look like small scrub brushes, your dentist will remove the pulp tissue and clean the pulp chamber and canals. They’ll take an x-ray at this time to ensure they’ve removed all the irritated or infected tissue to the base of the canal. Leaving any tissue inside the canal can lead to an infection.

If all the pulp material is successfully removed, your dentist will shape the canals and disinfect them before placing a material called gutta-percha into the canals and chamber. The gutta-percha seals the canals and prevents bacteria from entering.

Your dentist will take a final x-ray to ensure the gutta-percha is filling the entire canal. Then, they’ll finish the procedure by placing a temporary filling/build-up in the tooth and a temporary crown.

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Why Do I Need a Dental Crown After
Root Canal Treatment in Santa Maria?

After root canal therapy, the tooth is weak and at risk of breaking. A dental crown provides support to protect the tooth. It also seals the tooth and prevents bacterial attacks that can destroy the tooth.

A dental crown also helps keep your bite in alignment, preventing other teeth from enduring added bite pressure – something that can result in trauma and put other teeth at risk of needing root canal therapy.

We Can Save a Damaged Tooth with Root Canal Therapy

Just because a tooth is severely decayed or has sustained significant damage doesn’t mean the tooth is doomed and needs to be extracted. We can preserve the tooth and your oral health with root canal therapy in Santa Maria.

Contact us right away!

Are you experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity to hot and cold? We want to help you get out of pain fast.