Save Your Smile From Infection & Extraction
Adult teeth are a vital part of life, contributing to oral health and self-esteem, so it’s only natural that most people want to preserve their overall smile. However, dental damage such as oral trauma, infection, and tooth decay can put your teeth at risk and even threaten your entire physical health.
If you’re one of the many people worried about their oral health and trying to save their teeth from extraction, then you’ve come to the right place. If the damage is caught soon enough, Sacramento restorative dentist, Dr. A. Scott Grivas III, DDS, can save your teeth and restore your oral health with root canal treatment. Learn how you can enjoy a beautiful, healthy smile again with Dr. Grivas.
What Is Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment, also known as endodontics, is the process of restoring a tooth after the nerve is severely affected by decay or infection. During a root canal, Dr. Grivas will remove all damaged tooth material and any infected dental pulp, which is a collection of living tissues and nerves housed inside a hollow space called the pulp chamber. After filling and sealing the tooth, the infection is gone and the structural integrity of the tooth is restored.
Dr. Grivas and the team at our Sacramento office understand that root canals have gained a bad reputation over the years. Rest assured, root canal treatment can act as a buffer and a booster for your oral health, eliminating infection and the need for extraction. Dr. Grivas is well-versed in the art of root canal procedures after over a decade of professional dentistry and will be sure to keep your treatment as comfortable and pain-free as possible.
Who Needs Root Canal Treatment?
It’s possible that you need a root canal and may not even know it. Sometimes the nerves are so damaged that pain doesn’t even register. Dr. Grivas encourages his patients to be vigilant for any possible signs that may indicate infection. Besides pain, other possible signs that you may need a root canal include:
- Difficulty chewing
- Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Damage to your gums or the surrounding bone
- Discoloration or darkening of the tooth
- Loosening of the tooth
- Swollen gums or abscesses on the gums
- Dental trauma/decay such as holes, cracks, and chips
Benefits of Root Canal Treatment
Undergoing a root canal when you need it can be a massive help to your smile and your overall health. There are many benefits when receiving the treatment, including:
- Enhanced oral health
- Protects your overall health
- Alleviates pain, swelling, sensitivity, and throbbing
- Helps prevent infection from returning
- Saves teeth from extraction
- Prevents the need for more costly restorations
Root Canal Treatment Process
Before Dr. Grivas suggests root canal treatment, he’ll thoroughly evaluate your oral health by providing an examination involving X-rays and a review of your medical history. He’ll also discuss your smile goals with you to ensure root canal treatment is right for you. If you struggle with dental anxiety, we also offer sedation dentistry to help you stay relaxed and completely comfortable during your procedure.
Your consultation is a great time to ask any questions you may have. After you and Dr. Grivas have both decided to go forward with root canal treatment, we’ll help set you up for your next appointment.
Before your root canal treatment begins, we’ll clean your mouth out and apply a local anesthetic to keep you pain-free during your treatment. We’ll also make sure any sedative you may have chosen is working properly alongside your anesthetic. Once we’re certain you’re comfortable, Dr. Grivas will proceed.
Root Canal Treatment
Once we’re sure you’re numb and comfortable, Dr. Grivas will create a small opening in your tooth to access the dental pulp. From there, he’ll remove the diseased pulp, nerves, bacteria, and other decay from the inner chamber. The area is then disinfected and filled with a special, biocompatible dental material — usually, a rubber-like substance called gutta-percha — before sealing the area again with a dental filling to prevent the risk of further infection.
Once the tooth is sealed, Dr. Grivas will shave the tooth down so that it can serve as the base for your crown. From there, we’ll take images of your teeth that will be used as the blueprints for your custom-made dental crown. Your crown can be made in-office, the same day with CEREC technology, or be sent to an off-site laboratory in the case of more complex builds.
Once your crown is ready, we’ll cover your tooth with your custom-made dental crown to restore its form and function and protect it from further damage and infection. Once the inflammation and sensitivity have diminished, you’ll be able to enjoy a full, healthy smile again.
Root Canal Treatment Aftercare
After your root canal treatment, it is important to follow proper aftercare instructions to ensure that your tooth fully heals and remains healthy. Here are some tips for caring for your tooth after a root canal procedure:
- Avoid Chewing on the Treated Tooth: After a root canal, the tooth may be sensitive for a few days, so it is important to avoid chewing on it until the sensitivity subsides. This will help prevent any damage to the tooth or any potential dislodging of the temporary filling.
- Stick To Soft Foods & Mild Drinks: Soft foods and mild, room-temperature drinks are gentle enough to prevent damage to your crown and filling as well as lower the risk of bleeding or sensitivity. Avoid hard and crunchy foods and drinks that are alcoholic, hot, or caffeinated.
- Take Pain Medication as Directed: You may experience some discomfort after your root canal procedure, so it is important to take any pain medication as directed by your dentist to help alleviate any pain or discomfort.
- Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Proper oral hygiene is important to ensure the success of your root canal treatment. Continue to brush and floss your teeth regularly, and avoid eating foods that are difficult to chew or sticky.
- Attend Follow-Up Appointments: It’s important to attend any follow-up appointments with your dentist to ensure that the tooth is healing properly and to monitor any potential signs of infection.
Frequently Asked Questions
The exact cost of your root canal treatment can vary based on a number of factors such as how many teeth require treatment, chosen sedation options, and your insurance. We encourage you to call your provider and ask them which costs they can cover. If you need help affording your treatment, your dentist may offer financing options so that your smile gets the care it needs.
Some discomfort after your root canal is normal. However, any pain should be mild and easy to handle with a cold compress and over-the-counter pain medication. Your dentist may prescribe medication to counter pain and fight infection, so we encourage you to take all prescribed medication as instructed.
If you feel like your post-op pain is unbearable or it hasn’t receded after a week, call your dentist. They’ll address any issues you may be having so your treatment can continue as comfortably as possible.
It is possible to get an infection after a root canal treatment, although it is relatively rare. Re-infection can occur if there are bacteria left in the tooth or if the tooth is recontaminated after the root canal procedure. If you suspect you may have an infection, it is important to contact your dentist as soon as possible. It may still be possible to save the tooth with endodontic retreatment.
It is generally recommended to avoid chewing or biting down on the treated tooth until the numbness from the anesthetic wears off. After that, most patients are able to resume their normal activities. However, some discomfort or sensitivity may be experienced for a few days after the procedure, and it’s important to follow any specific aftercare instructions provided by the dentist to ensure proper healing.
Give Your Teeth a Second Chance With Root Canal Treatment!
If you want to preserve your smile, while keeping your teeth healthy and beautiful, Dr. Grivas and our staff are here to help with root canal therapy. If you’re ready to deal with a tooth infection and restore the integrity of your teeth, contact our Sacramento office by dialing (916) 929-9222. You can also request an appointment online by filling out the contact form at the bottom of the page. We proudly serve new and returning patients from Sacramento and surrounding areas such as Florin, Rosemont, and La Riviera, CA.