Fountain Valley Root Canal Therapy

What Is A Root Canal?

Root canal therapy or just a “root canal” for short, is a treatment that’s used to restore, protect, and preserve infected teeth. Teeth become infected when the outer layers of enamel and dentin are damaged or destroyed by a cavity or dental trauma. This exposes the “pulp” inside the tooth, which is filled with the blood vessels and nerves that keep your tooth alive.

In a root canal, Dr. Naman Zia Ebrahimi (Dr. E) will use special tools to open up the tooth, clean out this infected pulp, then fill it up and protect it with a filling or a dental crown. This eliminates pain, destroys the infection, and keeps your tooth healthy for years to come. Got a toothache in Fountain Valley? Contact us today to get the help you need.

Did you know…

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If you wait too long to get a root canal, it may not be possible to save your tooth. It may need to be extracted and replaced with a partial denture, dental bridge, or dental implant.

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What To Expect From The Root Canal Therapy Process

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Numbing and prep

To begin the process, Dr. E will clean the treatment area and numb your mouth to ensure you feel no discomfort during your procedure. Then, he’ll isolate the tooth with a rubber dam.

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Opening the tooth

Next, Dr. E will use a drill to remove damaged tooth material, and will create a small opening in the surface of your tooth. This gives him access to the inside of your tooth.

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Cleaning the interior

In the next step, Dr. E will use special tools to remove infected pulp from deep within your tooth. He will clean it thoroughly to remove all of the bacteria, then flush and sanitize the tooth.

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Filling and restoring the tooth

As the final step, Dr. E will fill the tooth with gutta-percha. This is a material that replaces your pulp and strengthens your tooth from the inside. Then, he will place a temporary filling or crown. You will usually need to come back in a few weeks to get a permanent crown.

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When Do You Need Root Canal Therapy?

You need root canal therapy if you have an infected tooth. The most obvious symptom of a tooth infection is a prolonged toothache. If you have a toothache that doesn't go away and keeps getting worse, it’s likely due to a tooth infection.

Other symptoms may include inflammation and discoloration of the gums near the tooth, or discoloration of the tooth itself. In some cases, you may even notice swelling near the infected tooth, or a fever. If you notice any of these signs of a tooth infection, you should contact the office of Dr. Naman Zia Ebrahimi for a consultation right away.

Worn Teeth

Veneers can restore the shape and appearance of your teeth if they are worn from issues like teeth grinding (bruxism). If you are struggling with teeth grinding, it’s important to talk to your doctor about getting a night guard to protect your teeth after you get veneers.

Chipped, Broken, or Irregularly Shaped Teeth

As long as the damage is limited to the outer layers of enamel and dentin, veneers may be used to treat minor chipping or breakage in the teeth. If you are struggling with a more serious injury, your tooth may require the use of a dental crown and root canal therapy. 
Irregular and misshapen teeth can be treated and restored with veneers, providing you with a straighter and more even smile.

Misalignment or Gapping

Veneers can resolve any minor tooth misalignment and gap in your smile. After your teeth are trimmed and covered with veneers to correct these issues, you can enjoy a bright, straight, natural-looking smile. 

Keep in mind that veneers can only be used to treat minor misalignment and tooth gapping issues. For more serious teeth alignment complications, your dentist may recommend orthodontic care. Treatment such as Invisalign or braces may be required before cosmetic treatment with veneers.

Have Questions About Root Canal Therapy? Find Answers Here.

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Do Root Canals Hurt?

No. During your appointment, your mouth will be numb, and you won’t feel any pain. Your tooth may feel a little bit sore for a day or two, but that’s it. In fact, getting a root canal is the best way to relieve the pain of an infected tooth, which can be extremely uncomfortable.

If you do feel continued pain for more than a few days after your appointment, you should contact Dr. E for a follow up. It’s possible that you will need retreatment to eliminate any lingering bacteria and completely eliminate the infection.

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How Long Does a Root Canal Last?

Root canals last five to ten years, sometimes longer, depending on various factors. These factors include how well you maintain your oral hygiene. The more consistent you are with your oral hygiene routine, the longer your root canal will last. Additionally, maintaining follow-up treatments lets the dentist check the progress of your root canal treatment. These dental visits will go a long way toward extending the longevity of the treatment.

It’s worth noting that biting into hard foods and objects could cause your root canal fillings to fracture. This greatly compromises the lifespan of your treatment. However, you can always get a touch-up if your root canal fails prematurely.

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What Are the Signs You Need a Root Canal?

The most obvious sign that you need a root canal is severe tooth pain that won’t go away. This likely indicates tooth decay that extends to the tooth’s root. Additionally, a chipped or severely fractured tooth also warrants a root canal. That’s because the fractured tooth exposes sensitive nerve fibers to the outside, causing excruciating pain.

Another sign you need a root canal is if your  teeth are extremely sensitive to heat or cold. This sensitivity could develop into a sharp pain when taking hot or cold drinks. If so, visit Naman Zia Ebrahimi, DMD, so we can decide whether a root canal can solve your teeth sensitivity.

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What Is Done During a Root Canal?

A root canal is a relatively simple procedure that first involves injecting the region near the surrounding teeth with anesthesia to numb it. Once numb, the dentist will use a dental drill or laser to remove the decayed portions of the teeth. They’ll then use a drill to create an access point on the upper surface of the affected tooth.

With the access hole in place, the dentist will scoop out the infected pulp matter inside the tooth’s canal. They’ll then irrigate the insides of the canal with a  mild antiseptic solution before sealing the access hole. Finally, the dentist will send you home with instructions for caring for the affected tooth.

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Do You Need a Crown After a Root Canal?

Whether you need a dental crown following a root canal depends on how much of your tooth you have left after the root canal. Remember, the removal of decayed portions of the teeth forms part of the treatment. Sometimes, patients only remain with a small section of their tooth structure after the process.

Patients with inadequate tooth structure may need dental crowns to fortify the teeth. However, patients with most of their teeth still intact after the procedure do not need dental crowns. The dentist will use their best judgment to determine the necessity of these tooth caps.

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Can I Get a Filling Instead of a Root Canal?

The dentist will examine your oral health to determine whether you need a root canal or a dental filling. They typically recommend root canals for patients with severe cases of dental decay. This is when the decay exceeds the enamel and dentin and infects the pulp in the tooth’s canal. Dental fillings, on the other hand, work best for mild to moderate cases of dental decay. These are cases where the dental decay only extends to the dentin.

Did you know…

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More than 41,000 root canals are performed daily

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