Posts for: February, 2017
So, you've undergone a root canal treatment to save a decayed tooth. The tooth has a new lease on life — and the pain is gone too. But there's a reality you need to keep in mind — your tooth could become re-infected, putting you back in the same painful circumstance.
Root canal treatments are often necessary when decay works its way deep within a tooth, into the pulp. The excruciating pain a person feels is the infection attacking the bundle of nerves within the pulp tissue. If the infection isn't addressed promptly, it will continue to work its way to the root, eventually damaging the tooth beyond repair.
During a root canal treatment, we drill into the tooth to access the pulp chamber. After clearing it completely of its infected tissue, we then fill the chamber and root canals with a special filling and then seal off the access. A short time later we'll bond a crown over the tooth to protect it and to make it more attractive.
Most of the time, this preserves the tooth for many years. Occasionally, though, re-infection can occur. There are a number of reasons why: the first infection may have been more extensive than thought; the root canal network was more complex and some tinier canals weren't able to be identified; or the protective crown may once again get tooth decay contaminating the root canal.
If infection does reoccur it doesn't mean the tooth is lost. It's possible a second root canal treatment can successfully correct any problems, especially those that may not have been detected the first time. More complex cases might also require the services of an endodontist, a specialist in root canals. They're skilled in advanced techniques and have specialized equipment to handle even the most complicated root canal networks.
In the meantime, if you notice signs of re-infection like pain or swelling around a treated tooth, contact us promptly for an appointment. You should also contact us if the tooth is injured in an accident. The sooner we can treat your tooth, the more likely the second time will be more successful.
If you would like more information on preserving a tooth through root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Canal Treatment: How long will it Last?”
What your dentist in Turlock wants you to know
You want to do everything you can to protect your smile, but you’re not sure what to do. The fact is taking care of your oral health is easy and should take only a few minutes out of your day; the results are well worth the effort. Dr. Cesar Acosta in Turlock, CA, wants to help you establish a proper oral regimen by sharing a few simple tips.
You should brush your teeth after each meal and before you go to bed at night. Always use a soft toothbrush because hard toothbrushes can do damage to your gums and tooth enamel, making your teeth sensitive and causing receding gums. Also use toothpaste with fluoride because it helps to harden and protect tooth enamel.
Hint: using a sonic or electric toothbrush helps to flush out bacteria and food debris from between your teeth and under your gums.
You should floss your teeth daily using a single piece of floss. Wrap around each tooth, making a “C” shape around the tooth. This helps to ensure you are cleaning deeply between the teeth.
Hint: using floss picks is helpful if you have arthritis or dexterity issues.
You should visit your dentist in Turlock at least yearly for a dental exam and x-rays. You should also schedule every 6 months for professional cleanings by a dental hygienist.
Hint: scheduling for your next visit at the end of your current visit helps the process become automatic.
A proper oral routine doesn’t just help save your smile. It also protects you from some serious medical problems. A healthy mouth protects you from:
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
The goal of a proper oral hygiene regimen is to remove plaque from your teeth. Plaque contains millions of bacteria that can cause tooth decay, gum disease and periodontal disease. Don’t let your smile suffer! For more information about oral hygiene call Dr. Acosta in Turlock, CA. Don’t wait, call today!