Complete Family Dentistry Blog - Waukesha , WI
Posts for: July, 2017
A root canal treatment is a commonly known but often misunderstood procedure. Contrary to popular belief, these treatments aren't painful — in fact, they often stop a toothache. More importantly, a “root canal” can give a tooth on the verge of loss another lease on life.
Still, if you've never experienced a root canal treatment before, you probably have questions. Here are the answers to a few of the most common.
Why do they call it a “root canal”? This is the popular shorthand term for a procedure that removes diseased tissue from a decay-infected pulp, the innermost part of a tooth and the actual root canals themselves. Root canals are the narrow, hollow channels that run from the tip of the root to the pulp and are also involved in the procedure.
Why do I need one? Once infected, the pulp's bundles of blood vessels, nerves and other tissues become diseased. This often results in a painful toothache that can also suddenly disappear once the nerves within the pulp die. But there's still a problem: If we don't clean out the diseased and dead pulp tissue, the infection could spread through the root canals to the bone and endanger the tooth's survival.
What happens during the procedure? After deadening the tooth and surrounding gums with local anesthesia, we enter the pulp through an access hole we create. Using special instruments we remove the diseased tissue and shape the root canals to seal them with a filling material called gutta percha. Sealing the access hole is then necessary to prevent re-infection. Later we'll cap the tooth with a porcelain crown to restore its appearance and add further protection against fracture or cracking of the tooth.
Who can perform a root canal treatment? In many cases a general dentist can perform the procedure. There are some complex situations, however, that require a root canal specialist with additional training, expertise and equipment to handle these more difficult cases. If your tooth is just such a case it's more than likely your general dentist will refer you to an endodontist to make sure you get the right kind of care to save it.
If you would like more information on 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: What You Need to Know.”
Though they tend to have a bad reputation, root canals are a crucial part of repairing a tooth affected by decay. The procedure itself is neither painful nor long and can restore a severely damaged tooth. Find out more about root canal therapy and why it is nothing to fear with Dr. Joel Jahimiak, Dr. Cathleen Raz, and Dr. Kendra Loch at Complete Family Dentistry in Waukesha, WI.
Do I need a root canal?
A root canal becomes necessary if tooth decay reaches the tooth’s inner pulp chamber, compromising the tooth and causing a toothache. The root canal removes the damaged tissue from within the tooth, including the tooth’s nerve, curing the toothache and saving the tooth from requiring extraction, which occurs if decay is left untreated. Dentists often use a dental crown placed over the tooth after the root canal to protect it from further damage from everyday use.
Root Canal Therapy
Root Canals begin with a local anesthetic administered to the area of the tooth to ensure the patient feels no pain or discomfort during their procedure. While many people believe that a root canal is painful, this is a myth thanks to this important step. Next, your dentist removes the decayed tissue within the tooth through a small access hole made in the tooth’s crown. After removing the tissue and scrubbing the inside of the tooth and its roots clean using special instruments, the tooth is restored with either a dental filling or a dental crown.
Root Canals in Waukesha, WI
Root canals are safe and effective in treating severe tooth decay. A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures, performed by dentists everywhere. One of the most common signs you may need a root canal is a toothache, though your dentist may suggest the treatment if you have decay which has not yet caused any pain. Your dentist can help you determine if a root canal is right for you at a biannual dental examination and cleaning.
For more information on root canals, please contact Dr. Joel Jahimiak, Dr. Cathleen Raz, and Dr. Kendra Loch at Complete Family Dentistry in Waukesha, WI. Call 262-549-6850 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!
Do-it-yourself (DIY) whitening kits are a popular option for restoring a healthy shine to stained and dulled teeth. They're relatively safe and generally live up to their packaging claims.
But a home kit might not always be your best option. Here are 4 reasons why DIY whitening might not be right for you.
You're on the early side of your teen years. Tooth whitening at home is quite popular with teenagers. For older teens it doesn't really pose a dental risk as long as you use the product appropriately (more on that in a moment). However, the immature enamel of younger teens' permanent teeth is still developing and can be vulnerable to damage by whitening processes.
You don't follow instructions well. Not to say you have this particular character quirk — but if you do you may run into trouble with DIY whitening. Home kits are safe if you follow their instructions carefully. If you use them to excess as one 13-year old boy was reported to have done, you could severely (and permanently) erode your teeth's protective enamel.
Your teeth are in need of dental work. Tooth whitening can't fix everything that may be contributing to an unattractive smile. It's always better to have issues like dental disease or chipped teeth addressed first before whitening. And, if your tooth discoloration originates from inside your tooth, a whitening kit won't help — they're only designed for staining on the enamel's outside surface. You'll need a special dental procedure to whiten internal (or intrinsic) tooth staining.
You want to control the amount of brightness. Home kits don't have the level of fine-tuning that a clinical procedure can achieve. While the bleaching agent in a professional whitening solution is much stronger than a home kit, your dentist is trained in techniques that can vary the amount of bleaching, from a softer white to dazzling “Hollywood” bright. And clinical whitening usually takes fewer sessions and may last longer than a home kit.
If you're interested in teeth whitening, see your dentist for a dental examination first before purchasing a DIY kit. Even if you decide to do it yourself, your dentist can give you buying advice for whitening kits, as well as how-to tips.
If you would like more information on tooth whitening, 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 “Tooth Whitening Safety Tips.”