Posts for tag: Root Canal

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During this year's baseball spring training, Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton got into a row with a steak dinner—and the beefsteak got the better of it. During his meal, the Gold Glove winner cracked a tooth.

Fortunately, he didn't lose it. Buxton's dentist rescued the tooth with a dental procedure that's been around for over a century—a root canal treatment. The dependable root canal is responsible for saving millions of teeth each year.

Dentists turn to root canal treatments for a number of reasons: a permanent tooth's roots are dissolving (a condition called resorption); chronic inflammation of the innermost tooth pulp due to repeated fillings; or a fractured or cracked tooth, like Buxton's, in which the pulp becomes exposed to bacteria.

One of the biggest reasons, though, is advanced tooth decay. Triggered by acid, a by-product of bacteria, a tooth's enamel softens and erodes, allowing decay into the underlying dentin. In its initial stages, we can often treat decay with a filling. But if the decay continues to advance, it can infect the pulp and root canals and eventually reach the bone.

Decay of this magnitude seriously jeopardizes a tooth's survival. But we can still stop it before that point with a root canal. The basic procedure is fairly straightforward. We begin first by drilling a small hole into the tooth to access the inner pulp and root canals. Using special instruments, we then remove all of the infected tissue within the tooth.

After disinfecting the now empty spaces and reshaping the root canals, we fill the tooth with a rubber-like substance called gutta percha. This, along with filling the access hole, seals the tooth's interior from future infection. In most cases, we'll return sometime later and bond a life-like crown to the tooth (as Buxton's dentist did for him) for added protection and support.

You would think such a procedure would get its own ticker tape parade. Unfortunately, there's a cultural apprehension that root canals are painful. But here's the truth—because your tooth and surrounding gums are numbed by local anesthesia, a root canal procedure doesn't hurt. Actually, if your tooth has been throbbing from tooth decay's attack on its nerves, a root canal treatment will alleviate that pain.

After some time on the disabled list, Buxton was back in the lineup in time to hit his longest homer to date at 456 feet on the Twins' Opening Day. You may not have that kind of moment after a root canal, but repairing a bothersome tooth with this important procedure will certainly get you back on your feet again.

If you would like more information about root canal therapy, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment.”

By Mission Hill Dental
November 04, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
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Remembered fondly by fans as the wacky but loveable Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Alfonso Ribeiro is currently in his fifth year hosting America's Funniest Videos. It's the perfect gig for the 48-year-old actor, who loves to laugh and make others laugh as well. This is quite the opposite experience from one he had a few years ago that he remembers all too well: a severely decayed tooth.

After seeing his dentist for an intense toothache, Ribeiro learned he had advanced tooth decay and would need root canal treatment. Ribeiro wasn't thrilled by the news. Like many of us, he thought the procedure would be unpleasant. But he found afterward that not only was the root canal painless, his toothache had vanished.

More importantly, the root canal treatment saved his tooth, as it has for millions of others over the last century. If you're facing a situation similar to Alfonso Ribeiro's, here's a quick look at the procedure that could rescue your endangered tooth.

Getting ready. In preparation for root canal therapy, the tooth and surrounding gums are numbed, often first with a swab of local anesthesia to deaden the surface area in preparation for the injection of the main anesthesia below the surface. A dental dam is then placed to isolate the infected tooth from its neighbors to prevent cross-contamination.

Accessing the interior. To get to the infection, a small access hole is drilled. The location depends on the tooth: in larger back teeth, a hole is drilled through the biting surface, and in front teeth, a hole is drilled on the backside. This access allows us to insert special tools to accomplish the next steps in the procedure.

Cleaning, shaping and filling. Small tools are used to remove the diseased tissue from the interior tooth pulp and root canals. Then the empty spaces are disinfected. This, in effect, stops the infection. Next, the root canals inside the tooth are shaped to allow them to better accept a special filling called gutta percha. The access hole is then sealed to further protect the tooth from future infection, and a temporary crown is placed.

A new crown to boot. Within a couple weeks, we'll cap the tooth with a long-lasting lifelike crown (or a filling on certain teeth). This adds further protection for the tooth against infection, helps strengthen the tooth's structure, and restores the tooth's appearance.

Without this procedure, the chances of a tooth surviving this level of advanced decay are very slim. But undergoing a root canal, as Alfonso Ribeiro did, can give your tooth a real fighting chance.

If you would like more information about root canal treatments, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment” and “Root Canal Treatment: How Long Will It Last?

By Mission Hill Dental
August 13, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canal  

Often times we have an intense pain that causes headaches but never stop and think it may be our tooth. Root canals are necessary when decay is so advanced and/or severe enough to reach the tooth's canal.

More About Root Canal Treatment.

Your tooth consists of four layers: the white protective layer on the outside is called enamel, then there's a yellowish layer called dentin which support enamel, pulp which has nerves, and cementum which anchors the tooth to gums.

A root canal is necessary when bacteria infiltrates enamel, dentin and reaches the nerves in the pulp which ultimately lead to inflammation and the pain you're feeling.

Your Canyon Lake and New Braunfels dentist must disinfect the canal, seal the root canal and place a crown on top of the root canal for added protection, reinforcement, and improves dental functions like chewing and biting.

Why would someone need a root canal?

  • Chips and cracks because of an accident or sports gives bacteria access to the layers below the protective enamel.
  • Deep or severe dental decay can break down the enamel and erode teeth until it reaches the nerves.

What can I do to prevent root canals?

If you want to avoid root canals, you need to maintain a healthy oral regimen. Brush and floss your teeth everyday to remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup. Make sure you also visit your dentist twice a year for professional dental cleanings and regular dental examinations.

Your dentist may also provide you with fluoride treatment that'll protect your teeth. You can also use fluoride-containing products, like toothpaste and mouthwash, to protect teeth.

Who should I contact for more information?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding root canals, make sure you contact your Canyon Lake and New Braunfels, TX, dentist, today!

By Mission Hill Dental
September 13, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canal  

A root canal is a procedure used to treat infection at the center of a tooth. The infection is caused by bacteria that invade the tooth. This root canalcan occur after decay or damage to the tooth as result of trauma. Dr. Horacio Lucero and Dr. Fred Willard of Mission Hill Dental, which is located in New Braunfels, TX and serving Canyon Lake, TX, offer a full range of dental services. Here are five signs you may need a root canal. 

1. You have a toothache.

The most common symptom that may indicate the need for a root canal is pain in the tooth. Its level may range from slight to extreme. The pain you feel is caused by an infection in the tooth. Root canal therapy will relieve your tooth pain and improve your well-being. It’s important not to shy away from dental care because of tooth pain. Ignoring your teeth can make things worse. 

2. You have a bump on your gum.

Worried about that bump on your gum? Do not worry – this is normal. A bump that forms on the gum is a sign that root canal therapy is needed. This pimple-like bump will often go away and then come back. See your New Braunfels, TX dentist when you discover a pimple-like bump on your gum.

3. Your gums are swollen.

Swelling around the gums or tooth is a sign that you may need a root canal. The swelling can range from being very slight to quite pronounced. The swelling may have presented itself for the first time, with a slow or rapid onset. Swelling may be but isn't always accompanied by pain.

4. Hot and cold bother you.

Tooth sensitivity is a common problem. Some individuals are naturally sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages. Prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages may be a sign that root canal treatment is needed. Nerve damage causes tooth pain and sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages. 

5. You have a discolored tooth.

If you smoke, your teeth will darken over time. Pigments from dark-colored beverages such as tea, soda, coffee, and red wine cause permanent stains on your teeth. Certain medications can also stain teeth. However, one discolored tooth may be a sign that root canal therapy is needed.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call Mission Hill Dental in New Braunfels, TX and serving Canyon Lake, TX at 830-625-7322 right now to schedule a dental consultation. Our dentists offer root canal treatments with a gentle touch. You have nothing to lose except your toothache!