Root Canal Therapy – Petaluma, CA
Root Canal Therapy to Revamp Your Oral Health
Root canal therapy doesn’t necessarily have the best reputation, but despite what you have seen in movies and on TV, it is actually a virtually painless procedure that can relieve discomfort. It is used to repair the most damaged teeth and save them from being extracted. If you have tooth pain that doesn’t seem to go away and think you may need to root canal therapy to revamp your oral health, give us a call. Dr. Bob Koenitzer offers root canal therapy in Petaluma to save your damaged teeth!
Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?
Just because you have a toothache doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to undergo root canal therapy. This service is reserved for teeth that have become damaged, decayed, or infected to the point where they cannot be treated with just a filling or dental crown. Here are some of the most common symptoms that indicate that you may need root canal therapy:
- Severe toothache or dental pain that has lasted for more than 24 hours
- New or worsening tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Pain in one or more teeth when you bite down
- Swollen, red, or tender gums
- A bump on the gums near the painful tooth that resembles a pimple
If you have one or more of these symptoms, give us a call so we can schedule you for an urgent appointment to get some relief.
The Root Canal Process
Root canal therapy is used to alleviate discomfort and save teeth that are damaged. First, you will be administered a local anesthetic to ensure that you remain perfectly comfortable throughout the duration of the procedure. This way, the area will be completely numb. Dr. Koenitzer will create a small hole in your enamel to remove all of the infected and damaged tissues from inside the tooth. Afterwards, he will clean and sanitize the tooth to made sure that the tooth is free of bacteria. Next, the tooth is filled with a biocompatible material. After the tooth has been filled, a dental crown is often placed over it to keep it safe from further damage.
The Benefits of Getting a Root Canal
Root canal therapy is a safe way to prevent dental problems later on. Here are some of the benefits:
- Preserves the tooth: When compared to extractions, saving a tooth with root canal therapy can save you a lot of time, money, and complications.
- Stop harmful bacteria: Root canal therapy effectively cleans away harmful bacteria that are causing you pain and discomfort.
- Painless treatment: It may have a bad reputation, but root canal therapy is actually virtually pain-free! It’s about as comfortable as getting a standard filling and requires much less healing time than an extraction.
Root Canal FAQs
Has your dentist recommended that you undergo root canal therapy? While this treatment is essential for preserving damaged or decayed pearly whites, it’s natural to want to know as much as you can about the procedure before committing to anything. That’s why our team is more than happy to provide and answer some of the most common questions we get about root canal therapy in Petaluma. Read on to learn more or reach out to our office today so we can walk you through the process of renewing a healthy and comfortable smile.
What Should I Do Before a Root Canal?
First, you’ll want to eat a healthy meal before your procedure, as it can be difficult to chew anything for a while afterward. You’ll also have to refrain from using tobacco if you smoke, which can interfere with the healing process and introduce bacteria in your mouth. These products can even disrupt the numbing effects of the local anesthetic during your appointment. Many dentists suggest taking over-the-counter pain relievers sometime before your procedure to help minimize soreness once the anesthetic wears off. Be sure to get plenty of rest the night before your treatment and after you return home!
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
Similar to a regular dental filling, root canal therapy can typically be finished in a single appointment. The length of your procedure may take anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes (or more). The exact time will depend on the location of the damaged or decayed tooth. For instance, molars have more roots that will need to be disinfected compared to your front teeth. This means they’ll tend to take longer to address. Your dentist will walk you through your treatment plan and provide a more accurate estimate of the length of your procedure so that you can plan accordingly.
How Much Discomfort Is Normal After a Root Canal?
Contrary to popular belief, root canal therapy is designed to alleviate dental pain, as the treatment removes harmful particles from within your pearly whites. However, while the procedure itself shouldn’t be painful, it’s normal to experience mild soreness and sensitivity for a few days after your appointment. The good news is that these sensations are usually short-lived and minimal. You can easily manage your symptoms by taking prescribed or over-the-counter pain medications. Make sure to avoid chewing or biting down on something hard, as this can exacerbate your sensations. After several days, any discomfort should fade. If not, notify our team immediately for help.
Can I Take Antibiotics Instead of Getting a Root Canal?
Antibiotics may be effective against bacterial infections in most parts of your body. However, they don’t generally work for dental infections. This is because antibiotics travel through the bloodstream to work on specific infected areas and vital organs. Your bloodstream does not access the pulp of your teeth. For this reason, this wouldn’t be a reliable solution for addressing damaged or decayed pearly whites. If you have an infected tooth, the only option for treating and preserving it is root canal therapy.