Posts for tag: root canal
Root canals can be essential to your oral health. Some people may still think of them as painful, but modern technology has come a long way. Your Washington, DC dentists Dr. Carlos Abreu and Dr. Mahvassh Abreu can help you determine if a root canal is needed.
What's a root canal?
A tooth is composed of several layers. The outermost layer is enamel. It's the white part of the tooth and also happens to be the strongest part. The layer under it is called dentin. This layer is yellowish and a bit softer. The third layer of the tooth is called the pulp. It consists of blood vessels and nerves. The last layer is called cementum. This part anchors the whole tooth to the jawbone.
When a cavity is deep enough to infiltrate the enamel and then the dentin, it reaches the pulp, which causes pain. Your Washington, DC dentist will need to remove the pulp, clean and disinfect the canal from any bacteria remaining then seal the canal to prevent any more bacteria from entering.
Why would I need a root canal?
One of the main reasons people end up needing a root canal is because of advanced dental decay. If you don't brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once, then you will suffer from plaque and tartar building up. Plaque and tartar are not only difficult to clean, but plaque interacts with the foods you eat you have to deal with bacteria eating away at your teeth.
Brushing and flossing aren't the only things you need to take into consideration. Eating sugary foods and drinks like sugary gum and soda can contribute to this issue. Healthy foods like apples and drinking water will help remove plaque and food debris from your teeth.
If you are dealing with dental pain, or if you have any questions or concerns about root canals, don't hesitate to call your Washington, DC dentists Dr. Carlos Abreu and Dr. Mahvassh Abreu. Call (202) 496-0891.
Now that celebrities can communicate directly with their fans through social media, we’ve started to see dispatches from some surprising locations — the dental chair, for example! Take singer Kelly Clarkson, who was the first winner of American Idol, and perhaps one of the first to seek moral support via social media before having an emergency root canal procedure.
“Emergency root canal — I’ve had better days,” Kelly posted on her Facebook page, along with a photo of herself looking… well, pretty nervous. But is a root canal procedure really something to be scared about? It’s time to clear up some misconceptions about this very common dental procedure.
First of all, root canal treatment is done to save a tooth that might otherwise be lost to an infection deep inside it. So while it’s often looked upon with apprehension, it’s a very positive step to take if you want to keep your teeth as long as possible. Secondly, tooth infections can be painful — but it’s the root canal procedure that stops the pain. What, actually, is done during this tooth-saving treatment?
First, a local anesthetic is administered to keep you from feeling any pain. Then, a small opening is made through the chewing surface of the infected tooth, giving access to the central space inside, which is called the “pulp chamber.” A set of tiny instruments is used to remove the diseased pulp (nerve) tissue in the chamber, and to clean out the root canals: branching tunnel-like spaces that run from the pulp chamber through the root (or roots) of the tooth. The cleared canals are then filled and sealed.
At a later appointment, we will give you a more permanent filling or, more likely, a crown, to restore your tooth’s full function and protect it from further injury. A tooth that has had a root canal followed by a proper restoration can last as long as any other natural tooth — a very long time indeed.
If you have any questions about root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “A Step by Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment.”
If you are pleased with your smile except for that one front tooth that appears darker, then we have good news for you. Often a tooth appears darker as a result of trauma that may have occurred years ago. Your tooth may need root canal treatment or may have already had root canal treatment in the past. Regardless, you can whiten this tooth via a process called internal bleaching. And as the name suggests, the tooth can be bleached from the inside out. Here's a brief summary of how this entire process works:
- Performing an x-ray exam: The first step is to take a radiograph (x-ray) to make sure that your root canal filling is intact adequately sealing the root canal and the surrounding bone is healthy.
- Making an access hole: To apply the bleaching agent, a small hole will need to be made in the back of your tooth to apply the bleach. However, before doing that, the area must be thoroughly cleaned and irrigated.
- Sealing above the root canal filling: This step is critical to prevent the bleach from leaking into the root canal space.
- Applying the bleach: To obtain the whitening needed, it typically requires between one and four office visits for additional bleaching.
- Applying a permanent restoration: Once your tooth has lightened to the desired color, a permanent filling will be placed over the small hole to seal your tooth's dentin. This is then covered with tooth-colored composite resin (filling material) so that the access hole is undetectable to the naked eye.
To learn more about this procedure and see amazing before and after images, continue reading the Dear Doctor article, “Whitening Traumatized Teeth.” Or, you can contact us to discuss your questions or to schedule an appointment.