Posts for tag: root canal
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?”
Whether it's in online forums or around the office water cooler, outdated information about root canals continues to make the rounds, and dentists like Dr. Moutaz Abdeen of Alexandria Smiles Dentistry in Alexandria, VA, are determined to set the record straight. Read on to learn the truth about root canals and how beneficial they can be.
The reason for root canals
Within the dental industry, root canals are known as endodontic therapy - "endo-" meaning "inside" and "-dontic" referring to the teeth. Inside each tooth is a series of blood vessels, nerves, and soft tissues—this is what is referred to as "dental pulp." When decay goes beyond the outside of the tooth and begins affecting these inner structures, it can cause cavities that are dangerous to one's health and often very painful. Root canals, therefore, are designed to remove the damaged tissue and replace it with a filling. This material strengthens the tooth from the inside out, and once your Alexandria dentist seals your tooth with a crown on top, it'll be as good as new!
How root canals benefit you
Though many people continue to assume that root canals are painful, your Alexandria dentist can assure you that root canals don't cause discomfort. Rather, this treatment actually stops pain in its tracks by removing the nerves inside the tooth that have been damaged by decay. By removing this decay, you're also eliminating the risk of developing a more serious infection elsewhere in the body. Root canals also help to preserve your tooth, allowing the roots to stay in place and continue supporting the jawbone and surrounding teeth.
Concerned about your dental health? Give us a call
Alexandria Smiles Dentistry is a full-service dental office that will help you achieve your optimal dental health. Contact our office in Alexandria, VA, today to schedule an appointment with our skilled, experienced dentist, Dr. Abdeen. Our number is (703) 671-0626.
If your dentist suggests root canal therapy, your first reaction may not be one of excitement. However, this necessary and highly-effective procedure cleans your damaged tooth from decay, helping save the natural structure of the tooth and eliminate the need for tooth extraction. Find out more about root canal therapy and why it is nothing to fear with Dr. Moutaz Abdeen at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry in Alexandria, VA.
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure which removes the soft tissues of the tooth located within its inner pulp chamber, cleans the inside of the tooth and its roots, then rebuilds the tooth using composite resin materials and, often, a dental crown. The procedure tends to have a bad reputation, but is actually painless, relatively fast, and often your only option to save your tooth from extraction and the side effects that come with it.
What can I expect during my root canal procedure?
Though many people believe the opposite, a root canal does not hurt. Before your procedure, your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area of the procedure to ensure you feel no discomfort during your treatment. Then, your dentist will access the tooth’s inner pulp chamber via a small hole in the crown of the tooth. They will remove the decayed or damaged tissues and nerves from inside the tooth, instantly eliminating its ability to feel pain and curing an existing toothache. Your dentist uses a composite resin material to fill the tooth after thoroughly scrubbing it of infected tissue indenturing none is left behind. After the procedure, your dentist may fit you for a dental crown, which will fit over the tooth to protect and stabilize it from daily use.
Root Canal Therapy in Alexandria, VA
If you have a broken, damaged, or painful tooth, chances are you could benefit from a root canal. Consulting with your dentist will help you determine which is your best next step moving forward.
For more information on root canal therapy or dental anxiety, please contact Dr. Moutaz Abdeen at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry in Alexandria, VA. Call (703) 671-0626 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Abdeen today!
According to survey data by the American Association of Endodontists, over 60% of Americans surveyed expressed anxiety over and a desire to avoid undergoing root canal therapy at all costs. The good news is that more people - almost 70% - said they feared losing a natural tooth over a number of presumably unpleasant but common occurrences in adult life, like paying taxes, coming down with the flu, or speaking in public. Like many people, you may view root canal therapy as a traumatic dental procedure to be avoided at all costs. But if you are suffering from significant tooth decay or an infection, not only will a root canal alleviate the pain, it can also save your tooth. Dr. Moutaz Abdeen, a dentist in Alexandria, VA, offers root canal therapy and a range of preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental services.
Root Canal Therapy in Alexandria, VA
Intense and ongoing toothaches are the most common sign of tooth decay or infection. A root canal becomes necessary when the nerves and tissue inside a tooth (also known as the pulp) become damaged or infected. Pulp can be exposed to bacteria through a deep cavity, or trauma from an accident or sports injury.
A root canal consists of drilling a small hole in the tooth, and removing the root and damaged nerves. Once the tooth has been cleaned and cleared of bacteria, it is sealed and bonded. Most people who undergo root canal therapy find the procedure similar to getting a cavity filled.
When is a Root Canal Necessary?
Schedule an appointment with your dentist if you are experiencing:
- Significant hot and cold sensitivity
- Signs of infection
- Dark stains or discolorations
- Tenderness/swelling around the gums
Find a Dentist in Alexandria, VA
You don't have to wait until you're in pain or something goes wrong to go to the dentist. Preventive dental care is the best way to avoid oral health problems that will require more intensive treatment down the road. For more information, contact our office by calling (703) 671-0626 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Abdeen today.
Extraction isn't the only option if your tooth becomes infected. Alexandria, VA, dentist, Dr. Moutaz Abdeen, at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry explains how a root canal can save your tooth.
What causes tooth infections?
Although your teeth may seem to be solid, a soft core in the center of each tooth called the pulp contains nerves, connective tissues and blood vessels. If an infection occurs in the pulp, the nerves become irritated, causing pain and sensitivity. Tooth infections can occur due to:
- Chips and Cracks: Any small opening can allow bacteria to enter your pulp and trigger an infection.
- Dental Procedures: If you've had several dental procedures on one tooth, your risk of infection increases.
- Trauma: An infection may occur after your tooth has been injured.
- Decay: If a cavity isn't detected or treated promptly, tooth decay can eventually reach your pulp.
Why is a root canal needed?
If your pulp is inflamed or infected, the only options are extraction or a root canal. Although an extraction may seem like an easy fix, removing a tooth can have consequences. After you lose a tooth, bone loss can occur in the section of jawbone underneath the missing tooth. Your teeth help support each other. When one tooth is lost, the others tend to eventually drift and overlap. Overlapping teeth affect your appearance and may also cause bite problems.
What happens during a root canal?
Many people mistakenly believe that root canals are extremely unpleasant procedures. Fortunately, that's not the case. You'll receive plenty of local anesthetic to ensure that you're never in pain during your treatment. When you visit Dr. Abdeen's Alexandria office, he'll remove the infected tissue and nerves, and he'll use tiny files to clean and shape the canals that extend deep into your roots. A filling will be added to the tooth to seal it. A crown may also be recommended to help stabilize the tooth.
Root canals offer a simple way to save an infected tooth. If you're concerned about a tooth, schedule an appointment with Dr. Abdeen at Alexandria Smile Dentistry in Alexandria, VA, by calling (703) 671-0626.