San Francisco Root Canal
If you have pain or swelling in your gums or teeth, a root canal may improve your symptoms and help restore a healthy smile.
Typically, San Francisco root canal patients require treatment because a cavity has grown into the innermost part of the tooth. Acting now can prevent further injury to the underlying tooth and bone and rid your mouth of damaging bacteria.
The Benefits of a Root Canal
A root canal is a very common procedure. Dr. Skoulas uses the treatment to remove bacteria from the tooth crown and root and to seal the tooth, protecting its structure from fracturing. As part of the process:
- Dr. Skoulas carefully examines your teeth to determine the best approach.
- We use an advanced endodontic system that lets Dr. Skoulas complete root canals very efficiently and effectively.
- We refer to an experienced endodontist for the most complex cases, balancing quality and cost-effective results.
The crown systems Dr. Skoulas employs use durable and natural-looking porcelain components. As a result, they add strength and aesthetics to your teeth while eliminating painful symptoms.
What San Francisco Root Canal Patients Can Expect
When you visit our practice, Dr. Skoulas will conduct diagnostic tests to identify the source of your discomfort.
This will include X-rays and a simple clinical evaluation, which help her determine which teeth have problems, how extensively bacteria has grown, and if there is bone loss or an abscess. In some cases, she may prescribe antibiotics to reduce the infection before taking further steps. Next:
- Skoulas may recommend performing the root canal as soon as possible to reduce your discomfort and to promote your recovery.
- She will remove the nerve and blood vessel of the infected tooth, which will stop the pain. This part of the treatment takes about one hour.
- In a follow-up procedure, Dr. Skoulas completes the root canal by sealing off the root from reinfection. This step may take an additional hour. In some cases, Dr. Skoulas can combine the two procedures.
- About one week after the root canal, Dr. Skoulas will prepare a crown for the tooth to give it strength, stability, and added protection.
Most of our San Francisco root canal patients leave feeling significantly more comfortable, since removing the nerve and bacteria immediately improves their symptoms.
In the short term, you may have some minor soreness around the tooth and bone that were treated, but these symptoms should fade over time as your mouth heals. The end result should be a healthier, more durable, and pain-free smile.
What Causes the Need for a Root Canal?
San Francisco patients often come to our offices thinking they need a root canal when, in fact, they need treatment for gum disease or a simple dental filling. These are some of the most common causes for a root canal.
- Decay – What happens all too frequently is that a small cavity is allowed to grow and infect the very center of the tooth called the pulp chamber. The “pulp” is comprised of blood vessels and nerves. A cavity begins as a small hole in the outside layer of the tooth called the enamel. If left untreated, the bacteria causing the cavity will continue to work its way towards the pulp chamber and will eventually form an infection that can only be treated by a root canal.
- Old fillings – Another common cause of root canals is an old filling. What happens in these cases is the old filling will crack or pull away from the tooth. This exposes the old cavity and allows bacteria to get into the center of the tooth and form an infection.
- Grinding teeth – The muscles in your jaw can put enormous pressure on your teeth. If you grind or clench your teeth at night, the near-constant pressure can eventually cause small cracks and fractures in the enamel. Bacteria will then have quick access to the pulp chamber of your teeth.
- Trauma – Car accidents, falls, or sports injuries can cause damage to your teeth that allow bacteria to get into the center of your tooth.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
San Francisco men and women will often call our offices asking about a root canal when they experience pain in their teeth. While this is one sign of an infection in the root of the tooth, there are several others as well.
- Pain – The pain for an infected tooth root is usually very intense and also specific to the infected tooth. Pain can be caused by chewing with that tooth, but it can also just appear out of nowhere. San Francisco patients sometimes report that they wake up in the middle of the night with pain, which can be caused by grinding the teeth.
- Hot and cold sensitivity – Another major warning sign you need a root canal is intense sensitivity to hot and cold foods. The discomfort will also remain even when the food or drink is swallowed.
- Swelling – Any kind of swelling in the jaw, cheek, or throat is a very serious issue and needs immediate treatment. In these cases, the treatment may not even be with Dr. Skoulas but at a hospital. Swelling can indicate that the infection in the root has become an abscess and may need to be treated with antibiotics.
- No symptoms – The infection in the center of the tooth can slowly destroy the nerves there. This means some San Francisco patients will not have any symptoms at all because the nerves are dead. This is why Dr. Skoulas performs X-rays to make sure that there isn’t an infection in one of the teeth that the patient simply can’t feel.
To learn more about root canals, San Francisco patients should schedule an appointment with Skoulas DDS online or by phone.