Safe and Effective Root Canal Treatment
If the root of a tooth becomes infected, it could spread to the surrounding teeth and result in several serious health complications for your smile. Infected teeth can lead to a handful of painful symptoms that may disrupt your daily activities. Fortunately, our Southern California dentist has the solution. A root canal treatment can stop the infection in its tracks and help preserve the infected tooth while promoting your overall oral health.
Root canal treatments have a bad reputation for being complicated and painful procedures, but this is completely untrue. At Southern Cal Smiles, Dr. Susan Fredericks and our experienced staff are dedicated to providing patients with a painless and stress-free experience.
Read on to learn when root canal therapy is necessary and how our exceptional dentist can perform safe and gentle treatments. We proudly welcome patients from the Woodland Hills, West Hills, Bell Canyon, Calabasas, CA areas, and more.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy involves accessing and cleaning an infected tooth to preserve its natural structure and eliminate any signs of infection. This treatment is especially warranted if the infection has reached the tooth’s root, as it puts a patient’s surrounding teeth and gums in danger.
To better understand this procedure, it helps to understand the three parts of a tooth:
- Enamel: The tooth’s hard outer layer.
- Dentin: The thick layer of tissue beneath the enamel.
- Pulp: The soft layer of tissue beneath the dentin that contains the tooth’s blood vessels and nerves.
During a root canal treatment, the pulp is removed to stop the infection at its source. If left untreated for too long, there may be no other option than to extract the tooth to preserve your surrounding teeth and oral health.
Signs You May Need Root Canal Therapy
It’s crucial to seek treatment for a tooth infection as soon as possible to prevent further health complications. Signs you may need a root canal treatment include:
- Swollen or inflamed gums
- Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods
- A pimple (fistula) on the gums
- Pain while biting or chewing
- Persistent toothaches
Patients may avoid treatment for fear of a painful procedure, but root canal therapy can alleviate your symptoms while keeping your smile safe from further complications. Our dedicated dentist Dr. Fredericks performs all procedures with your health and wellbeing in mind, so you can rest assured that your procedure will be virtually painless.
If you suspect you have an infected tooth, don’t delay your treatment. Contact our Woodland Hills office at 818-346-3337 to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Fredericks. We gladly welcome patients from any area in Southern California.
The Root Canal Treatment Process
Typically, root canal treatment can be completed in just one appointment at our Woodland Hills office. However, this depends on the condition of your oral health and personalized treatment plan.
Dr. Fredericks will begin the procedure by administering a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding area so you won’t feel a thing while she works. A member of our dental team will monitor you throughout your procedure to ensure you’re comfortable.
Once the targeted tooth is numb, Dr. Fredericks will gently make a small hole in the tooth to access and remove the pulp. She’ll also remove any debris, bacteria, and infected tissue to eliminate the infection.
After thoroughly cleaning the tooth, Dr. Fredericks will apply a protective seal to shield it from further bacteria and reinfection. She’ll finish the procedure by placing a dental crown or filling to restore the tooth’s function and appearance. You may receive a temporary dental crown, in which case you’ll need to return to our Woodland Hills office for your final restoration at a later date.
After a root canal treatment, it’s crucial to follow all of Dr. Fredericks’s care instructions to avoid any complications arising. This includes avoiding chewing using your new crown for at least 24 hours and using a soft-bristled toothbrush on the treatment site. Other than that, you can treat your restoration like the rest of your natural teeth.
It’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene following an infection, such as brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. We also recommend scheduling biannual visits to our Woodland Hills office for routine exams and cleanings. This will ensure both your restoration and oral health remain in good condition.
Will Insurance Cover a Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment costs are typically covered in part by dental insurance, but they may not cover additional expenses for emergency care. We suggest contacting your dental insurance provider ahead of time to learn what your plan will cover. Southern Cal Smiles accepts many forms of payment, and we also offer affordable payment plans to make treatment both accessible and affordable to all patients.
Frequently Asked Questions
In most cases, Dr. Fredericks can complete your root canal procedure in just one visit at our Woodland Hills office, though this depends on your specific case. On average, a root canal treatment takes about 60 minutes per tooth. Dr. Fredericks will provide you with an estimated treatment timeline at your initial consultation.
Root canal treatments are thought to be painful experiences, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. At Southern Cal Smiles, our dental team does all we can to ensure a stress-free experience. Before your procedure, Dr. Fredericks will administer a local anesthetic so you won’t feel a thing during your procedure. At your initial consultation, she can also discuss your sedation options.
You may experience mild discomfort once the numbness subsides, but this pain can typically be alleviated with over-the-counter pain medications and cold compresses.
Depending on your oral health, you may be able to resume your normal activities immediately following root canal therapy. Most patients may experience slight discomfort for about one week after their procedure, but over-the-counter pain relievers can help you manage this pain.
However, if any pain or discomfort continues past one week, it may be a sign of a complication or reinfection. Contact our Woodland Hills office immediately at 818-346-3337 to schedule an appointment and receive proper care. Dr. Fredericks will assess your situation and alleviate any painful symptoms.