Friday, January 30, 2015

How a Root Canal Dentist Performs the Procedure

Root Canal Dentist
As a root canal dentist, we can save your infected tooth.  The term root canal, contrary to popular belief, does not refer exclusively to the surgery that so many patients have come to associate with dentistry. The discomfort that an infected root can cause, and the frequency with which many dentists perform the procedure has made a root canal surgery the most commonly perform procedure in America. The root canal is actually the area that houses the root, on the inside of the tooth itself. The pulp and pulp canal is also found in the root canal, and is the soft tissue that surrounds the root. When either the root of the tooth or the dental pulp becomes infected due to a bacteria, decay or some kind of trauma, it can cause extreme discomfort for the patient. This requires the intervention of a dentist, who will then perform a surgery that has come to be known as a “root canal” surgery. 

A root canal is the process of removing the infected root, cleaning out all the pulp, and filling the cavity to make sure it cannot be re-infected. A root canal typically starts with an x-ray which will tell us what the shape of the tooth’s root is and will allow us to identify if there is an infection that needs to be treated. If we find that there is an infection, chances are that you will be put on a course of antibiotics to kill it before starting the process of the root canal, or in some cases you will start the antibiotics immediately afterwards. Before removing the infected area, we will give you a local anesthesia so that you are as comfortable as possible and feel as little as possible. Our goal is to ensure your comfort and this is the best way to do so.

As a root canal dentist, we will place a rubber dam around the tooth to keep it free of saliva and completely dry. A dam is basically a rubber sheet that is placed over the tooth. Next, a small access hole will be drilled into the tooth, giving us access to the root and the pulp. We will then use dental files, in increasing diameter, to work down the hole and scrape away any infected pulp left along the sides. Simultaneously we will flush away debris with water or sodium hypochlorite. After the tooth is cleaned to our satisfaction, we will seal it and prepare it for any additional restorations that may be required. Sometimes, depending on the state of the root canal, we may place medication inside of the canal and wait for a couple of days before sealing up the tooth. 

Finally, a sealer paste and a rubber compound, called Gutta Percha is placed into the cavity. The exterior hole, which was made to give the dentist access to the root canal, is filled with a regular filling. Often, as a root canal dentist, we will give you an additional course of antibiotics to make sure that no other infections affect the tooth while it is healing. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What to Expect When Calling an Emergency Dentist

Emergency Dentist
Visiting an emergency dentist is not the same as going in for a regularly scheduled tooth cleaning. It is often something nobody considers, much less plans for, until they are in a situation where they need our services. On the other hand, we deal with dental emergency situations on a daily basis and have come up with a series of protocols, that are designed to streamline the process, so that you can get the care that you need. Our process begins the minute a phone rings, and someone expresses that they may have an emergency. Our goal, during this initial conversation, is to determine what the incident is, diagnose its causes, and give you advice on how best to proceed. You can expect to spend several minutes on the phone which is not to cause you additional distress or discomfort but is to speed up the diagnosis so that we are ready for you when you come in. 

Your emergency care does not begin when you walk into the clinic, it typically begins when you call us which is why it is important for us to get information. We understand that when people call with an emergency they are typically in a lot of pain, caused by a tooth that has been knocked out or is in dire need of a procedure. This is why you will be asked a series of very pointed questions, from which we can get our initial analysis and give you primary directions. If at all possible, we ask that you have someone with you who can take notes and can potentially drive you to the office if we determine that you need to come in and see us immediately. 

Perhaps the most common reason why people call an emergency dentist is because they have been involved in some kind of accident. With the proliferation of sports, unsafe actions by children and numerous spontaneous mishaps occurring daily, it is not surprising that the highest number of calls we get are from people who have experienced  trauma. Our first question is always to determine the scope of the accident and to help you decide if you need to go into an emergency room or come straight to our emergency dentist office. The size, scope, and impact of an accident are all things that need to factor into this decision. 

We also want to know if you are bleeding.  This question is critically important because, in the event of a tooth loss, you may be bleeding to some degree. If the bleeding is heavy, we will recommend that you go to an ER unless you can make it to us in a very short amount of time.  For medium bleeding and light bleeding, we will give you tips on how to slow down or stop the bleeding by using sterile gauze. We will also want to know if the tooth is still attached. If the tooth has been knocked out, we will advise you on how to proceed to protect the tooth itself, if at all possible, so that we can attempt to restore it.