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Posts for tag: Root Canal Treatment

By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
July 02, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures

You might be a bit apprehensive if your dentist recommends a root canal treatment, especially if it's your first. That's understandable: Popular culture has portrayed the root canal as an unpleasant experience.

But as a routine dental procedure, root canal treatments have been responsible for saving millions of decayed teeth. And, with local anesthesia, the procedure is painless. In fact, a root canal treatment stops pain that often results from advanced tooth decay.

So, let's take the mystery out of the root canal. Here's the 411 on this vital but often misunderstood dental procedure.

Why the name “root canal”? The terms for the procedure—root canal therapy, root canal treatment or simply “root canal”—arise from one of the principal parts of the tooth involved, root canals. These are tiny passageways that lead from the tooth's innermost layer, the pulp, to the tooth roots. While treatment often focuses on decay or diseased tissue within the pulp, the root canals can be infected too and must be included in the later filling process.

Who can perform a root canal? All general dentists are trained in basic root canal procedures. Depending on your tooth's condition, your family dentist may be able to perform it. But if your tooth has an intricate root canal network or some other complication, you may need an endodontist, a specialist in interior tooth and root treatments. Endodontists can perform advanced root canal techniques and have the specialized equipment to handle intricate cases.

What happens during a root canal? Although details may vary depending on the type of tooth and extent of decay, there's a basic process for all root canal procedures. After numbing the tooth and surrounding tissues, the dentist drills into the tooth to access the inner pulp chamber and root canals, then removes the diseased tissue and disinfects the empty chamber and canals. After preparing the canals, the dentist then fills the empty spaces. This, and subsequent sealing and crowning, protects the tooth from future decay.

After the procedure you may have some minor soreness for a few days, which is usually manageable with mild pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. This discomfort will diminish with time, and your tooth will have a new lease on life.

If you would like more information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Canal Treatment.”


As the host of America's Funniest Home Videos on ABC TV, Alfonso Ribeiro has witnessed plenty of unintentional physical comedy…or, as he puts it in an interview with Dear Doctor–Dentistry & Oral Health magazine, "When people do stuff and you're like, 'Dude, you just hurt yourself for no reason!'" So when he had his own dental dilemma, Alfonso was determined not to let it turn onto an "epic fail."

The television personality was in his thirties when a painful tooth infection flared up. Instead of ignoring the problem, he took care of it by visiting his dentist, who recommended a root canal procedure. "It's not like you wake up and go, 'Yay, I'm going to have my root canal today!'" he joked. "But once it's done, you couldn't be happier because the pain is gone and you're just smiling because you're no longer in pain!"

Alfonso's experience echoes that of many other people. The root canal procedure is designed to save an infected tooth that otherwise would probably be lost. The infection may start when harmful bacteria from the mouth create a small hole (called a cavity) in the tooth's surface. If left untreated, the decay bacteria continue to eat away at the tooth's structure. Eventually, they can reach the soft pulp tissue, which extends through branching spaces deep inside the tooth called root canals.

Once infection gets a foothold there, it's time for root canal treatment! In this procedure, the area is first numbed; next, a small hole is made in the tooth to give access to the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. The diseased tissue is then carefully removed with tiny instruments, and the canals are disinfected to prevent bacteria from spreading. Finally, the tooth is sealed up to prevent re-infection. Following treatment, a crown (cap) is usually required to restore the tooth's full function and appearance.

Root canal treatment sometimes gets a bad rap from people who are unfamiliar with it, or have come across misinformation on the internet. The truth is, a root canal doesn't cause pain: It relieves pain! The alternatives—having the tooth pulled or leaving the infection untreated—are often much worse.

Having a tooth extracted and replaced can be costly and time consuming…yet a missing tooth that isn't replaced can cause problems for your oral health, nutrition and self-esteem. And an untreated infection doesn't just go away on its own—it continues to smolder in your body, potentially causing serious problems. So if you need a root canal, don't delay!

If you would like additional information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment” and “Root Canal Treatment: What You Need to Know.”

By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
December 14, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

It’s absolutely critical to stop tooth decay and repair any damage to tooth structure. Hopefully, we’ve caught it early in the enamel and dentin where we’re able to repair any holes or “cavities” that might have developed by filling them.

But what if the decay has crept deeper into the interior of the tooth? In this case, you’re at a much higher risk of eventually losing the tooth. If the decay has spread into the bone, a root canal treatment is usually your best option.

The first sign that decay has invaded the pulp, the innermost layer of the tooth, and the root canals may be a severe toothache. It’s different from the wince of pain or discomfort caused by sensitivity to temperature or pressure. Inner decay pain is constant and often excruciating. This is because the infection is attacking the nerves bundled within the pulp chamber.

The pain can last for several days, and then suddenly stop altogether. No pain is good news, right? Wrong — the pain has stopped because the infected nerves have finally died and can no longer signal the brain. The infection, though, is very much alive and will continue to advance toward the root where the damage may eventually cause you to lose the tooth.

A root canal treatment removes decay in the pulp chamber and canals. We first drill an access hole to enter the pulp chamber. Once inside, we use special instruments to completely remove all tissue and disinfect the empty chamber. We then fill the chamber and root canals with a special filling and seal the access hole to prevent further decay. A few weeks later we install a custom crown to protect the tooth further.

If you have a toothache, or you’ve had one that suddenly went away, you should schedule an appointment for a dental examination as soon as possible: this is the only way to accurately determine the cause of the pain. If a root canal is deemed necessary, the sooner we perform it, the less chance the infection will cause you to lose your tooth.

If you would like more information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Signs and Symptoms of a Future Root Canal.”

By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
January 13, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Root CanalIf you’ve been told that you need to have a root canal in Fresno, perhaps you’re not exactly sure what that fully entails. While the process might sound a bit overwhelming root canal treatment is quite common, with around 15 million root canals being performed the US each year alone. No one wants to lose a permanent tooth; therefore, sometimes the best way to protect your teeth is with root canal therapy.

What is root canal therapy?

Root canal therapy is used to properly treat an infected or inflamed tooth.

Why do I need root canal treatment in Fresno?

If your Fresno dentist has recommended getting root canal treatment then it’s because you have either an inflamed or infected pulp and it needs to be removed. The pulp is the soft tissue within the tooth that also contains blood vessels, tissue and nerves.

An infected pulp can be caused by decay, cracks or chips in your tooth, or direct trauma. A root canal will help save your tooth from further damage and also clean out the infection.

Will root canal treatment hurt?

While you may have heard horror stories about root canal treatment, you can rest assured that this procedure is truly not as involved or stressful as it might seem. In fact, having a root canal really feels no different than having a tooth filled. Before we begin your procedure we will use a local anesthetic to ensure that you don’t experience any pain or discomfort throughout the treatment. Most patients that come to us are already in a significant amount of pain, and some report feeling instantly better after treatment.

How long will the recovery process be?

It’s completely normal to feel a little sore for a few days following your root canal therapy. You will be prescribed medication to help lessen the post-procedural pain. However, if you notice any severe pain after a couple days, then call your Fresno dentist immediately.

If you want to preserve your natural smile and your Fresno dentist has recommended getting a root canal, then it’s time to do what you need to in order to protect your teeth. Call us today to schedule your upcoming procedure.

By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc
October 22, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
So you’ve been experiencing tooth pain for a while now and you’ve finally decided to visit your dentist in Fresno. We’re glad you did. However, it can be a major letdown when you find out that you have tooth decay. Don’t fret, this happens to a lot of people! We’ve probably recommended that you get a root canal, in order to save the rest of your tooth. Maybe you’ve heard other friends talking about their root canals but you’re still not sure what root canal treatment in Fresno entails. That’s why we are here to help!
Let us give you the inside scoop on Fresno root canal treatments, so you can be well informed and ready for your next appointment.

Root Canals ImageWhy is This Treatment Recommended?

A root canal in Fresno is recommended when the pulp of a tooth is inflamed or infected. The pulp’s main purpose is to facility root growth for each tooth. If you’ve been noticing sensitivity and pain in your tooth it’s because the pulp is made up of blood vessels, nerves and tissues. Pulps are rather sensitive little parts of the body.

Root Canals are Painful!

False! While you might have heard horror stories, this treatment in Fresno is no Tales from the Crypt episode. In fact, there is no need to worry because the procedure as easy as getting a tooth filled. There’s no reason you won’t be comfortable the entire time you’re in the dentist’s chair.

Root Canals Aren’t Effective!

Man, you hear a ton of myths when you’re a dentist in Fresno. This is absolutely not true. We do a root canal to ensure that we keep as much of the healthy parts of your teeth available. Root canals have a very high success rate, and in about 85 percent of cases, root canal treatments can last your entire life. How’s that for effective?
Plus, saving the natural tooth with Fresno root canal treatment has its positives including proper chewing and biting force, protects the surrounding teeth from wear and tear, and the most obvious reason—it’s your own tooth so it’s aesthetically pleasing.

Call Curt P. Posey, DDS For Root Canals

So what are you waiting for? If your Fresno dentist has recommended that you get a root canal, stop putting up with pain, contact us and make an appointment. Also, feel free to call (559) 227-6755 if you have any questions. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did.
Have you had a root canal in the past? If so, share your treatment stories with other patients out there. Let them know the ridiculous myths you heard and how the experience really was. We would love to hear from you!

Fresno, CA Dentist
Curt P. Posey, DDS, INC.
7078 N. Maple Ave. Ste #105
Fresno, CA 93720
(559) 227-6755
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