Frequently Asked Dental Questions – Saratoga, CA
Common Concerns Answered by Experts
Do you have a question for us? We understand that endodontic care can be somewhat unfamiliar territory for our patients, so we’re always happy to answer questions to ensure you’re fully informed before you come to see us. Below, you’ll find answers to many of the most common questions we receive every day. If you have a question that we haven’t answered here, please be sure to give us a call and ask!
What is “endodontics”?
Endodontics is a specialty field within dentistry that deals with learning about, diagnosing, and treating issues having to do with the dental pulp or the soft tissue located inside every tooth. This is where each tooth’s nerve is housed, so treating this area requires an expert touch. In order to become an endodontic expert or endodontist, a dentist must complete additional training after finishing dental school.
What kinds of services do endodontists offer?
Our expert team is able to provide root canal therapy, endodontic retreatment, endodontic surgery, treatment for cracked teeth and traumatic injuries, as well as sedation dentistry to ensure your comfort at every visit.
Why would I need root canal therapy?
A root canal is used to treat a tooth that has suffered damage or developed an infection deep within it where the dental pulp is located. Symptoms such as persistent dental pain, pain when biting down, swollen or red gums, or an oversensitivity to hot and cold temperatures may indicate that you need root canal therapy. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, be sure to contact us quickly as waiting could make the problem much worse.
Is root canal therapy safe?
There are a lot of myths that surround root canal therapy, the most common one being that it is a very painful procedure. Fortunately for our patients, this is not true. Thanks to modern technology and anesthetics, root canal therapy is now one of the best tools dentistry has to relieve dental pain, not cause it. Our team can help a patient remain comfortable for the entire procedure, and we do so every day.
Some people also believe that a root canal can cause illness, and this is also not true. There is no credible scientific evidence linking root canals to illnesses at this time. In actuality, it can prevent many infections from getting worse. In the end, it is a very safe and effective procedure that helps many of our patients.
What is “endodontic retreatment”?
After a tooth has undergone an initial endodontic treatment (i.e. root canal therapy), it may not heal correctly due to a number of different reasons, such as that the initial infection was not completely eliminated the first time around. In these cases, we need to perform a retreatment where we once again gain access to the interior of a tooth, remove the old filling material, clean it, and then fill it again to restore the tooth’s lost structure. If you’ve received a root canal in the past and still experience pain in that tooth, you may require a retreatment.
Why might I need endodontic retreatment?
A patient might need endodontic retreatment for a number of reasons, including:
- The initial infection wasn’t completely eliminated with root canal therapy
- New decay has exposed the root canal filling material to bacteria
- A damaged crown or filling has exposed the tooth to a new infection
- A tooth has sustained a crack or fracture that has exposed the interior to bacteria
How do I know if my tooth is cracked?
Cracked teeth can lead to a variety of symptoms, including dental pain while chewing or pain when a tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures. The pain may be erratic, inconsistent, and it can sometimes be difficult to determine where it is actually coming from. If you have a tooth that is experiencing discomfort despite showing no visual signs, a crack may be the culprit, so you should consult an endodontist.
How will my cracked tooth be treated?
Teeth can crack in many different ways, so the treatment you need will depend on how the crown and/or root have been damaged. If only the outer enamel has been affected, it can typically be fixed with just a filling or some bonding material. However, if a crack reaches deep down to the root of a tooth, a root canal may be necessary to preserve as much of the tooth as possible and relieve any pain, and a restoration will likely be needed to replace/reinforce the leftover structure of a tooth.