When you think about the human teeth, the first idea that crosses your mind is the pearly-white surface that appears. However, when you scrutinize a dental x-ray, you will realize the teeth extend deep into the gums and are made of three parts. First, the enamel is the hard visible shell that appears from the surface, while dentin is the middle layer, often softer and more sensitive than the enamel. Lastly, the dental canal is composed of living tissues like the pulp blood vessels and nerves.

The teeth die inside when exposed to trauma or oral infection caused by deep dental caries or fracture that extends to the roots. As a result, root canal treatment is required to eliminate the infection, relieve the pain, and prevent tooth extraction. Although the most significant percentage of patients who undergo the treatment heal, a small percentage don’t, and this is where endodontic services or treatment comes in to save the tooth.

Therefore, if you are dealing with a toothache, infection, swelling, or extreme sensitivity to warm and cold substances, we invite you to visit Washington Dental in Lomita for an evaluation and treatment. And if you want to learn more about endodontic treatment, we have highlighted more information in this article.

What are Endodontic Services

Endodontic acquired its meaning from the Greek word “Endo,” which means inside, and “ordont,” which means teeth. Therefore, endodontic treatment or services are a unique field of dentistry that focuses on the study and treatment of dental pulp and the surrounding areas and often involves using files to extract the infected pulp from the root to save the tooth from extraction.

The treatment is performed by an endodontist with over two years of advanced and tailored training in endodontics after completing dental school. The goal of the treatment is to offer pain relief through various therapies and prevent an extraction.  The procedure must be performed in an advanced clinic with general dentists with experience, specialized tools, and equipment to handle the delicate dental canal or pulp.

The thought of undergoing a root canal or endodontic treatment can be scary, especially with the tremendous pain that has been associated with the treatment for decades. However, the treatment is virtually pain-free with the new technology, and you might only experience some discomfort after the treatment. At Washington Dental, we have invested in advanced technology in our Lomita clinic, enabling us to study the inside of your teeth carefully and provide accurate results to our patients.

What’s the Point of the Treatment?

Endodontic treatment focuses on preserving a particular part of the canal or pulp or extracting the part infected by an irreversible oral condition. If the infected area remains in the tooth even after treatment, the teeth won’t heal, which may cause the infection to reoccur.

You must extract the pulp if you experience irreversible swelling of the tooth or infection of the pulpal soft tissue inside your teeth. Therefore, when dealing with any of these conditions, endodontic aims at offering oral solutions to your problems. Apart from extracting the damaged pulp, endodontics also seeks to preserve teeth that oral diseases have infected when treatment through non-surgical procedures has proved unfruitful.

Some of the common ways your teeth may be reinfected include:

  • If the roots were wrongly sealed or filled
  • If freshly formed tooth decay causes bacteria to spread to the canal
  • A dental crown intended to protect a fractured or broken tooth is placed late, letting the new infection outflow into the canal.
  • If the canals are curved or too challenging to see, they may go untreated when missed or not properly cleaned.
  • During endodontic, the teeth may be tainted by saliva.

How Do You Know When You Need Endodontic Services?

The root canal and other dental procedures are not always successful. And although it’s normal to experience some pain after undergoing this kind of treatment, if the pain doesn’t go away or increases after a few days, it may indicate the canal has been reinfected, thus requiring endodontic treatment. Again, suppose the remedies offered by your general dentist for the pain fail to provide relief. In that case, it is an indication the infection still exists, and it’s time to visit an endodontist.

It’s worth noting that you may not realize your root canal has failed right away. It takes even months or years after the initial procedure to learn about the oral infection. And if the infection spreads to the bones, you may end up with a dental abscess resulting in inflammation or swelling of the gums.

Apart from the swelling and pain, you can tell that you need endodontic treatment if you begin to experience signs like tooth discoloration, inability to bite down, severe sensitivity to hot or cold meals or drinks, and signs of oral infection in a radiograph.

However, our general dentist or endodontist will thoroughly examine your teeth through X-rays to diagnose the underlying conditions before recommending the treatment. In addition, they will consider whether endodontic treatment is required to offer relief.

Why are Toothaches Associated with Root Canals Extremely Painful?

As indicated earlier, the canals contain blood vessels, lymph tissues, and nerve fibers, all that is contained in the dental pulp.

Therefore, when you experience tooth decay, trauma, cracks, or chips on the teeth, you may end up with inflamed or infected teeth. Also, when restorations like crowns and dental fillings fail, they may allow bacteria to make their way to the pulp. When this sensitive part of your tooth is infected, the nerves, blood vessels, and tissues start to die, and the body responds by causing inflammation in these areas. A combination of the infection and the inflammation causes tremendous pain, which results in toothache.

Where your dental condition is irreversible, and the only answer is an extraction, you may need to remove the teeth and replace them with dental bridges or implants to retain functionality and aesthetics. Replacing extracted teeth has many benefits because it prevents the surrounding teeth from shifting towards the open socket and helps you maintain a normal bite.

Note that severe tooth infection can be life-threatening, which is why if your toothaches are severely painful, you should see a dentist right away, primarily when the infection spreads to the neck or head.

Endodontic Treatment Procedure

General dentistry can treat your oral condition, while endodontics requires specialized treatment from a root canal expert.

Firstly, the endodontist will commence with a non-surgical procedure typically performed like a root canal. Days before the treatment, the dentist will examine your teeth, and if you have an infection, they will administer antibiotics. Then, on the day the treatment is to be performed, your root canal specialist or endodontist will detach the infected tooth with a rubber dam and administer an anesthetic to prevent the pain while performing the treatment.

After, the expert must enter the canal or dental pulp by drilling through the crowns directly or removing dental crowns. The abutment, which is the post that embeds the tooth to its position, will also be removed. Then, using nickel-titanium files, the general dentist will carefully and thoroughly clean the canal and tip of the root to eradicate all infection traces or fragments. This step is delicate because it must be performed carefully not to traumatize the surrounding bones and muscles.  

At Washington Dental, we understand that what differentiates the initial canal treatment and endodontic is meticulous in eradicating the infection debris left behind without causing damage to the surrounding areas. So, we apply state-of-the-art tools like x-rays, apex locator, and Dental Operating Microscope for precision. The Dental Operating Microscope magnifies the pulp to help the dentist trace the canal, symptoms of infection and estimate the root length for proper cleansing.

After a thorough cleaning, the endodontist will cleanse and cap the tooth in a way that makes it impossible for bacteria to leak into the canal, causing reinfection. Next, your dentist might recommend filling the opening using Gutta-Percha, a natural, biocompatible, antibacterial substance that swells and fills the void left after extraction of the infected areas.  This process takes around fifteen minutes.

Other dental professionals will use resin materials, temporary or permanent fillings to seal the teeth. The kind of material used depends on what is available in the dental clinic and your preference. Primarily, a temporary filling is used to enable the endodontist to monitor healing, and once they are sure you are adequately healed, they can place a permanent restoration.

It’s worth noting that your dentist might not eliminate all the infected debris during endodontic treatment. In cases like these, the general dentist can skip the non-surgical procedure and proceed with a surgical one. These cases are common if you have permanent crowns or slim, blocked, or curved canals that make it impossible to access the damaged areas. Here, endodontic retreatment won’t be effective, and you will need a procedure like endodontic oral surgery.

During this surgical procedure, the dentist will cut the gums to clean the tooth’s area. They will then shave off at least three millimeters or four millimeters of the root to clean the inside from the tip. The opening left after debris extraction will then be filled and the gums stitched together to end the treatment.

Note that if the nonsurgical endodontic retreatment and surgical endodontic aren’t successful, you may be forced to opt for tooth extraction as an alternative. Therefore, you are encouraged to reach out to your dentist for an oral exam if you begin experiencing the symptoms mentioned above. The earlier you receive endodontic treatment, the higher the possibility of saving the tooth from extraction and obtaining relief from all the pain.

Features of Endodontic Services at Washington Dental

If you opt for Washington Dental for your oral needs, we will do our best to provide oral care and guidance that you might not find elsewhere in Lomita. To improve our general dentistry services and revolutionize endodontic services, we include the following features in our services:

  1. Root Canal Therapy

One of our services is root canal therapy if you have an infected pulp stemming from impending decay. If left untreated, the infection damages the blood vessels and soft connective tissue resulting in the death of the canal. To address these problems, we incorporate root canal therapy in our treatment to extract the infected parts, disinfect the area and seal it to prevent tooth extraction.

  1. Fractured Teeth

Your teeth can develop cracks or fractures in different ways, with the most common reasons being wear and tear or injury. To know whether you have been injured, the symptoms you can look out for include discomfort and irritation when chewing, primarily if you expose them to extreme hot and cold temperatures. Our endodontist will assist relieve the pain stemming from the broken tooth and provide services that will restore the functionality and health of your teeth.

  1. Endodontic Retreatment

As indicated earlier, root canal treatment isn’t always successful. If you are one of the persons who doesn’t recover after receiving this treatment, you might experience a lot of pain when the infection recurs. Luckily, our endodontic services can resolve the condition, but only if you have been treated for the same problem earlier.

  1. Advanced Dental Technology

The success of the endodontic treatment you obtain depends on the dental tools or equipment used for the procedure. So, we have invested in the most advanced technology like the Dental Operating Microscope to ensure your treatment is completed with at most accuracy and precision. In addition, you don’t need to worry about reinfection with us on your side because we won’t leave any infected debris behind.

  1. Endodontic Surgery

Remember, if you have a curved or narrow canal, the dentist can recommend endodontic surgery to remove infected parts. Otherwise known as an apicoectomy, the treatment surgically removes all the infected debris from the canal, leaving the healthy parts. That way, you eliminate the risk of the need for retreatment.

  1. Traumatic Dental Injuries

If you are a sporting person, then you understand it’s easy to sustain injuries on the face or mouth, and when the force is extreme, the entire tooth might be knocked out. The same applies during accidents; force on the face or teeth can cause a lot of damage even to the adjacent teeth, which extends to your teeth’ dental pulp or a root canal, resulting in the need for endodontic services to correct the problem. Through this treatment procedure, your dentist can closely examine the damage done on the teeth and save your teeth from extraction that would happen if the problem went unnoticed.

The Cost of Treatment

The average cost of a standard endodontic or root canal process is $800 to $1,800. Again, if the tooth needs strengthening, you may incur around $260 to $360 for the abutment and core utilized for this purpose. However, you must understand that this doesn’t include the price of placing the dental crown restoration.

Similarly, you might incur around $45 for the pulp vitality test and $65 for the pulp capping procedure. But, again, like the fee of strengthening the tooth, this cost doesn’t include restoration costs.

If you undergo an endodontic retreatment procedure, the cost maybe twice that of the typical root canal treatment. An operation like endodontic surgery, on the other hand, has a fee that ranges from $800 to $1,000. Note that you must dig deeper into your pockets if an endodontist performs the treatment because they are more specialized than a general dentist. However, general dentists can still perform the nonsurgical procedure, although they may refer you to an expert for specialized care if the pulp condition is complicated or severe.

When it comes to modes of payment, we have flexible options that are designed with your welfare in mind. Therefore, if you can’t raise the entire amount necessary for treatment and the procedure isn’t covered by your insurance company, you can pay in installments for an agreed period. Additionally, we accept most insurance payment options, meaning that if you are well insured, you can undergo the treatment without having to part with considerable sums of money.

Finding the Right Endodontic Service

A straightforward root canal or endodontic procedure can be performed in your general dentist’s clinic. However, if you have complications like a narrow anatomy complex that prevents the dentist from properly navigating the pulp to reach the tip of the root and remove all infected debris, they will refer you to an endodontist.

As mentioned earlier, an endodontist is a dentist that specializes in the dental canal or pulp and offers specialized treatment like a root canal. These individuals go through rigorous training on the dental pulp after completing regular dental school. Therefore, if your tooth has over one canal or there is a risk of complications, these are the individuals to deal with the situation because they have specialized tools and skills to provide a better outcome.

Advantages of Undergoing this Treatment Today

Technological advancements in the tools used in the dental field have revolutionized improved oral care. For instance, in the past, endodontists had to feel their way through the pulp to spot the tooth’s canal, which increased the risk of causing damage. However, today with advanced tools like the Dental Operating Microscope, it becomes a piece of cake to navigate this complex anatomy without risking further injury. Other advanced tools that simplify endodontic procedures include:

Ultrasonic Needle

If your dentist uses an ultrasonic needle during treatment, you don’t need to worry about losing your entire teeth. The reason being, this gadget sends a vibration to the broken file deep in the root canal for extraction. This simplifies removing the files and reduces the risk of tooth root damage, which is often associated with the removal of the entire teeth that you were treating.

Water Laser

Although water lasers are still in the developing stages, it holds a lot of promise to endodontists and patients because, with the laser, your general dentist can disinfect the infected pulp using the tool and a bleaching solution.

Why Choose Washington Dental?

Endodontic services are complicated, requiring dentists to undergo two years of specialized training after the regular dentistry school. Many skills, knowledge, and advanced tools are necessary to evaluate your oral condition and determine the appropriate treatment. It means the type of endodontic service you pick will determine the results of the procedure. So, you can’t afford to error when choosing a general dentistry service to provide treatment.

At Washington Dental, you will be welcomed by friendly staff and specialists with decades of experience in endodontics. With our skills, advanced equipment, and expertise, you can be assured that your well-being comes first and that we will perform the procedure with accuracy and precision for optimum results.

Despite many endodontic services out there promising the best results but failing to live up to their expectations, we strive to offer exceptional dental services. Our state-of-the-art equipment, technology, and quality customer support make us stand out among our competitors, and this should give you confidence that you are in the best hands in Lomita.

The benefits you can enjoy by opting for our general dentistry services include:

  • With the most advanced technology and infrastructure in our hands, we can deliver satisfactory dental treatment.
  • If you are worried about dental emergencies, we are available around the clock to offer emergency treatment, meaning we will always be there for you at your hour of need.
  • Our staff members are ready to help you feel comfortable and offer the best endodontic treatment.

Find a General Dentistry Service Near Me

If you experience symptoms like inflammation, tooth discoloration, and painful toothaches, it might be a sign of an infected canal, and you can’t afford to ignore it. Not taking action may result in the loss of the entire tooth through extraction. At Washington Dental, we are willing to save your tooth and relieve your pain through our endodontic services, but you must seek treatment sooner for this to happen. Call our Lomita offices today at 310-326-5183 to speak to a dentist if you experience any symptoms discussed above.