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Posts for tag: root canal

By Jeffery J. Johnson & Jodi B. Johnson DDS
August 09, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Root CanalThe American Dental Association (ADA) recommends root canal therapy as a great substitute for dental extraction. Drs. Jeffery and Jodi Johnson offer this pain-free restoration right at their family dentistry practice in St. Louis, MO. They also answer the important question: "Do I need a root canal?"

The details on root canal therapy

Root canal therapy is a restorative treatment that dentists in St. Louis and around the world use to bring sick teeth back to full health and function. The procedure removes the inflamed and diseased pulp from deep within a tooth, including the slender chambers inside each tooth root--hence, the term, "root canal therapy." After the dentist thoroughly cleans out and disinfects the tooth, he or she seals it and crowns it, preserving it for years.

Qualifying for root canal therapy

What signs tell your dentist you may need a root canal? They are different for each patient, but typically, Dr. Johnson sees signs of extreme infection, injury, or deterioration, including:

  • Discharge
  • Pus at the gum line
  • Bad breath, or halitosis
  • A red pimple on the gums
  • Severe toothache pain
  • Extreme dental sensitivity to pressure, cold, heat, or sugar
  • A crack or substantial loss of enamel
  • Lost or deteriorating fillings
  • Darkened enamel

An X-ray confirms if the tooth may be saved with a root canal or if extraction is necessary. Fortunately, most root canal procedures succeed, says the American Association of Endodontists. In other words, you can have a complete set of teeth instead of struggling with smile gaps which harm personal appearance, oral function, jaw bone density, and the position and strength of neighboring teeth.

The procedure

Most root canal patients wish to know if the procedure will hurt and if it will be lengthy. Dr. Johnson wants to assure you that the area around the tooth will be numbed prior to the treatment. The removal of pulp from the canals, sealing them (with biocompatible gutta-percha) and capping the tooth takes two one-hour appointments, separated by a week or so to allow for healing.

After the permanent porcelain crown is placed, you will enjoy a tooth that feels good and looks very natural. Just brush twice a day as you normally would and floss around the tooth to reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar. Of course, see Dr. Johnson twice a year for an examination and professional cleaning.

Find out more

A root canal procedure truly is one of today's most predictable and effective dental procedures. Contact us if you are concerned about a particular tooth, and the office staff will get you into the office for a consultation with Dr. Jeffery Johnson or Dr. Jodi Johnson. Call (314) 427-7400.

By Jeffery J. Johnson & Jodi B. Johnson DDS
September 29, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

“You need a root canal,” isn’t something you want to hear during a dental visit. But whatever your preconceptions about it may be, the fact is root canal treatments don’t cause pain — they alleviate it. What’s more, it may be your best chance to save a tooth that’s at high risk for loss.

First of all, root canal treatments address a serious problem that may be occurring inside a tooth — tooth decay that’s infiltrated the pulp chamber. If it’s not stopped, the decay will continue to advance through the root canals to the bone and weaken the tooth’s attachment. To access the pulp and root canals we first administer a local anesthesia and then create an opening in the tooth, typically in the biting surface.

After accessing the pulp chamber, we then remove all the pulp tissue and clean out any infection.  We then fill the empty pulp chamber and root canals with a special filling and seal the opening we first created. The procedure is often followed some weeks later with a laboratory made crown that permanently covers the tooth for extra protection against another occurrence of decay and protects the tooth from fracturing years later.

Besides stopping the infection from continuing beyond the roots and saving the tooth from loss, root canal treatments also alleviate the symptoms caused by decay, including tenderness and swelling of surrounding gum tissue and sensitivity to hot and cold foods or pressure when biting down. And, it reduces pain — the dull ache or sometimes acute pain from the tooth that may have brought you to our office in the first place.

General dentists commonly perform root canal treatments; in more complicated cases they’re performed by an endodontist, a specialist in root canal treatments. Afterward, any discomfort is usually managed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen or aspirin.

Root canal treatments are a common procedure with a high rate of success. Undergoing one will end the pain and discomfort your infected tooth has caused you; more importantly, your tooth will gain a new lease on life.

If you would like more information on root canal treatments, 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 “Common Concerns about Root Canal Treatment.”

By Jeffery J. Johnson & Jodi B. Johnson DDS
August 01, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Tooth preservation is the ultimate aim of a root canal treatment. But how long should you expect a treated tooth to last? The answer will depend on a few different variables.

A root canal treatment is necessary when a tooth’s pulp — the inner tissue made of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues — becomes infected with disease. As the pulp dies, the infection spreads into the adjacent bone; this can eventually lead to loss of the tooth.

To stop this process, we enter the tooth and remove all of the pulp, disinfect the pulp chamber and the root canals, and then fill the chamber and canals. Depending on the type of tooth and level of decay, we seal the tooth with a filling or install a crown to prevent re-infection. it’s then quite possible for a treated tooth to survive for years, decades, or even a lifetime.

There are a number of factors, though, that may affect its actual longevity. A primary one depends on how early in the disease you receive the root canal treatment. Tooth survival rates are much better if the infection hasn’t spread into the bone. The earlier you’re treated, the better the possible outcome.

Tooth survival also depends on how well and thorough the root canal is performed. It’s imperative to remove diseased tissue and disinfect the interior spaces, followed by filling and sealing. In a related matter, not all teeth are equal in form or function. Front teeth, used primarily for cutting and incurring less chewing force, typically have a single root and are much easier to treat than back teeth. Back teeth, by contrast, have multiple roots and so more root canals to access and treat. A front tooth may not require a crown, but a back tooth invariably will.

These factors, as well as aging (older teeth tend to be more brittle and more susceptible to fracture), all play a role in determining the treated tooth’s survival. But in spite of any negative factors, a root canal treatment is usually the best option for a diseased or damaged tooth. Although there are a number of good options for replacing a lost tooth, you're usually better in the long run if we can preserve your natural tooth for as long as possible.

If you would like more information on root canal treatments, 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: How Long Will it Last?