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Posts for tag: root canal

By Kuhn Family Dentistry
March 03, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures

Remembered fondly by fans as the wacky but loveable Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Alfonso Ribeiro is currently in his fifth year hosting America's Funniest Videos. It's the perfect gig for the 48-year-old actor, who loves to laugh and make others laugh as well. This is quite the opposite experience from one he had a few years ago that he remembers all too well: a severely decayed tooth.

After seeing his dentist for an intense toothache, Ribeiro learned he had advanced tooth decay and would need root canal treatment. Ribeiro wasn't thrilled by the news. Like many of us, he thought the procedure would be unpleasant. But he found afterward that not only was the root canal painless, his toothache had vanished.

More importantly, the root canal treatment saved his tooth, as it has for millions of others over the last century. If you're facing a situation similar to Alfonso Ribeiro's, here's a quick look at the procedure that could rescue your endangered tooth.

Getting ready. In preparation for root canal therapy, the tooth and surrounding gums are numbed, often first with a swab of local anesthesia to deaden the surface area in preparation for the injection of the main anesthesia below the surface. A dental dam is then placed to isolate the infected tooth from its neighbors to prevent cross-contamination.

Accessing the interior. To get to the infection, a small access hole is drilled. The location depends on the tooth: in larger back teeth, a hole is drilled through the biting surface, and in front teeth, a hole is drilled on the backside. This access allows us to insert special tools to accomplish the next steps in the procedure.

Cleaning, shaping and filling. Small tools are used to remove the diseased tissue from the interior tooth pulp and root canals. Then the empty spaces are disinfected. This, in effect, stops the infection. Next, the root canals inside the tooth are shaped to allow them to better accept a special filling called gutta percha. The access hole is then sealed to further protect the tooth from future infection, and a temporary crown is placed.

A new crown to boot. Within a couple weeks, we'll cap the tooth with a long-lasting lifelike crown (or a filling on certain teeth). This adds further protection for the tooth against infection, helps strengthen the tooth's structure, and restores the tooth's appearance.

Without this procedure, the chances of a tooth surviving this level of advanced decay are very slim. But undergoing a root canal, as Alfonso Ribeiro did, can give your tooth a real fighting chance.

If you would like more information about root canal treatments, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment” and “Root Canal Treatment: How Long Will It Last?

September 21, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Is root canal therapy in your future? Find out what your tooth is trying to tell you!root canal

While no one wants to undergo restorative dentistry procedures, sometimes they are necessary in order to preserve the health of a tooth. In this case, if a tooth is infected, decayed or injured, this can affect an inner structure known as the dental pulp. When the dental pulp becomes damaged or infected it’s time for our Reno, NV dentist, Dr. Melinda Kuhn, to remove it. Are you experiencing symptoms that could be trying to tell you that you need root canal treatment? Find out now!

While you may not always get warning signs that you need dental treatment, there are some common symptoms that can manifest themselves. The most common symptom is dental pain. Now pain takes many shapes and forms. Maybe you only notice pain when you chew or bite down on the tooth. On the other hand, you may experience persistent pain.

The pain may be characterized as aching, throbbing or severe. Regardless of the type of pain you are dealing with, dental pain of any kind isn’t good. It’s often a sign of decay or infection that has spread far enough to reach the dental pulp.

The dental pulp is the structure that lies inside the tooth and because it’s made up of nerves, you could call it the “feeling center” of the tooth. When the pulp is damaged or infected, it will cause the pain you are experiencing right now. Pain alone is enough of a reason to pick up the phone and schedule an immediate appointment with our Reno general dentist.

Along with pain, you may also notice these other unpleasant oral symptoms:

  • Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Gum swelling or tenderness near the tooth
  • A pimple-like growth (known as an abscess) around the affected tooth

Of course, these symptoms can also be indicative of other dental problems that require urgent attention. Either way, don’t try to diagnose the problem yourself (and don’t ignore it). Let our dental team diagnose and treat the issue right away before complications set in.

If we do discover that the dental pulp is infected or damaged then we will need to remove it. This is the purpose behind getting root canal therapy. Besides removing the pulp we will also disinfect the inside of the tooth to prevent the infection from returning.

If you are experiencing a toothache, tooth sensitivity or other symptoms then it’s time you turned to the Reno, NV dental experts at Kuhn Family Dentistry. Don’t let this problem linger!