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Will I need a follow-up appointment after root canal treatment?

root canal treatment Fort WorthIn the process of root canal treatment, patients typically will need follow-up care after the initial procedure. Not only will your endodontist want to examine you at least once following a root canal to make sure that there are no unexpected complications, but you will also need to see your general dentist in order to have a crown placed on the treated tooth. This is necessary because those teeth are more susceptible to breakage following a root canal.

You should also be aware of the signs that a problem may have developed following your root canal treatment. Your endodontist will educate you on the symptoms that may indicate some sort of complication. If you notice any such symptom, you should contact the office as soon as possible to see if you need to be evaluated.

A root canal typically fixes the problem it was intended to address, so most patients will not need more than a few follow-up sessions. Sometimes the initial root canal in unsuccessful, however, and in those instances, the treatment may need to be achieve the desired treatment goals.

You should not expect to experience any discomfort during any of these follow-up visits. Your tooth will merely be examined to make sure you are healing as expected and you haven’t developed any complications. In reality, you should not experience any significant discomfort during the root canal itself, although many patients believe otherwise. People who have actually undergone root canal treatment report that any sensations during the procedure are quite similar to having a cavity filled.

Follow-up appointments should not be terribly time-consuming or disruptive to your routine either, although you should expect to spend some amount of time with your general dentist getting the restoration.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact the office of Dr. Deborah Loth at 817-737-3000.

I have a hard time sitting still: Can conscious sedation help?

conscious sedation Fort WorthPatients who are particularly fidgety may find it difficult to remain still long enough for a more complex treatment, such as a root canal. In these instances, conscious sedation can help the patient get through the treatment more easily.

An endodontist who offers conscious sedation gives patients the opportunity to achieve a state of deep relaxation throughout the treatment. However, patients remain conscious and able to respond to the provider’s instructions. Additionally, the airway is not compromised with conscious sedation. Therefore, conscious sedation is typically regarded as safer than general anesthesia, which could be an alternative for patients who have trouble staying still during treatment.

In the case of a root canal, conscious sedation can be particularly valuable. The procedure is rather intricate and time-consuming, with the endodontist taking care to remove all of the infected pulp material from the tooth’s core. Furthermore, patients may experience some anxiety that could make them even more jittery and less able to sit still. Although this fear of root canal therapy is unwarranted – the procedure is no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled – conscious sedation can still help patients overcome it.

Conscious sedation may require some preparation on your part, depending on the delivery method used by your endodontist. For example, if you are relying on an oral sedative, you will need to take it far enough in advance for it to begin to take effect by the time of your appointment. You will also need to make arrangements for someone to transport you to the appointment.

IV sedation requires fasting for a period of time in advance of the appointment.

Most of the drugs used in sedation will still be in effect when it is time to leave your appointment, so you will need to have a responsible adult escort you home and remain with you until the sedatives have worn off completely.

Would you like more information about conscious sedation and how it might help you get through a root canal? Contact our office to ask any questions you may have about this aspect of your treatment.

How can I save a broken tooth?

broken teeth Fort WorthHaving a broken tooth requires professional treatment. Not only should you seek out the help of a dental professional, you should do so as quickly as possible. Sometimes broken teeth require focused care from an endodontist, a specialist who treats issues that affect the inside of teeth. Endodontics saves teeth from the need for extraction due to chronic infections that affect the vitality of teeth and neighboring structures. Broken teeth can be repaired through restorations such as dental crowns and if internal anatomy is affected, root canal therapy can stop the progression of an infection.

How do root canals become infected?

Root canals can become infected when a tooth is broken or when decay deepens into the innermost structures of a tooth. A healthy root canal is sealed off from debris and bacteria that float in the mouth. If teeth are damaged by a deep chip or crack, the root canal becomes exposed to infection-causing bacteria. Untreated tooth decay can also lead to root canal infections.

What happens during root canal therapy?

When root canal therapy is performed, the first step is to ensure patient comfort. This is done by administering local anesthetics to numb nerve endings so that people do not experience discomfort. Nitrous oxide or prescription medication might be utilized as well. After analgesics are administered, tiny instruments will be used to access the root canal and then the infected contents of the inside of the tooth are removed. Once the dental pulp and nerve endings are taken out, the tooth is debrided and sealed with a rubber-like compound.

Are dental crowns necessary after root canal treatment?

If teeth are broken, dental crowns are usually necessary after endodontics. While root canal therapy protects internal structure, the external structures of teeth need protection, too. A dental crown is great for holding broken teeth together and for preventing future damage due to weakened tooth structure.

If you have been referred to our office for root canal treatment, call us to make an appointment at the office of Deborah Loth, DDS today!

Do root canals require many trips to the endodontist?

root canal Fort WorthPatients who are facing root canal treatment typically want to move through the process as quickly as possible. Fortunately, most root canals can be completed in one or two visits.

Patients see a specialist known as an endodontist for this treatment. These specialists focus on treating problems affecting the innermost structures of the teeth.

In the case of a root canal, which is performed to remove infected pulp material from the tooth, the endodontist will drill a small hole in the patient’s tooth in order to access the pulp chamber. The infected pulp material is removed from the pulp chamber, and the empty chamber is then thoroughly cleaned to remove any lingering bacteria. The empty chamber is filled with gutta percha, a rubber-like substance, to cut off bacterial access to the area in the future.

Root canals may also be performed as a preventive measure if a tooth is severely broken and the pulp is exposed to the oral cavity. Removing the pulp eliminates the risk of it becoming infected by oral bacteria.

The treatment timeline will depend on each patient’s specific case. Your endodontist can give you a better idea of what to expect after evaluating your case. It’s also worth noting that patients sometimes require a second root canal if the first one was not completely effective. However, this is a rather rare occurrence.

After the specialist has completed the root canal, the patient then returns to the general dentist to have a crown placed on the tooth. This step protects the tooth, which is more likely to break as a result of the root canal.

The specialist can also educate you on what level of discomfort you might experience. Most patients think—wrongly—that root canals are tremendously painful. However, after undergoing the procedure, the majority of patients report that it is no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled. In fact, infections in the pulp often trigger the sensitive nerve endings in that area, so root canals ultimately result in pain relief!

Root canals can usually be completed in just one or two visits to our office. To learn more about this treatment and what you might expect in your case, come see us for an evaluation.

How to Keep the Treats from Playing Tricks On Your Child’s Teeth

tooth infection Fort WorthSugar – especially when consumed in excess – can be disastrous for a person’s oral health. Children are especially prone to developing dental caries and even tooth infections as a result of excessive sugar intake and inadequate oral hygiene. Tooth decay is incredibly prevalent in children and when left untreated, children along with adults can develop root canal infections, which require endodontic treatment or extractions. Fortunately, preventing tooth infections and the need for root canal therapy is possible by adopting the following tips.

Encourage Proper Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is the first line of defense for preventing many oral health conditions including tooth infections and periodontal disease. Children over the age of four or five should begin brushing their own teeth. When brushing, it is important to brush for about two to three minutes, twice a day. It is especially important to brush thoroughly before bedtime. We recommend that parents keep a watchful eye when children perform oral hygiene. Using timers can help keep track of how long children are brushing. When children are able, they should learn to floss. Flossing helps remove debris and bacteria that collect between teeth and along the gum line. Establishing proper oral hygiene habits in youth normally means that children will carry these habits into adulthood.

Reduce Sugar Consumption

Sugar is bad for oral health because it feeds oral bacteria. Not only can sugar lead to an overgrowth of bacteria and an imbalanced oral pH, it increases the risk for developing cavities and tooth infections. As bacteria feed on sugar, they colonize and release acid as a by-product. Acid weakens tooth structure by stripping away minerals. Reducing sugar intake – including some natural sugars found in fruit – can prevent oral health issues. We recommend that children eat a balanced diet with plenty of protein, leafy greens, and whole grains for optimal well-being.

Increase Water Intake

Water is great for neutralizing acid and rinsing away leftover food particles. Drinking water throughout the day can help maintain a healthy oral pH, too.

If your child’s dentist has referred you to our endodontist for root canal treatment, call us today to reserve an appointment at the office of Dr. Deborah Loth!

How do I know if I have a root canal problem?

root canal treatment Fort WorthDo you suffer with debilitating tooth pain? Do hot or cold foods cause severe tooth sensitivity? If you can answer “yes” to these questions, you could have an infected root canal. The root canal is a hollowed area deep inside a tooth that contains cellular material called dental pulp and the nerve endings of a tooth. When this area of the tooth becomes infected, it can produce significant discomfort because the nerve endings become inflamed. If left untreated, an infected root canal can lead to dental abscesses and the death of a tooth. Root canal treatment can prevent the need for a tooth’s removal and alleviate a person’s discomfort.

What is root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment involves addressing the infected material and nerve endings inside the root canal. Using tiny instruments, an endodontist will access the innermost part of the tooth to remove the dental pulp and nerve endings, irrigate the inside of the tooth, and seal it with gutta-percha, a rubber-like compound, to keep the structural integrity inside the tooth sound. Infected material like dental pulp and nerve endings can be removed because the tooth is fully developed. Sometimes, patients might require a dental crown to protect the exterior surfaces of teeth.

How does the root canal become infected?

The root canal can become infected for a few reasons. Sometimes, people develop infections inside their teeth after sustaining a dental injury like a cracked or chipped tooth. If the crack or chip is deep enough, it will breach the root canal. When a tooth is healthy, the root canal is not exposed to debris and harmful bacteria. Another common problem that leads to internal tooth infections is untreated tooth decay. When a tooth become severely decayed, bacteria can eat through the surfaces of teeth and reach the root canal.

Will I be comfortable during my procedure?

Root canal treatment is not uncomfortable because our dentist will administer anesthetics to thoroughly numb the area. If necessary, patients might be given a mild sedative to increase comfort. Most of our patients report that receiving root canal therapy is similar in sensation to receiving a filling.

Call us today to reserve an appointment with our endodontist!

Is conscious sedation an option for root canal treatment?

conscious sedation Fort WorthDental fear is a problem for many people, and patients may be particularly anxious when facing root canal treatment because they (incorrectly) think it will be a painful experience. In order to put fearful patients at ease, conscious sedation may be an option for this procedure.

Conscious sedation allows the patient to achieve a state of deep relaxation by taking anti-anxiety medications. Although patients feel as though they’re asleep thanks to the medications, they actually remain awake and can respond to instructions from the endodontist throughout the appointment. Additionally, the airway is not compromised and does not need to be maintained artificially as it does with general anesthesia. Therefore, conscious sedation is typically considered to be a safer option than general anesthesia.

When patients have severe dental anxiety, conscious sedation can help them access the care that they need to save a tooth. It’s worth considering if you have significant fear about root canals. Furthermore, the sedatives have an amnestic effect, so you won’t have any bad memories after the procedure that could make your dental anxiety worse.

Your endodontist may offer different types of conscious sedation, such as intravenous and oral, so be sure to ask about your options so that you can choose the one that is best for you. Depending on the delivery method, you also may need to make certain preparations in advance of your appointment. If so, you will be given detailed instructions about this part of your treatment.

Unless you choose a sedative that is quickly reversed, such as nitrous oxide, you will need to make arrangements to have a responsible adult escort you home after the appointment, as you’ll still be experiencing some effects of the drugs. For your safety, that person should plan to stay with you until the sedative has worn off completely.

Are you feeling jittery about an upcoming root canal? Talk to one of our specialists about your options for conscious sedation for a more relaxing treatment experience.


Don’t Delay Treatment for a Broken Tooth

broken tooth Fort WorthIf you suffer a broken tooth, you should consult with an endodontist as soon as possible about your treatment options. Delaying treatment can put you at risk for losing a tooth that might otherwise be saved.

Broken teeth are problematic because they give bacteria an opportunity to access the tooth’s inner core, where they can cause painful and damaging infections and abscesses. When the infection progresses, the tooth may become so damaged that it must be extracted. Therefore, a broken tooth typically needs to be treated with a root canal to reduce the risk of such an outcome.

A root canal protects the broken tooth against infection because the pulp that can be infiltrated by bacteria is removed from the tooth and replaced with an inert rubber-like substance. The empty pulp chamber is thoroughly cleaned before it is filled with the gutta percha in order to remove any bacteria that might have already reach the innermost section of the tooth.

Most patients will see an endodontist to undergo this procedure. These specialists focus on treatments of the interior of the tooth. They complete extensive training in the specialty and have vast experience in performing this procedure.

After a tooth is treated with a root canal, it must be fitted with a crown, as the intervention can weaken the enamel and make the tooth more likely to break again. Your endodontist may refer you back to your general dentist for that portion of the treatment.

Unfortunately, this treatment has acquired the reputation of being quite painful, but that’s not usually the case. Any discomfort associated with the procedure is comparable to getting a cavity filled, according to reports from patients. Furthermore, patients often get relief from pain after the procedure.

If you have suffered a tooth injury serious enough to cause a deep crack in the tooth or break it, pursue treatment as soon as you are able to. Waiting can cost you your tooth, so don’t delay in calling our office to schedule an evaluation.

When can I return to work following root canal treatment?

root canal treatment Fort WorthA broken tooth can be painful. It can also lead to serious dental problems if left untreated by a professional. If you have recently developed chipped or broken teeth, your dentist might refer you to an endodontist for root canal therapy. Broken teeth might require this type of treatment if certain parts of the inside of a tooth are exposed to oral bacteria and debris. Root canal therapy treats the innermost part of a tooth, its root canal, so that an internal tooth infection doesn’t result in the need for extraction. Root canal therapy alleviates tooth pain associated with a broken tooth or infected tooth and prepares teeth for restorations, if necessary.

What is the root canal?

The root canal is a part of tooth anatomy. Inside the roots of teeth and going upwards toward the crown is the root canal. This is a chamber that contains the nerve endings of a tooth along with its cellular matter called “dental pulp.”. Root canals in healthy teeth are protected from oral bacteria and debris. However, badly damaged teeth can develop infected root canals when the nerves inside it become infected after being exposed to oral debris and bacteria.

How does root canal therapy work?

Root canal therapy involves removing infected material inside a tooth, cleaning it, and sealing it with a rubber-like compound. When a root canal is infected, an endodontist will access the inside of the tooth with tiny dental instruments. The nerves and dental pulp are removed and then the root canal is flushed out so that it’s clean. Once this process is complete, the root canal chamber is sealed to fortify internal tooth structure.

Will I need a dental crown?

Many patients with broken teeth will require a dental crown after treatment. This is because external tooth structure is damaged. A crown will hold a tooth together, protect it, and ensure that a tooth is the right shape and size.

For questions or to schedule an appointment, call the office of Dr. Deborah Loth.

Why is root canal treatment recommended for my broken tooth?

broken teeth Fort WorthDo you have an appointment scheduled for root canal treatment? If so, you might have questions about your treatment. Many patients wonder about their comfort while others might wonder when they can resume normal activities. During treatment, our endodontist follows all protocols available to ensure that all our guests have a comfortable and positive experience. In many cases, those who receive root canal treatment can resume normal activities like work or school the day after treatment.

What’s the root canal?

The root canal is a part of the tooth that holds the nerve endings and dental pulp. The root canal is a chamber-like area that is protected from debris and oral bacteria in a healthy tooth. When teeth are developing, the contents of the root canal are necessary but once teeth are developed, an infected root canal’s contents can be removed to save a tooth from extraction.

Why do I need root canal therapy?

If you have an infected root canal, you need endodontic therapy to prevent the development of an abscess or the death of a tooth. Having root canal therapy can literally save your tooth from needing to be surgically removed. Root canal treatment also addresses the pain and discomfort associated with infected nerve endings. After treatment, patients will be able to resume comfortable oral function and have peace of mind that their tooth is safe.

Do I need a restoration?

Many patients require restorations after root canal treatment. This is because their teeth may be broken, chipped, or badly worn down. Common restorations that follow endodontic treatment include fillings and dental crowns.

Why visit a specialist?

Endodontics is one of nine dental specialties. To practice endodontics, a dentist must have advanced education and training along with board certification. This means that patients will receive very focused care from an expert. When it comes to root canal therapy, the expertise of an endodontist is incredibly useful.

Call our office to ask questions or schedule an appointment.