Long N Phan, DMD, FAGD
General Dentistry & Cosmetic Dentistry located in Murrieta, CA
More than 15 million Americans undergo root canal therapy each year. This quick, outpatient procedure can preserve your tooth and prevent the need for an extraction. At TLC Dental in Murrieta, California, Long Phan, DMD, and the team specialize in root canals. If you or a loved one is experiencing a toothache, book an appointment with the online scheduling tool or call the office today.
Root Canals Q & A
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a common dental procedure that treats infected or inflamed tooth pulp. Pulp is a soft substance that helps your teeth grow. After your permanent teeth come in, the pulp is no longer necessary for their survival. If you develop a cavity, infection, or get hit in the mouth, a root canal can save your affected tooth.
What conditions do root canals treat?
Root canals treat injured or infected tooth pulp. Leading causes of pulp damage include:
- Deep decay
- Chipped teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Getting hit in the mouth and damaging a tooth
You might also benefit from a root canal if Dr. Phan has to perform several different procedures on a single tooth.
What are the signs I need a root canal?
If you experience tooth pain, swelling, or a sensation of heat in your gums, contact TLC Dental right away. Following an oral exam, a review of your dental health history, and oral X-rays, Dr. Phan can confirm your diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
What do root canals involve?
Traditionally, root canals take two separate appointments. Because TLC Dental has a CEREC® milling machine on-site, Dr. Phan can complete the entire procedure in one visit.
Before performing your root canal, Dr. Phan administers a local anesthetic. Once you’re comfortable, he carefully makes a hole in the top of your affected tooth and removes the pulp. Dr. Phan then rinses out the center of your tooth and fills it with a rubbery material called gutta-percha.
Afterward, he takes digital impressions and uploads them to a computer-aided design (CAD) program. The program allows Dr. Phan to create a custom crown that fits perfectly over your tooth. After approving the design, he transfers it to the CEREC milling machine. The machine creates a custom crown in less than 45 minutes.
Once the machine finishes, Dr. Phan bonds the new crown on top of your tooth, preventing the risk of further damage or decay.
What is recovery like following a root canal?
Following a root canal, it’s normal to experience some mild pain and sensitivity. Your gums might also swell. Take over-the-counter pain medication or apply a bag of ice to your cheek if necessary.
You can return to work and other normal activities after your appointment, but try eating soft foods for at least 24 hours. Continue to brush and floss as you normally would, but do so carefully around your new crown.
Crowns take a little bit of getting used to. It’s normal for them to feel awkward at first. Be patient and follow Dr. Phan’s recovery instructions closely.
If you’re interested in learning more about root canals, request a consultation at TLC Dental. Book an appointment with the online scheduling tool or call the office today.