What To Know Before Getting A Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is a common dental procedure that is performed to save a damaged or infected tooth. The procedure involves removing the infected or damaged pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels), cleaning the inside of the tooth, and filling and sealing it. This procedure can often prevent the need for a tooth extraction.

Our San Diego dentist might recommend a root canal if you have an abscess, a severely deep area of tooth decay, or a cracked tooth. Before getting a root canal, there are a few things you should know to prepare for the procedure and ensure a successful outcome.

What Do I Need to Know Before a Root Canal Appointment?

First, you’ll want to understand the indications for root canal treatment. A root canal is typically recommended when the pulp inside the tooth becomes inflamed or infected. This can be caused by a deep cavity, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the tooth. If left untreated, the infection can spread and lead to further damage or even an abscess (a painful infection at the end of the tooth’s root).

Without a root canal, these compromised teeth would otherwise need to be extracted and then later replaced with something like a bridge or dental implant.

Planning for Your Procedure

How many sittings does a root canal need? It typically takes one to two visits to complete a root canal. The first visit is to remove the infected or damaged pulp and place a permanent filling material inside the hollow nerve chambers. At the second visit, a crown is placed over that tooth to reinforce and protect it during everyday biting and chewing activities.

Root canal treatment (often referred to as RCT) may require additional visits if the infection is severe. If that’s the case, our San Diego dentist may need to prescribe medication that helps limit swelling for a more comfortable procedure.

Rest assured that having a root canal is similar to other routine dental procedures. Knowing what to expect can help you feel more confident about your upcoming treatment. Root canal treatment is typically performed under local anesthesia to numb the area around the infected tooth. Then our dentist will make a small opening in the top of the tooth to access the pulp chamber and root canals. The infected or damaged pulp is removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected. A rubber-like material is then placed in the canals to seal them off and prevent recurring infection. You may feel some pressure during the procedure, but it should not be painful. However, sedation may also be available if you prefer deeper relaxation during your appointment.

How Long Does it Take for a Root Canal to Fully Heal?

After the root canal procedure, the area around the tooth may be slightly sore for a few days, particularly where the anesthetic was injected. Fortunately, the source of your tooth pain and infection has been removed, so there are no longer any nerves to interpret discomfort inside of your tooth. An over-the-counter pain medication to manage any temporary irritation and can be accompanied by a warm salt water rinse. It is important to follow the post-operative instructions provided by our dentist to promote healing and reduce the risk of complications.

While you wait for your permanent crown, be sure to avoid hard or crunchy foods and follow good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing, to keep the area clean. After your permanent crown is installed, you can resume your normal diet and daily activities.

Do I Need a Root Canal?

Fifth Avenue Dental Arts offers gentle root canal treatment in San Diego. If you have an abscessed tooth or would like a second opinion about getting a root canal, call our office today

Top 5 Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments to Consider

cosmetic dentistry treatment


Are you considering a smile makeover? What is considered cosmetic dentistry can vary, depending on your oral health and aesthetic needs. Our dentist in Downtown San Diego offers a wide range of cosmetic dentistry treatments to enhance your best accessory: your smile!

Since every smile makeover is unique, what is a cosmetic dentistry treatment for one person might be different for the next. But when we’re working to make the biggest impact on the overall appearance of your teeth, these top 5 treatments are popular choices with our San Diego clients:

Veneers and Lumineers

Porcelain veneers in San Diego are the premium smile makeover treatment. Veneers make your teeth look perfectly straight, whiter, and fuller. We can use veneers to mask cosmetic flaws on the teeth behind them and the results are complete within just a couple of visits.

If you’re not convinced that porcelain veneers are right for you, you can also select a reversible, no-prep veneer option: Lumineers. Lumineers can be removed later on and they don’t require any adjustments to your tooth enamel before they’re bonded into place.

In either scenario, you can plan exactly what you want your smile to look like. Be sure to ask about seeing some of our before-and-after veneer makeover photos.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a safe, affordable, and non-invasive way to significantly enhance your smile. By whitening your enamel and erasing natural discoloration, your teeth appear healthier and more youthful.

Whitening is the perfect stand-alone smile makeover treatment. You can also combine it with therapies like Invisalign, bonding, or before updating your white fillings and crowns (so that everything matches.)

You’ll get the best teeth whitening results by working directly with a dentist. Since professional grade ingredients remove deep stains and discoloration, you’ll see a higher level of brightness compared to using over-the-counter products.

Gum Recontouring

Uneven gumlines or “gummy” smiles can detract from even the most gorgeous teeth. By adjusting and evening out your gumlines, we can create the perfect frame for your smile. Gum recontouring allows for fuller, even-looking tooth size from one side of your smile to the other. If you seem to have excessive gum tissues or your teeth seem too short, consider adding this treatment option to your smile makeover plan.

You can try gum recontouring on its own, or along with treatments like bonding, whitening, veneers, and more.

Composite Bonding

When you have a minor chip in your tooth, composite bonding in Downtown San Diego offers fast, drastic results. Bonding physically covers small surface flaws in teeth to erase them from your smile zone. It’s a great alternative for people who don’t need the full coverage of dental veneers. Anything from chipped enamel and small gaps between teeth to surface irregularities or uneven teeth can be addressed. The bonding material is specifically matched to your tooth so that you can’t tell where it starts or stops.

Porcelain Crowns

For teeth that are structurally weak, cracked, or severely decayed, a ceramic crown provides both optimal function as well as attractive aesthetic results. Crowns are also recommended for replacing old, large, leaky metal fillings. Since a crown covers your entire tooth, we can specify exactly how it will look. We can also place them on top of dental implants to replace missing teeth.


Top 5 Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments to Consider

How Much Does Cosmetic Dentistry Cost?

At Fifth Avenue Dental Arts, we tailor your smile experience to fit your lifestyle. Your investment is one that impacts every aspect of your day-to-day life. That’s why we offer flexible financing options and payment plans. Easily budget your transformation on a monthly basis without having to wait for the smile of your dreams. Contact our office in Downtown San Diego today to reserve a consultation.