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  • What You Should Know Before a Root Canal

    At your last dental visit, your dentist uttered two words that many people fear: root canal. While the procedure will eliminate your lingering tooth pain and hopefully reduce your immense sensitivity to hot and cold, the very idea of a root canal procedure can be a bit frightening. Here is a helpful guide that covers the most important things you should know before getting root canal therapy.

    Root canal therapy

    What exactly is a root canal?

    When the blood or nerve supply of a tooth, also known as the pulp, is infected, root canal therapy is necessary to remove the infected tissue. Unfortunately, a root canal cannot save the tooth, but by preserving its natural structure, you will be able to chew food and speak properly.

    What are some of the symptoms?

    There are several signs that you may need a root canal procedure, including:

    • Lingering or spontaneous pain in response to hot or cold drink
    • Positional pain that is worse when you lay down, stand up suddenly, or run in place
    • A white, yellow, or red pimple-looking blister on your gum
    • An abscess, which will show up on an x-ray
    • Pain in your jaw, ear, or surrounding teeth

    Why is root canal therapy needed?

    If an infection in the pulp of a tooth spreads to the underlying root canal system, it can lead to an abscess, which is an inflamed pus-filled pocket that causes swelling around the tooth. If a root canal is not done, the infection may spread to other areas of the face, you may suffer bone loss around the tip of the root, or the tooth may have to be extracted.

    What does the procedure entail?

    During root canal therapy, a dentist will remove the inflamed or infected pulp and carefully clean out and shape the inside of the tooth. Then, they will fill and seal the space to prevent further infection. The final step is for the dentist to place a crown on the tooth to protect its structural integrity. After a root canal procedure is completed, your tooth will function like any other tooth.

    Is the procedure painful?

    No, there should not be any root canal pain. With the use of a local anesthetic, the procedure should be no different than if you were having an ordinary filling done. Afterwards, you may feel a bit sore, but that will diminish over time.

    How long will the root canal procedure take?

    A root canal is a time-consuming procedure that often involves two or more visits to your dentist. The first appointment may be quite long as the dentist needs to remove the infected tissue and allow any abscesses to drain. Once the tooth is closed and shaped for filling, a temporary cap is put in and the tooth is left to settle. At the next appointment, the tooth is checked and if all is clear, it is permanently filled and capped.

    Is any special care necessary after treatment?

    Care instructions will be given out after each appointment, but good oral hygiene and regular dental visits are essential to ensuring the best results.

    If you are experiencing tooth pain, don’t suffer in silence! Instead, utilize the knowledge and expertise of the West County Dental team in St. Louis, MO to help you find relief.

  • How Do Root Canals Work?

    Brief overview of how a root canal works

    If you have learned that you may need a root canal procedure, you may be wondering what exactly this procedure entails. Root canal technology has advanced significantly in recent years, and your St. Louis dentist will be able to provide you with a much more comfortable experience than dental patients of the past could expect. Here is a brief overview of how a root canal works.

    Accessing the Infected Tooth
    When you come to your dentist’s office for a root canal procedure, your dentist will begin by applying local anesthesia in order to ensure your comfort. A rubber dam is placed to keep the tooth dry. Then, your dentist will gain access to the inside of your tooth—that is, the root canal. At West County Dental, we utilize the Solea Laser to ensure precise and painless treatment during this procedure.

    Removing Infected Tissue and Pulp
    Once your dentist has gained access to the root canal, he will remove all of the infected tissue from your tooth’s interior. Patients can expect this step of the procedure to be painless and safe. Your dentist will continue cleaning the inside of your tooth until all of the pulp and nerve tissue has been taken out.

    Filling and Sealing the Tooth
    The final step of the root canal procedure is to fill and seal the tooth. This often takes place at a second appointment. After your dentist has finished cleaning out your tooth, he will seal it using a filling, then place a dental cap to ensure that the tooth stays stable and free from future infection. Your treated tooth may be sensitive for a period of time after the procedure.

    If you are experiencing any discomfort in your teeth, it’s time to visit Dr. Spalitto and his team at West County Dental. We will be happy to thoroughly answer your questions about oral care and address any concerns that you may have about root canals. Call us today at (314) 821-2712 to set up an appointment at our office.

  • Signs You May Need a Root Canal

    Root Canal

    Root canals in St. Louis are routine and completely safe procedures . While some people feel understandably anxious about the idea of root canals, an experienced dentist like Dr. Spalitto can guide you through the procedure and make sure you feel comfortable throughout. Root canals are necessary if a tooth’s inner tissue has become severely infected and requires cleaning and removal. A root canal can often preserve the natural tooth, as long as the infection is treated right away. Keep reading for some common signs you may need a root canal, including severe pain, a sensitive tooth, and swollen gums.

    Severe Pain
    Root canals are most often signified by a severe toothache. A root canal is required when there are problems with the tooth’s nerve and soft inner pulp. While root canal pain may be dull and relatively moderate at first, the pain becomes more severe as the infection worsens. Root canal pain does not improve on its own or simply go away. Once the infection has set in, it will continue to progress until it is treated by a dentist.

    Sensitive Tooth
    A tooth that is especially sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet foods or drinks is another sign you may need a root canal. Tooth sensitivity can occur for many reasons. Some people have naturally sensitive teeth, while others suffer from sensitivity because the outermost enamel has worn off. Sensitive teeth may also indicate cavities. However, if you experience extreme sensitivity, especially when biting down, you may need a root canal.

    Swollen Gums
    Swollen gums can also indicate that you need root canal treatment. When the tooth becomes infected, the nearby sensitive gum tissues can become inflamed. Your gums may feel red or tender or look swollen. However, these are also symptoms of gum disease, so be sure to visit a dentist to rule out the possibility of gingivitis.

    If you have been experiencing the above symptoms and are concerned you may need a root canal, contact Dr. Spalitto and the team at West County Dental by calling (314) 821-2712 today.

  • Inside the Root Canal Procedure

    Inside the Root Canal Procedure

    Root canals in St. Louis are common procedures in family dentistry. A dentist advises patients to have a root canal when the tooth’s inner pulp becomes infected or inflamed. Most often, patients report to their dentist office complaining of tooth pain or sensitivity. Some patients may also notice that the affected tooth has become discolored, while others feel tenderness and pain in their gums. Keep reading to learn more about the steps involved in root canals, including a full examination, initial procedure, and tooth restoration.

    Full Examination

    The first step in treating root canals involves a full examination by a dentist. After you report to your dentist with root canal pain or another symptom, he or she will take an X-ray to determine the extent of the infection. Next, your dentist will diagnose you with a root canal, and explain how the infection occurred. Root canals are generally performed after trauma to the tooth, deep cavities, or dental procedures. Finally, your dentist will arrange a time when you will return for the root canal.

    Quick Procedure
    During the root canal procedure itself, your dentist will gain access into the root canal. The tooth pulp and decayed nerve tissue are completely removed, and the tooth itself is cleaned out. Disinfectants will be used regularly to flush away infected tooth tissue. Once the tooth has been thoroughly cleaned, it is sealed. Your dentist may also place medication inside the tooth if it is more seriously infected. The final closing of the tooth will happen the same day. Depending on the tooth, you will receive a crown or a filling.

    Whether you want to know more about root canals or are interested in cosmetic dentistry procedures, contact Dr. Spalitto and his team by calling (314) 821-2712 today.

  • What to Expect After a Root Canal

    What to Expect After a Root Canal

    After root canals in St. Louis with Dr. Spalitto, you can expect some tenderness, but an overall quick recovery. Some patients may be wondering, what is a root canal? Root canals are procedures performed by a dentist to repair and save teeth that have become badly decayed or infected. While some people feel understandably anxious about root canal pain, root canals are very common procedures in modern dentistry and are perfectly safe. Continue reading to find out more about what you can expect after you visit Dr. Spalitto for a root canal.

    Initial Sensitivity
    After your dentist completes your root canal, you should expect some sensitivity and soreness. Remember, root canals are minor surgeries, and the mouth needs time to heal. As your body undergoes the natural healing process, be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions to ward off lingering root canal pain. You can take over-the-counter pain medications to reduce pain and swelling and you may also want to rely on soft foods to avoid biting down.

    Intermediary Recovery
    After your root canal, your tooth will either be sealed with a permanent or temporary filling. If a temporary filling is placed, you should not chew on the tooth until it is restored by your dentist. In the meantime, you may expect for a thin layer of the filling to wear off and for the tooth to feel slightly sensitive and fragile. However, the initial swelling should die down after a couple days. Contact your dentist if it does not.

    Permanent Restoration
    To ensure your tooth’s long-term health, you will need to return to your dentist to have the tooth restored in a second appointment. Because a tooth that needs a root canal almost always has a filling or significant decay, a crown or other restoration is placed to make the tooth functional again.

    Find out more about root canals or schedule an appointment with Dr. Spalitto by calling the team at West County Dental at (314) 821-2712. Our office practices family dentistry and cosmetic dentistry and is pleased to offer the latest dental procedures and techniques. Call us today or visit our website to learn more about our services.

  • When Are Root Canals Necessary?

    root canal St. Louis Root canals are common procedures used to save a tooth that is decayed or damaged. Although the procedure has a reputation for causing anxiety in dental patients, in reality, most find it to be similar to having a filling. If you have questions about root canals in St. Louis, talk to your dentist about what to expect during your procedure. Here are some of the reasons why your family dentist may recommend a root canal.

    Deep Cavities
    In some cases, cavities can be treated with a dental filling. However, when the decay is deep in the tooth, a root canal may be necessary. Your dentist will recommend a root canal if the decay has infected the pulp of your tooth. Performing a root canal allows your dentist to remove the decay completely, so that it doesn’t affect your jaw or neighboring teeth. Note that the level of pain associated with your decayed tooth is not an indication of how deep the decay is. In some cases, very deep decay may not cause pain.

    If the pulp of your tooth becomes decayed and dies, a pus pocket may form at the end of the root. The abscess will continue to collect pus and grow, and it may form a pimple-like bump on the gums. Left untreated, an abscess will grow and cause an infection in the jaw bone and surrounding tissue that could lead to tooth loss. Your dentist can clean out the bacteria that are causing the abscess by performing a root canal.

    If your tooth is hit with force, the nerve at the end of the root could be severed. As a result, the root will die. Likewise, if a fracture occurs, it could extend to the pulp. After a trauma, a root canal procedure with a crown can be used to restore the tooth. In some cases, the effects of a trauma aren’t seen until many years after an accident, when a root canal becomes necessary.

    If you are experiencing symptoms of severe tooth decay, a dentist can help you determine if you need a root canal. At West County Dental, Dr. Spalitto and his team are ready to provide the family dentistry services you need. To schedule an appointment, please call (314) 821-2712.

  • Essential Information About Root Canals

    root canals St. Louis

    Your dentist may recommend root canal therapy to restore a tooth that has become badly damaged due to cavities or decay. Dental cavities and decay can damage the nerve root or infect the dental pulp of a tooth. If not treated, this damage and infection will necessitate tooth extraction. If you’re suffering from cavities near St. Louis , ask your dentist to perform a root canal procedure, so that you can avoid tooth extraction. At West County Dental, Dr. Spalitto is prepared to do emergency root canals. He and his team can get patients in and out in the same day, quickly treating their pain! He has been treating root canals for over twenty years, and does them in-house; no referrals!

    Prior to your root canal procedure, your dentist will administer anesthesia. If you visit a sedation dentist, you’ll be given medication to calm your nerves and relax you. Your dentist will then drill a small access hole in your tooth, through which he’ll remove infected tissue and debris. He may then inject antibiotics into your tooth to prevent further infection.

    After your tooth is completely cleaned, your dentist will fill the cavity of your tooth with dental materials, and seal the hole with dental cement. He’ll then place a dental crown over the top of your tooth to protect it from further infection or decay. The dental crown will also provide necessary structural support for your tooth, preventing it from breaking or cracking. West County Dental has the capability to do same day crowns. Also, if you prefer or require sedation dentistry, that can be discussed as part of the treatment plan!

  • Getting Ready for Your Root Canal

    Root Canals Explained Root canals get a bad rap. Patients often fear this procedure before actually having it, but your dentist can tell you that it’s really a simple process that usually doesn’t cause any more discomfort than a standard cavity filling. Although no special preparation is required, knowing what to expect from the process can help you get ready for the procedure. Here are the facts you need to know before your root canal in St. Louis to help you get ready.

    Root Canals Explained

    Root canals are used to treat tooth decay that has become too invasive to treat with a normal filling. During the procedure, your dentist or endodontist removes infected tooth pulp and fills the entire pulp cavity. This process helps prevent infection from spreading to neighboring teeth or deeper into the nerves. In most cases, root canals relieve nagging tooth pain almost immediately.

    Procedure Breakdown

    Your dentist will prepare you for your root canal by first numbing your gums with a topical anesthetic and then injecting a local anesthetic into the treatment area. He or she may place a rubber dam over the tooth to separate it from neighboring teeth and to prevent tooth chips and liquid from entering your mouth. After drilling into the tooth, your dentist will use a series of scrapping devices to completely remove the pulp. After the area is cleaned and filled, you will likely need a crown to rebuild the tooth structure.

    Root Canal Recovery

    After the root canal, you will likely be numb for the next few hours. When the anesthetic wears off, you may have some discomfort in the treatment area. Over-the-counter painkillers are sufficient for most people, but talk to your dentist if you need a stronger pain medication. If you have a condition that slows your recovery, like a heart valve problem or diabetes, your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics.