Santa Clarita Endodontix

Root Canals, Then and Now!

thenandnowblogRoot Canals: BC
To this day we still don’t know how long root canal therapy has been around. The first traces of root canal therapy can be dated back to second or third century B.C. when a human skull was discovered in a desert in Israel, and a bronze wire was found inside that scientists believe was used to treat an infected canal. The wire was located at the site of the infection, which is the exact spot that would be targeted during modern day root canal therapy. The archaeologists who discovered the remains believe that the procedure was performed by the Romans, who are said to have invented dentures and crowns.

More Advancements: AD
Evidence shows that from the first century A.D. until the 1600s, the treatment for root canals included the draining of the pulp chambers to relieve pain, and then covering them with a protective coating made from either gold foil or asbestos. Around 1838, the first official root canal instrument was constructed. It was made to allow easier access to the pulp that is located within the root of the tooth. A few years later, around 1847, a safer material known as “gutta percha” was created to use as a filling once the root canal was cleaned out. Both of these materials are still used today by Endodontists.

20th Century Technology:
When we entered the 20th century, dental technology advanced. Anesthetics and x-rays were instituted into dental practices, which made treating an infected root canal easier and safer. These technological advancements have allowed for alternative treatments to pulling teeth. Root canal therapy has advanced so much that it is now a nearly painless procedure! For more information on root canal treatments, call our office at Santa Clarita Endodontix Office Phone Number 661-251-4800 and schedule your appointment today.

Flossing: Absolutely Necessary!

flossing-absolutely-necessaryYes, You Still Have to Floss. No, the dance move “flossing” does not count. The AP recently released an article making the claim that “there’s little proof that flossing works”. Their review cited a series of studies that found flossing does little or nothing to improve oral health. Here’s the problem: the studies were flawed. The AP concluded that floss does little for oral health, but it’s important to note that the evidence they cited was very weak at best. In fact, they said so themselves.

As acknowledged by the AP, many of these studies were extremely short. “Some lasted only two weeks, far too brief for a cavity or dental disease to develop” (Associated Press). They also say that “One tested 25 people after only a single use of floss” (Associated Press).

Of course, the evidence is unreliable. You don’t simply develop gum disease because you forgot to floss yesterday. Cavities and gum disease do not happen overnight. Gum disease is preventable by maintain great oral health habits for a long period of time. Lets put it this way: If a study claims drinking milk does nothing for bone health, but draws conclusions after only three glasses of milk, is it a reliable study?

The fact of the matter is floss removes gunk from teeth. You can see it. Gunk feeds bacteria which leads to plaque, cavities, poor gum health, and eventually gum disease. Floss has the ability to reach the food particles that your brush can’t get to. Using a sawing motion instead of moving up and around the teeth to clean the cracks. Positive results come from correct use and it’s critical that people learn to use a tool properly before discarding it as useless.

That’s just what floss is: a tool. Just like your toothbrush, it is designed to keep your mouth clean, and therefore keep your body safe from infection. Both your toothbrush and floss are designed to do what the other can’t, and both successfully remove bacteria from your mouth. Just like proper brushing technique, it is important that you know how to use floss properly, so that you can reap the long-term health benefits of good oral hygiene.

Oral hygiene is a long-term process and requires long term observations to make worthwhile conclusions. In the meantime, it’s obvious that you should continue to do everything you can to protect your well-being, and floss is one of many tools that can help you do that. If you would like a refresher on the best, most efficient techniques for floss use feel free to call our office today

After a Root Canal

After-A-Root-CanalA root canal is a procedure that saves a natural tooth that has become decayed or infected. Your endodontist will remove the tooth’s nerve and pulp (the tissue inside the teeth) and will clean and seal the tooth, therefore halting any more decay. Root canal procedures are often very effective in saving natural teeth.

Do I Need a Root Canal?
Without treatment, an infected tooth can worsen and may need removal, or sometimes can cause abscesses. Abscesses are pus-filled pockets that occur when the decay and bacteria has spread beyond the tooth’s roots. It’s important to address an infection before an abscess occurs!

Is a Root Canal Painful?
After a root canal procedure, some tenderness and soreness may occur in the area surrounding the infected tooth. It is normal to experience some pain and swelling, which typically goes down with time and proper care. Most people experience at least some discomfort post root canal procedure.

Root Canal: A Two Step Procedure
A root canal is a two-step procedure – a final crown needs to be placed over the tooth in order to seal it from any further infection or decay. While you are recovering from the initial visit, it is important to remember to take good care of the tooth before the crown visit, because the tooth is fragile and can easily break. Once the tooth crown is placed, the restored tooth can last as long as your natural teeth!

Preventing a Root Canal
Ways to prevent further root canals include: practicing good oral hygiene by properly brushing and flossing, seeing your dentist regularly for teeth cleanings and check-ups, and avoiding foods high in sugar, starch and acid – which contributes to increased tooth decay.

We are here to make you feel comfortable and answer any questions you may have before deciding to follow through with your procedure. Please feel free to call our office if you have any other questions regarding Root Canals.

What the fluoride?

what the fluoride

Fluoride is often called nature’s cavity fighter, and for good reason! Fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral, helps prevent cavities by making your enamel more resistant to the acid that causes tooth decay.

Before teeth are fully grown, the fluoride taken in from foods and beverages help make tooth enamel stronger. This provides what is called a “systemic” benefit. After teeth are grown, fluoride helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth. This provides what is called a “topical” benefit.

In addition, the fluoride you take in from foods and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth with tiny amounts of fluoride that help rebuild weakened tooth enamel.

How Do You Get Fluoride?

#1 Drink Water with Fluoride
Fluoride is naturally found in most water sources. For the past 70 years, fluoride has been added to public water supplies to bring fluoride levels up to the amount necessary to help prevent tooth decay. Studies show that water fluoridation continues to help prevent tooth decay by at least 25% in children and adults, even with fluoride available from other sources, such as toothpaste.

#2 Use Toothpaste and Mouthwash with Fluoride
Toothpaste with fluoride has been responsible for a significant drop in cavities since 1960. Make sure to look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to make sure it contains fluoride! Be sure to brush twice a day (morning and night) or as directed by your dentist and physician.
Mouthwash with fluoride can help make your teeth more resistant to decay, by bathing your teeth and creating a topical benefit.

#3 Visit Your Dentist for a Professional Application
If you have a good chance of getting cavities, your dentist can apply fluoride directly to your teeth during your dental visit with a gel, foam or rinse.

These three steps in getting fluoride can help significantly fight against cavities and help keep your teeth strong and long lasting! If you have any more questions about the benefits of fluoride, give us a call today at Santa Clarita Endodontix Office Phone Number 661-251-4800 !

Trivia: Root Canal Edition

It is no secret that root canal therapy saves your natural teeth! By extracting the infected pulp inside the tooth, endodontists can rescue your teeth. What exactly is dental pulp though? It is a lot more important than you might think, so keep reading for some pulp trivia!

Fact #1
Pulp is the living part of the tooth. It is made of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue that feed the tooth vital nutrients for it to stay alive and healthy.

Fact #2
Dental pulp is your tooth’s alarm system. When something is going wrong with your teeth, such as trauma or decay, the pulp experiences pressure and sensitivity changes that you perceive as pain.

Fact #3
The pulp is responsible for dentin formation. Dentin is the tissue layer beneath the enamel that protects the pulp. Due to the translucency of enamel, dentin is visible through it and gives the tooth its color. Pulp contains cells called odontoblasts that initiate dentin creation.

Fact #4
The tooth can survive without pulp, but not infected pulp. Pulp is a crucial part of tooth development, but once a tooth has fully matured, it can get nutrients from surrounding tissue and the pulp is no longer necessary. However, infected tissue will cause major damage. It is the decaying pulp that makes root canal therapy necessary to save teeth that suffer pulp trauma.

Fact#5
Blood vessels and nerves in pulp are connected to gum tissue in the jaw. The apical foramen is a hole at the apex, or tip, of the tooth’s root. Blood vessels and nerves run from the jaw through the apical foramen and become part of the pulp once they enter the tooth.

Fact #6
Diseased gum tissue can cause pulp to become infected as well. Blood vessels and nerves connect the gum to the pulp. Therefore, the diseased gum tissue can enter the pulp and begin to infect it. Conversely, infected pulp can also spread and cause potential gum disease. This connection is very important to be aware of, because if one goes wrong, the other should get checked as well.

With all the functions of dental pulp in mind, it’s no wonder root canal therapy is such an important procedure! Call us today to schedule a consultation if you’re having tooth pain and considering root canal therapy.

What’s the difference between a Dentist and an Endodontist?

whats the difference

While all endodontists are dentists, less than three percent of dentists are endodontists. Just like a doctor in any other field, endodontists are specialists because they’ve completed additional training beyond dental school. Their additional training focuses on diagnosing tooth pain and performing root canal treatment and other procedures relating to the interior of the tooth. In many cases, a diseased tooth can be saved with endodontic treatment.

#1 Endodontists Have Advanced Education
To become specialists, endodontists have two to three years of additional education in an advanced specialty program in endodontics after completing four years of dental school. They focus on studying diseases of the dental pulp and how to treat them.

#2 Endodontists Have Specialized Expertise
By limiting their practice to endodontics, endodontists focus exclusively on treatments of the dental pulp. They complete an average of 25 root canal treatments a week, while general dentists typically do two. They are skilled specialists in finding the cause of oral and facial pain that has been difficult to diagnosis.

#3 Endodontists Are Experts in Pain Management
Endodontists use specialized techniques to ensure patients are thoroughly comfortable during their treatments. They are experts in administering numbing medications, like Fentanyl and Versed. These medications are excellent choices for patients that may be anxious or dental phobic.

#4 Endodontists Use Cutting-Edge Technologies
Endodontists have materials and equipment designed to make your treatment more comfortable and successful. Digital radiographs and 3-D imaging allow endodontists to take detailed pictures of tiny tooth anatomy to better see the root canals and any related infections.

If you’re experiencing tooth pain, you have injured your tooth, your tooth is sensitive to hot or cold, and/or there is swelling around the teeth, gums or your face, you should make an appointment to see an endodontist. Call us today at Santa Clarita Endodontix Office Phone Number 661-251-4800 .

Root Canal: What to Expect

Root Canal- What to Expect

Root canals have a reputation of being scary and painful. Of course, they’re never ideal but when you need one, you really need one. The course of extracting the infected pulp inside the chamber of the tooth is crucial in saving your natural tooth. We recommend always opting for a root canal if you have the choice. Upon deciding to go forward with a root canal, you should know what to expect. Below are the three simple steps that your endodontist will take to restore your tooth to a healthy and happy state.

1. Numb It!

Your endodontist will administer a numbing agent on the affected tooth and surrounding gum of the area that the root canal will be performed on. It is an extremely common belief that root canals are painful but, this is simply not true. If you have ever had a filling (91% of us have!) then you have a general idea as to what a root canal will feel like, as both of these treatments have the same sort of sensation.

2. Pull it!

Your endodontist will then move on to the next step, performing the pulpectomy. This is when an opening is created to extract the infected pulp within the chamber of the tooth. This infected pulp is what causes tooth pain, as it puts pressure on the nerve. Once the damaged pulp is removed, the pain will subside.

3. Fill It!

Once the deceased pulp has been removed, a filling is inserted in place of the dead pulp. The filling, which consists of gutta-percha material, is then sealed. This sealant is made from a cement material, similar to a regular filling.

And just like that—your tooth is saved! Do everything you can now to prevent extraction by practicing good oral hygiene habits by brushing and flossing every day. If you are suffering from tooth pain and think you may benefit from a root canal, give our office a call! Santa Clarita Endodontix Office Phone Number 661-251-4800

The Dos and Don’ts of Good Dental Hygiene

Dos and Don’ts of Good Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene is important. Those who practice good oral habits reap the benefits, while the latter… not so much. Most of us have a great deal of control over whether or not we keep our teeth as we age. Those who don’t follow a proper routine, end up losing their teeth, thus requiring the need of tooth replacement (such as dentures, dental implants, etc.). If you want to achieve an optimal level of oral hygiene, all you have to do is follow these do’s and don’ts!

Do…
• Brush your teeth twice a day! Use a soft-bristled brush with a fluoride tooth paste and be sure to brush all surfaces of the teeth, even the hard to reach places.

• Floss your teeth every day! Floss removes food trapped between your teeth and the film of bacteria that forms before it turns into plaque.

• Visit your dentist every 6 months! Regular visits allow your dentist to discover early signs of cavities and gum disease.

• Eat a mouth healthy diet! Indulge yourself in foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and of course, water!

Don’t…

• Forget to replace your toothbrush! Tooth brushes should be replaced every 3 month—or after you recover from being sick. If you have an electric toothbrush, replace the head rather than purchasing a whole new one.

• Brush too soon after eating! Brushing immediately after eating acidic food can cause tiny particles of enamel to be brushed away. To be safe, wait at least 1 hour.

• Go overboard with bleaching! Over-bleaching your teeth can make them very sensitive to hot and cold foods, thus causing a variety of other problems.

• Ignore pain or abnormalities! Toothaches can be a sign of a more serious dental issue. See your dentist as soon as you discover changes in your dental health.

• Consume lots of soft drinks and sugary foods! These foods are highly acidic, which wears away your enamel overtime. Frequent consumption of sugary substances allow plaque to grow more rapidly—thus the likelihood of cavities will increase substantially.

When it comes to your dental hygiene—you have the option between keeping your teeth or not. By starting to practice these dental do’s and don’ts, you will be on the right track to a long-lasting smile. Give us a call today Santa Clarita Endodontix Office Phone Number 661-251-4800!

Everyday Dental Habits That Will Save Your Natural Teeth

Daily Habits That'll Save Your Natural Teeth

Oral health is not just about how your smile looks, but how you take care of it! You may often overlook the importance of your oral health, but it is essential for a healthy lifestyle, as well as preventing any future dental related problems. By taking small, but significant, steps to care for the health of your teeth now, you can also prevent the price of costly visits to the dentist later. Take a moment to read up on our suggestions for excellent habits that will save your natural teeth:

1. Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth!

Brushing at night is essential to ridding your teeth of the germs and plaque that have accumulated during the day. If brushing is neglected, then the damaging bacteria will have a higher chance of causing tooth decay. Always remember to brush your teeth twice a day to keep that bacteria at bay.

2. Tongues out!

Believe it or not, plaque also builds up on your tongue. Therefore, you should always remember to brush that as well. This plaque could cause potential problems, in addition to creating a foul mouth odor, better known as bad breath. This odor can lead to insecurities that can easily be brushed away.

3. Floss, floss, floss

Brushing is essential, but flossing is crucial in ridding your mouth of that pesky bacteria. Flossing should be done once a day (typically at night) to remove the leftover particles of food and bacteria that are permeated between the teeth. Flossing not only gets rid of waste, but it also stimulates your gums and helps reduce inflammation.

4. Use a therapeutic mouthwash

According to the ADA, therapeutic mouthwashes can help reduce plaque, prevent gingivitis, and reduce the speed that tarter develops. An added bonus of incorporating a mouthwash into your daily routine is that it helps remove food particles from your mouth. However, this is NOT a substitute for flossing or brushing.

5. Healthy you, healthy smile

Ready-to-eat foods are convenient and tasty, but perhaps not so much when it comes to your teeth and oral hygiene. Eating fresh, crunchy produce that contains healthy fiber, such as apples and celery, is a better choice when it comes to snacking.

Be sure to incorporate these 5 healthy habits into your daily routine to ensure optimal oral health! Give us a call at Santa Clarita Endodontix Office Phone Number 661-251-4800 to learn more about how you can improve your oral hygiene and the benefits that come with it.

3 Reasons to Have a Root Canal

reasons to have a root canal

Many people consider root canals as a last resort when dealing with tooth sensitivity of any kind. Why so? It’s important to remember that root canals do not cause pain; they relieve it. Thus, we compiled a short list of reasons as to why a root canal is just what you need to alleviate your pain, while still preserving your natural teeth!

1. Deep Decay: When you develop deep decay in your tooth, it’s time for a root canal! Unfortunately, it is difficult to identify a minor decay in the tooth, therefore they usually lead to a deeper one, increasing the pain, sensitivity, and possible infection. When the enamel and the pulp of the tooth is damaged, the best way to prevent any further discomfort is a root canal!

2. Cracked/Chipped Tooth: Cracks and chipped teeth can result from a variety of stresses, ranging anywhere from grinding, chewing or clenching. Depending on the severity of the crack in the tooth, a root canal may be the only procedure that will repair the damage, while still preserving the natural tooth.

3. Multiple Procedures on The Tooth: If there are multiple procedures done on a tooth, it increases the chance of needing a root canal. In other words, it is best to preserve the enamel and deep root of your tooth by opting for a root canal first, rather than risking the health of your natural tooth by having a variety of other procedures performed on it.

As always, if you have any questions or are curious to know whether or not a root canal is the right fit for you, please give us a call at Santa Clarita Endodontix Office Phone Number 661-251-4800 today!