Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association involving treatment of the pulp (root canal) and surrounding tissues of the tooth. When you look at your tooth in the mirror, what you see is the crown. The rest of the tooth, the portion hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root. Though the outer portion of the root is a hard tissue called dentin, the inside channel or “root canal” contains a pulp of soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves. Bacteria that are introduced into the pulp as a result of tooth decay, periodontal disease, tooth fracture or other problems, can severely damage the pulp. When that happens, an endodontic specialist removes the diseased pulp to save the tooth and prevent further infection and inflammation. After successful endodontic treatment, the tooth continues to perform normally.
In addition to digital radiography, we utilize special operating microscopes. Magnification and illumination are helpful in aiding the doctor to see tiny details inside your tooth. Also, camera on the microscope can record images of your tooth to further document the doctor’s findings.
Cone Beam CT 3-dimentional imaging:
This new technology allows complete 3D visualization of the teeth and bone with ultra low radiation exposure. A typical limited field view is about the same exposure as 3 small digital dental x-rays. While not used in every case; when it is needed it can provide unmatched diagnostic information. This allows us to make the most accurate treatment planning decisions before we ever start working on your tooth.
Most of our patients comment on how their experience was much better than they ever imagined. You may not believe it but many of our patients actually fall asleep during their root canal treatment. At Modern Endo of Napa we will take every measure to ensure that your procedure is comfortable. If treatment is needed, we will first place a topical numbing gel in the area. We will then inject a small amount of anesthesia to gently numb a concentrated area of your mouth. For most patients, the feeling of numbness usually subsides after 2-3 hours. If you typically experience a high level of anxiety during dental treatment please inquire about additional anesthesia options for anxiety.
Yes, our number one priority is for you to have a lasting, functional tooth after our care. For most root canal treatments, we recommend that patients return to the office 1 year after the procedure was finished. Our office will send a reminder notice to you when you are due for a recall appointment. In the meantime, it is of the utmost importance that you see your dentist to have the tooth permanently restored 2-3 weeks after treatment is completed in our office unless you have been given other instructions at the time of your treatment.
No. While x-rays will be necessary during your endodontics treatment, we use an advanced non-film computerized system, called digital radiography, that produces radiation levels up to 90 percent lower than those of already low dose conventional dental x-ray machinery. These digital images can be optimized, archived, printed and sent to your dentist via e-mail or secure website that is HIPPA compliant.
Again, there’s no need for concern. We adhere to the most rigorous standards of infection control advocated by OSHA, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association. We utilize the newest technology of autoclave sterilization and barrier techniques to eliminate any risk of infection.
You should not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist. The unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture, so you should see your dentist for a full restoration as soon as possible. Otherwise, you need only practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and regular checkups and cleanings.
Most endodontically treated teeth last as long as other natural teeth. In a few cases, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment does not heal or the pain continues. Occasionally, the tooth may become painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment. Often when this occurs, redoing the endodontic procedure (retreatment) can save the tooth.
Yes. This is a very frequently asked question. For the procedure, you will be given local anesthetic, similar to what you would experience with any other type of dental procedure, such as a crown or filling. We do have nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation, available for your comfort, for an additional fee. If this is an option you are interested in, please feel free to let us know when you make your appointment.
Most patients will experience mild soreness, particularly to biting or chewing, for a few days. Everyone's rate of healing is different; some patients have discomfort for one day, some for a week. However, if you experience anything beyond mild discomfort, or if you develop any facial swelling, please call the office.
We recommend that you take a combination of an anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) along with acetaminophen (Tylenol) following your procedure. If you cannot take ibuprofen, then acetaminophen (Tylenol) alone would be the next best thing. In certain instances, Dr. Tigrett will prescribe you an antibiotic, and/or possibly an additional medication for pain. All instructions regarding medication will be thoroughly reviewed with you before you leave, and you will also be given written instructions.
Yes! In fact many of our patients ask for the first appointment in the morning, or even come on their lunch break. The area of your mouth that is worked on will be numb for a few hours following your procedure, but it should not interfere at all with your day-to-day activities.
You can and should eat, but slowly and with caution, chewing on the opposite side of the treated tooth. Your mouth will be partially numb, so care should be taken to not bite your cheek, tongue or lip. Most patients are comfortable eating something soft. It is a good idea to have food in your stomach before taking medication, so if you are not planning on eating afterwards, be sure and have breakfast or lunch beforehand.
Yes, if you don’t elect oral conscious sedation. You will not be sedated for your appointment. Local anesthetic will be administered, similar to how you would feel for a typical dental visit such as a crown or filling.
If you elect for oral conscious sedation, you may not drive and will need to have a companion to drive you to and from the appointment and stay with you until the sedative(s) wear off.
When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your dentist. Unless instructed otherwise, you should contact your dentist’s office for a crown or other final restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to assist you.
We recommend that you call your restorative dentist as soon as possible to make your follow-up appointment. Dentists' schedules tend to book quickly. It is recommended that you have your permanent restoration placed 2-3 weeks after your root canal treatment to allow healing to take place, but not longer than one month after the procedure. This step is imperative for the long-term prognosis of your tooth.
The temporary filling placed in the biting surface of your tooth is designed to last ideally two to four weeks, not longer than six to eight weeks. It is crucial to see your general dentist for a permanent restoration. Waiting longer than eight weeks can cause your temporary filling to leak, thus contaminating your newly completed root canal therapy.
New trauma, deep decay, or a loose, cracked, or broken filling can cause new infection in your tooth. In some cases, the endodontist may discover additional very narrow or curved canals that could not be treated during the initial procedure.
Most teeth can be treated. Occasionally, a tooth can’t be saved because the root canals are not accessible, the root is severely fractured, the tooth doesn’t have adequate bone support, or the tooth cannot be restored. However, advances in endodontics are making it possible to save teeth that even a few years ago would have been lost. When non-surgical endodontic treatment is not effective, endodontic surgery may be able to save the tooth (see Apicoectonomy Surgical Retreatment).
Your dentist or endodontist is suggesting endodontic surgery because he or she believes it is the best option for saving your own natural tooth. Of course, there are no guarantees with any surgical procedure. Your endodontist will discuss your chances for success so that you can make an informed decision.
Often, the only alternative to endodontic surgery is extraction of the tooth. The extracted tooth must then be replaced with an implant, bridge, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and to prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. Because these alternatives require surgery or dental procedures on adjacent healthy teeth, endodontic surgery is usually the most biologic and cost-effective option for maintaining your oral health.
No matter how effective modern artificial tooth replacements are—and they can be very effective—nothing is as good as a natural tooth. You’ve already made an investment in saving your tooth. The pay-off for choosing endodontic surgery could be a healthy, functioning natural tooth for the rest of your life.
We are committed to providing you the best possible experience with an open dialogue of fees prior to your endodontic care. For your convenience, we accept payment from most dental insurance companies. Payment plan options are available through Care Credit. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover as well as cash or check. Please see our Office Policy Page to learn more.
We understand that for many of our patients the words “Root Canal” bring anxiety and fear of coming in for treatment. Many patients will even ignore pain and needed treatment due to dental phobia. Don’t let past experiences or fear of the unknown keep you from receiving the dental care you need.
Modern Endo of Napa can offer you sedation methods that will reduce your anxiety and help you relax during your treatment. The treatment will be uniquely tailored to your needs and all options for sedation will be explained to you prior to your treatment appointment. Don’t let fear and anxiety control your dental health.
Endodontists are dentists who specialized in maintaining natural teeth through procedures called endodontic therapy, or root canal therapy, that involve the soft inner tissue of the teeth. In addition to 4 years of dental school, endodontists go through two or more years of advanced residency training, studying root canal techniques and procedures in greater depth offering you the best possible care in endodontic treatments. All dentists are trained in endodontic therapy while in dental school, however some teeth can be very difficult to treat and diagnose. The advanced training endodontists receive makes them especially adept at diagnosing tooth pain and treating the most difficult cases. Their offices are often equipped with the most advanced technology specialized for endodontic treatment.
Ryan Tigrett D.D.S. Diplomate, American Board of Endodontics
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3448 Villa Lane
Napa, CA 94558
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We are open five days a week. Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
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