Root Canal Therapy Procedure

Root Canal Therapy Procedure - 4th Street Family Dentistry

Root Canal Therapy Procedure

For many people, the term root canal is scary. Plenty of folks believe that the treatment is extremely invasive and painful, but that is far from the truth. As we all know, most dental procedures are preventive, designed to treat issues and prevent them from becoming more severe down the road. Similarly, root canal therapy is known as one of the best and most effective dental treatments out there.

Root canal therapy is endodontic, meaning it treats the inside of the tooth. To get a good idea of what root canal therapy is, you’ll first have to get a better understanding of a tooth’s inner workings. With a good defense, however, you may never have to know what a root canal is. This includes practicing a consistent and thorough oral hygiene routine and visiting 4th Street Family Dentistry every six months to prevent any dental issues from progressing and becoming severe.

What is a Root Canal?

The teeth are made of three layers; enamel, the outermost protective layer, dentin, a hard layer below it, and soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp, which is located right in the middle of the tooth, contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. It extends from the crown of the tooth down to the tip of the roots inside the root canal.

It connects the nerves and blood vessels in the tooth to the ones in the jaw right below the tip of the tooth root. The pulp is crucial during the developmental stages as it aids in the tooth’s growth and development and supplies nutrients needed to sustain its growth. Once the tooth is fully mature, however, it can easily survive without the pulp. Root canal therapy essentially removes pulp that has been infected from the root canal. This saves the tooth and surrounding teeth from further degradation. But how does the pulp become infected?

It can happen in two ways, deep tooth decay or a fracture that creates an opening for bacteria to enter the pulp. All the best dentists in St. Petersburg, FL, recommend brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing for a good reason. If you don’t, bacteria in the mouth will feed on food debris and form plaque. 

Plaque is acidic, and it strips the enamel of minerals, resulting in tiny holes or openings. The cavities will eat into the enamel and dentin if they aren’t treated. Over time, the bacteria enters the pulp causing an infection. If you have dental decay, contact a St. Pete dentist near you to prevent it from progressing to something more severe like dental decay.

Root Canal Treatment Procedure

Once bacteria have breached the pulp and it becomes inflamed, an emergency root canal therapy in St. Petersburg becomes a necessity. If you don’t seek treatment from a dentist in St. Pete soon enough, the infection can spread to the surrounding nerves, bones, and other teeth. Root canal therapy removes the infected pulp from the root canal and fills the space with a rubbery filling material.

The treatment usually consists of two steps, the root canal therapy itself and other dental procedures to restore the function of the tooth. First, your St. Petersburg, FL dentist, Dr. Leeson will take an x-ray of the tooth to see the shape of the root canals and to determine if the surrounding bone shows any sign of infection. A local anesthetic will be applied to numb the area around the tooth and to make you more relaxed and at ease during the procedure.

Your dentist will then place a rubber sheet around the tooth to keep the area free from saliva and to prevent the bacteria in your mouth from entering the tooth. Once this is done, the dentist will drill a small access hole into the tooth using a dental drill. The pulp, along with the decayed nerve tissue, is removed from the root canal. A series of root canal files of increasing diameter will be inserted into the access hole and used to scrape and scrub the sides of the root canals while water or sodium hypochlorite is used for flushing away the debris.

Post Treatment

Some dentists in St. Petersburg prefer to wait a week before sealing the root canal, especially if the pulp was infected. In that case, they may put medication inside the root canal to clear up the infection before sealing it. In the meantime, a temporary filling is placed to keep out contaminants like saliva and food. Once the infection is cleared, the now hollow root canal is sealed with a soft, rubbery material.

Depending on your smile, you may have to undergo further dental treatments to restore 100% functionality. Our friend Dr. Ben Kacos, an endodontist in Shreveport, LA, says most dentists recommend a buildup to fill the hole in the middle where the access is made and a crown to protect the exterior of the tooth. You may experience some pain and discomfort for 3-4 days after the treatment, which is completely normal. If over the counter pain relievers do not work and you are in pain for five or more days after the root canal therapy, contact your emergency dentist in St. Pete immediately. 

Root canal therapy is a treatment designed to save the tooth, the surrounding teeth, and bone and to restore functionality. If you are suffering from deep tooth decay or had an injury to the teeth and are looking for a dentist for treatment, we’ve got your back. Contact 4th Street Family Dentistry for a consultation today.

Celebrating Dental Hygiene Month

national dental hygiene month - 4th Street Family Dentistry

Celebrating Dental Hygiene Month

All month long, 4th Street Family Dentistry will be celebrating Dental Hygiene Month! Our team has put together a few dental hygiene tips for maintaining a healthy smile at home. If you’re looking for a family dentist in St. Pete, FL, or need dental services, you can always trust 4th Street Family Dentistry.

Brush 2x a Day

It’s important to brush a minimum of two times a day. If you can, brush after each meal. Your toothbrush should have soft bristles and be big enough to brush one to two at a time. We recommend using an ADA approved toothpaste. When brushing, focus on the inner, outer areas of your teeth and tongue. If you’re having trouble brushing for the full two minutes, sing the ABC’s three times! Also, Dr. Leeson recommends that patients change their toothbrush every 3-4 months. 

Floss Daily

Brushing your teeth alone will not remove all the debris and plaque that collect between your teeth. That’s why it’s just as important to floss as it is to brush your teeth.

How to Floss Properly: 

  • Use about 18 inches of dental floss and wrap it around two fingers, leaving about 1-2 inches of floss.
  • Holding the floss with your thumb and index finger, you will insert the floss between two teeth.
  • Gently move the floss up and down, rubbing it against each tooth (avoid hitting your gums).
  • Once you’ve reached your gum line, curve the floss, and move it back and forth between one of the teeth.
  • Move the floss to the next set of teeth, repeat the steps above.

Rinse With Mouthwash 

Mouthwash can help put a stop to plaque, gingivitis, bad breath, and tooth decay! There are plenty of mouthwashes to choose from. Choose a mouthwash that will help you meet your oral health goals. Dr. Chris Green, a dentist in Parker, CO, points out that not all mouthwashes are used the same. So, make sure you read the directions carefully.

We recommend using a mouthwash that is ADA approved—rinsing before or after brushing/flossing depends on the product.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Did you know there are benefits of chewing sugar-free gum after a meal?

Benefits of Chewing Sugar-Free Gum

  • It helps increase saliva, which washes away harmful bacteria & relieves dry mouth.
  • Helps dislodge food stuck in your teeth, preventing plaque buildup.

Connection Between Oral Health and Body

Many studies show a link between gum disease and other diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, and more. Additionally, those with high blood sugar are more at risk of developing gum disease. Those with diabetes are highly encouraged to visit their dentist for regular cleanings. As you can see, it’s very important to take care of your oral health. It’s not too late to make a change today.

Why We Celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month

At 4th Street Family Dentistry, we like to celebrate smiles. National Dental Hygiene Month is the perfect way to honor our community and staff members. It also helps us to take our oral health into our own hands. Set a good example for you and your little ones by following the tips above. If you have any questions about your oral health or would like to set up an appointment, please contact 4th Street Family Dentistry today.

The Benefits of Dentures

benefits of dentures - St. Petersburg Fl

The Benefits of Dentures

Right from your childhood, your teeth play a crucial role in both your physical and social development. A strong, healthy set of teeth allows you to chew and eat properly. Similarly, a beautiful, aesthetic smile can help you conquer the world with confidence. However, teeth don’t always last a lifetime. So, you may find yourself considering tooth replacement options down the road.

Dentures are among the top teeth replacement options for people who’ve lost two or more teeth. Every dentist in St. Petersburg would advise you to have a missing tooth replaced as soon as possible. Not only will it restore both the aesthetic and functional roles of your teeth, but it will also save you from experiencing more severe dental issues.

Types of Dentures Your Dentist May Recommend

  • Full dentures – Are used when the patient has lost all of the teeth. They consist of a removable lower and upper arch with a row of porcelain or acrylic made teeth. 
  • Partial dentures – Can be used to replace either the lower or upper arch of teeth. They work better for people who haven’t lost all of their teeth.
  • Implant-supported dentures – These dentures are often used with patients who have only lost some of their teeth. A thin metal bar with posts attached to it is implanted onto your jawbone, right under your gums. Once your gums heal, a denture is clipped onto the posts.

Best Benefits of Dentures

If you are missing two or more teeth, you may be a suitable candidate for dentures, so contact 4th Street Family Dentistry today for a consultation. It may be the first step between you and a strong, healthy set of teeth.   

They Prevent Bone Loss

When your natural teeth are firmly implanted in your jaw, they constantly stimulate the jawbone, keeping it in a state of perpetual regeneration at a cellular level. When teeth are lost and aren’t replaced, the jawbone doesn’t receive stimulation, and as time passes, the process of constant regeneration will stop and reverse, resulting in bone loss. Over time, more and more of your jawbone will be lost, eventually resulting in changes in your face’s shape.

Restores the Function of the Teeth

Although teeth serve an aesthetic purpose, their greatest role is functional. They enable you to bite and chew your food. This ability is compromised once you have gaps in your teeth. All types of dentures are designed to look and work like the real thing, and once they are installed, you’ll be able to eat your food with ease. 

They Improve Your Speech

When you speak, your tongue pushes against the back of the teeth to help you make the right sounds and speak properly. If you have one or more missing teeth, you may find it hard to pronounce certain words, leading to self-consciousness and difficulty speaking with others. With dentures, your tongue will have an adequate surface to push against, allowing you to speak clearly and confidently.

They Restore Your Appearance and Give You Confidence

A clean, bright smile is a major confidence booster. Additionally, your teeth prevent your lips and cheeks from collapsing inwards. With gaps in your teeth, you may feel self-conscious. Dr. Kristina Neda, a dentist in Georgetown, KY, says that most of her patients opt for dentures because of how great the transformation is.

You Will Have Fewer Diet Restrictions with Dentures

If you are missing most or all of your teeth, the number of foods you can comfortably eat is severely limited. Not only will this impact the quality of life you lead, but it may also affect your health if you aren’t getting enough nutrients. With dentures, the range of food you can comfortably bite and chew. So, you’ll be able to eat a diverse, healthy, and balanced diet without much pain or frustration.

Dentures Protect Your Remaining Teeth from Extensive Wear and Tear

If you still haven’t lost all of your teeth but do not undergo restorative dentistry, your remaining teeth will take on way too much stress. Dr. Chris Green, a cosmetic dentist in Parker, CO, says that handling a load that was meant for 32 teeth will cause your remaining teeth to wear down faster over time. With a well-fitted set of dentures, the load will be spread evenly among your teeth, sparing your teeth from too much wear and tear and extending their lifetimes.

As you can see, there are so many benefits of dentures! If you have lost all or most of your teeth, dentures may be the best solution for you. Statistics show that at least 48 million Americans are missing all of their teeth, so you’re not alone. Search “St. Pete dentist near me” to see whether dentures can work for you. They are great at restoring tooth aesthetics and functionality, and they will ultimately prevent bone loss and preserve the structure of your face. Contact 4th Street Family Dental today for a consultation.