What Los Angeles CA patients need to know about root canal therapy
By Downtown Dental
At Downtown Dental in Los Angeles, CA, we provide high-quality dental care and services. This includes root canals, which is a common procedure that is often feared. Root canals are known as being a painful procedure when in reality, they are a very safe and effective way to save a severely damaged tooth. In the following article, we will explain root canals and their value when performed by trained professionals like those at Downtown Dental.
What is root canal therapy?
When explaining root canal therapy and its importance, it’s a good idea to understand the basic anatomy of a tooth. While teeth appear to be a single, solid object, they are actually made up of several intricate layers.
Enamel – The enamel is the visible, outermost layer of the tooth. Enamel is a hard, durable substance that is highly resistant to wear and tear. The enamel serves as the “protective” layer of the tooth.
Dentin – Underneath the enamel lies the dentin, a more porous, tissue-like material.
Pulp Chamber – Inside the middle of the tooth is the pulp chamber which houses a mixture of soft tissues including the nerves and blood vessels. Connected to the pulp chamber is the root canals that extend out to the bone.
When the pulp chamber of the tooth becomes infected or injured, root canal therapy is often the only way to save the damaged tooth and prevent the need for extraction.
How dental pulp becomes infected or injured
The pulp chamber of the tooth is very fragile, which is why in a healthy tooth it is well protected by the dentin and enamel layers. When a tooth becomes compromised the pulp can be damaged or infected. Some of the most common reasons for this occurrence include:
Decay / Cavities – There are several things that can lead to cavities or decay. Consuming acidic or sugary foods and beverages and frequent snacking without proper oral hygiene can lead to cavities. Small cavities are generally easy to correct, however when they aren’t treated, they can continue to get larger and begin to affect the deeper layers of the tooth. Because the pulp chamber is much softer than the dentin or enamel layers, it erodes quicker. Once a cavity reaches that inner pulp and exposes it to harmful bacteria, the chances of infection rise quickly.
Injuries – Everything from tiny fractures to broken teeth can lead to problems in the pulp chamber. A tooth that has broken due to trauma can leave the inner layers exposed and the nerves susceptible to injury and infection. Even teeth that have experienced micro-fractures are at risk of pulp injury. These microfractures are often caused by bruxism or oral trauma and can create a pathway for bacteria to reach the pulp.
Gum Disease – Infections of the gum tissue can lead to pockets between the teeth and gums. If these pockets aren’t treated, the gum can recede far enough to expose the root and leave it susceptible to plaque build up and infection.
Because the pulp layer is hidden deep within the tooth, it requires a trained dentist with diagnostic devices to identify injured or infected pulp. Still, there are signs and symptoms you can watch out for that may indicate you need root canal therapy.
Pain – The number one sign of infection or injury to the pulp chamber is the pain. Some people experience constant, throbbing pain while others may experience intermittent, sharp bursts of pain. Furthermore, some patients only experience pain during movement, such as when they stand up quickly or perform high impact exercises.
Sores – If you notice pus pockets or mouth sores that don’t heal, this could be a sign of infection.
Radiating pain – In addition to tooth pain, abscesses caused by infection can cause radiating pain out to the jaw, cheek, or neck.
The importance of root canal therapy
Root canal therapy addresses injured or infected pulp so that the tooth does not need to be extracted. Similar to a filling, a small opening is created in the crown of the tooth to access the pulp chambers and root canals. The dentist will remove any diseased pulp since it is in the process of dying and will then sterilize the area. The procedure is completed by filling the area to prevent reinfection and placing a dental crown over the tooth to strengthen and protect the weakened tooth.
To learn more about root canal therapy in Los Angeles, Call Downtown Dental at (213) 863-9464.
"I am a legit Patient at this practice. The Doctor is amazing - educated, skilled and patient. Allison, my Dental Hygienist, is really friendly, knowledgeable and proactive about her patients' oral health. In my experience, the office staff at Downtown Dental is always professional, friendly, and thoughtful about my time. Plus, they offer reasonable financing! If you're honest about your budget (for people like me who don't have dental insurance), they can often work with you to stay within budget. I also learned that they use the best equipment in their field and staff gets training often on new dental techniques. If you are someone who works, resides or likes to visit Downtown - this is an especially excellent place to see the dentist periodically.
Downtown Dental is a fantastic Dental practice in the heart of the city. They are located near LA's Cultural hub of museums, concert halls and the like (The Broad, MOCA + more ). But don't let all that (magic) discourage you from making your appointment, because traffic is usually very smooth on Grand and getting in and out of their secure and validated parking lot (in their building) is a breeze. They also have 2 e-car charging stations if that's how you roll. If you work in DTLA, like many, you can even get a lunchtime cleaning!
Sidebar: The office is located inside a gorgeous apartment building, full of high end furnishings, accentuated with stunning street art. You may have even passed by & seen the Subway flags at street level- the dental office is right upstairs. It's worth a try, especially if you want great oral health, love art, culture and the city!"
Aug 1, 2016
"Still the best I've ever been to! The entire staff is more than knowledgeable & helpful!
Don't waste your time going to other places, this dentist & his team are your best bet!
They are courteous, flexible, and above all: PROFESSIONAL."
Sep 23, 2016
"What an amazing staff and dental team!!
I had four front crowns and 2 root canals done all in about 3 hours! It was pain free! Dr Mungcal was fast and I didn't feel a thing! People compliment my teeth all the time! ...Little do they know they're fake! Very grateful!!! I am in Invisalign now and love how it stopped me from clenching and grinding my teeth! My teeth and gums are healthy because of all the amazing dental work they have done and continue to do!! Oh ...And they offered nitrous which made the whole experience awesome! Go here if you want dental work done right!!"
Sep 28, 2016
"Downtown dental made my cavity experience as painless as possible, and the technology they use is so up to date and accurate.
The staff are also very friendly and know the best habits for having a healthy mouth.
So glad I started going here!"
Sep 27, 2016
"Absolutely the best dental office! In all reality I used to hate going to the dentist I would cancel my appointments at my old Drs office all the time !! But the Hygienists and the staff in general are so welcoming and make you wanna keep coming back. They are always ready to deliver and Allison did an amazing job on my teeth cleaning thank you for that"
Sep 23, 2016
"This review is long overdue. I've been a patient at downtown dental since 2005 and have had nothing but positive experiences. I've had quite a bit of dental work and when I had a cracked crown recently, they scheduled me the next day and replaced it at no charge. They would have scheduled me that day but sadly, I'm no longer a patient as I've moved to NorCal. I felt like they really went out of the way to accommodate me and I appreciate that! Thanks guys!!"
Sep 23, 2016
"Great practice, the doctors and assistants are very professional, helpful and pleasant. They make dental appointments almost enjoyable...not something I thought possible!
Katie the hygienist is not only gentle, professional and very professional but also inspiring. She makes you want to have the best gums in Los Angeles.
Thank you guys!"
Sep 16, 2016
"The team at Downtown Dental are the best! They have done both an implant and Invisalign for me. They keep me informed about all the steps and always get me in and out quickly! I love that they can do everything right in their own offices too."
Sep 18, 2016
"My story is: I chipped a took eating cereal! Who does that!?! (The cereal was crunchy I'll admit). I went to Downtown Dental and Dr. Mungcal evaluated my situation and realized my bite needed to be adjusted. I grind my teeth at night also so the combination of it all was wearing my teeth down. He recommended invisalign to align my bite. I was hesitant because it's pricey but...trust me...it was SO WORTH IT!!! 8 months later, my bite is fixed and aligned and my teeth are straighter which is a bonus! I am only 34 and I want to keep my teeth healthy and strong for a long time! Dr. Mungcal and the entire staff are amazing and took GREAT care of me. You can rest assured you will be taken care of by them!"
Sep 4, 2016
"Came to downtown dental with my husband for his first dental implant. He was very nervous on getting this procedure done.. From his experience he said the staff were super friendly made him feel very welcomed..the dentist made his procedure quick and painless my husband didn't even need his medication for the swelling or pain ... Highly recommend... We Will be coming here from now on for our dental needs."