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The Complete Guide to Root Canals
The Complete Guide to Root Canals

Dental anxiety is very common, especially if you are already in pain. And it doesn’t help when you think about the sounds of drilling that you associate with serious dental work. Have you ever been to the dentist and you get the bad news that you need a root canal? Perhaps it’s the name that scares people, or the guilty fear of what happens when we don’t take care of our teeth properly. Well, don’t fret. A root canal is one of the most well-practiced dental procedures, and your dentist will keep you pain free, and have you done in no time. Sometimes, just being more informed can ease your nerves.

What is a Root Canal?

Once your teeth are fully developed, the pulp is no longer needed inside your teeth. The pulp in your teeth is made up of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue to help your teeth grow. However, sometimes this pulp stays in your teeth for a long time, and can lead to a painful infection. If left untreated without a root canal, not only will pain persist, you can lose your tooth.

The root canal procedure takes around 30-90 minutes depending on the severity of the root canal and the person’s mouth. In some cases where pain and infection are present, your dentist may be able to prescribe antibiotics and pain medication. The procedure is done as follows:

  1.  A local anesthetic will be applied to the nerves that lead to the tooth
  2. A rubber suction will be placed around the tooth to keep the area clean during the treatment
  3. A small hole will be drilled into the tooth
  4. The infected pulp will be removed
  5. The root canal space is disinfected

6.     The endodontist will then fill the root canal space with a biocompatible material called Gutta Percha. The access cavity will be covered with a temporary material, and will be assessed for permanent restoration

You may be a candidate for a root canal if:

  •      You’re experiencing sensitive teeth for a prolonged period (hot and cold)
  •       Your gums and jaw are painful and swollen
  •      Your jaw and tooth hurts
  •      You have a fractured or cracked tooth

A root canal will not only relieve your pain, and in most cases the procedure itself is relatively painless. The procedure is not what it used to be, so if you have reservations make sure to talk to your dentist.

If you’re experiencing dental pain, or it’s just time to schedule your next checkup, call El Portal Dental Group at (209) 385-1479 to request an appointment, or request one online.


Veneers: a Facelift without Surgery
Veneers: a Facelift without Surgery

Your smile is one of your most important features, a defining trait that is often the first thing people notice about you. There is an old saying that goes, “You are never fully dressed without a smile.” This rings true, as a great smile can say a lot about someone.  From subtle changes to major repairs, your cosmetic dentist can perform a variety of procedures to improve your smile. There are many techniques and options available to treat teeth that are discolored, chipped, misshapen or missing. You ask, how much of a difference can a nice set of teeth really make? The answer ultimately depends on how you feel, but it is often a huge difference.

Veneers are known as the non-surgical facelift, as they can make someone look younger without going under the knife. Veneers can not only help improve your smile, but the overall look of your face. In other words, veneers can make you appear younger aesthetically.

Veneers are thin shells of ceramic (porcelain) material, which are bonded to the front of your teeth. This procedure requires little or no anesthesia, and can be the ideal choice for improving the appearance of the front teeth. Veneers are placed to mask discolorations, to brighten teeth and to improve your smile.

While many people consider porcelain veneers to hide stained, broken, chipped, or missing teeth, porcelain veneers are more than just brightening your smile. They provide a much more traditional approach to changing a tooth's color, size, or shape. Veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as teeth staining, and damage due to an injury. Generally, veneers will last for many years, and the technique has shown remarkable long-term results – for a beautiful smile that you have always desired.

Porcelain Veneers are becoming more popular, because of their accessibility, affordability, and the fact that they can change someone’s appearance for the better. If you would rather avoid surgery, porcelain veneers may be right for you. A dental exam will help determine if veneers are right for you, as well as if there are any underlying dental conditions that should be treated before veneers are applied.

To learn more about porcelain veneers and if you may be a candidate, call El Portal Dental Group at (209) 385-1479 to request an appointment.