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Root Canal Miami

Moderna Smile performs root canal treatments in Miami. Call today for information on root canals and porcelain crown placements.

Getting Root Canal Therapy in Miami: What to Expect

When a dentist says that you will need a root canal treatment, your first thought will likely be that you’re in for a painful procedure. But, in reality, root canal treatments are all about finding relief from pain and saving a tooth from the disease.

At Moderna Dental, we perform root canal treatments for Miami patients that are looking to save a tooth ravaged by decay or one that has suffered dental trauma

What’s Involved with Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy (or “root canal treatment”) is often erroneously referred to as simply a “root canal.” But, “root canal” is actually a term that refers to a specific part of a tooth’s anatomy. The part of the tooth known as the root canal includes several parts of the tooth, including the pulp chamber, nerves, and blood vessels. When a root canal therapy is performed, these decayed tissues are removed and replaced with a dental filler. In most cases, a dental restoration is also recommended. (A root canal treatment without a restoration placed is known as a pulpectomy.)

Signs You May Need Root Canal Therapy

Only through an evaluation with a dentist or endodontist will you know for sure whether root canal therapy is necessary. That being said, there are some signs you should look out for that may indicate an inner tooth infection (pulpitis).

Schedule a visit with your dentist if you notice:

  •  Significant pain when biting or chewing food
  • Gums appear to be darker or have pimples
  • Cracked or chipped tooth
  • Tooth is more sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks
  • Gum tenderness or swelling

There are actually two forms of infections involving the pulp chamber of the tooth: reversible and irreversible pulpitis. In reversible pulpitis, the dentist can usually treat the tooth without the need for a full root canal treatment. With irreversible pulpitis, the only treatment that will bring the infection under control is root canal treatment.

Are Root Canal Treatments Painful?

By the time a patient needs a root canal treatment (endodontic treatment) performed, they are most likely experiencing a good deal of pain and/or discomfort. Root canal treatments are meant to stop the pain caused by excessive pressure against the nerves of the inner.

What is it Like to Get a Root Canal Treatment?

Before a root canal treatment is recommended, the dentists will listen to your symptoms and ask questions. An X-ray or CT scan may be performed to give the physicians an idea of the condition of your teeth and jawbone.

If the dentist determines that you will need endodontic therapy, they may schedule you for a follow-up visit or you may begin therapy on the same visit as your consultation.

The Procedure

There are multiple steps to a root canal treatment. Depending on your treatment path, your own experience may vary compared to the descriptions listed below.

Local anesthetic. Prior to any drilling, a local anesthetic is injected into nearby tissue. This will numb the nerves and you should experience some mild discomfort during the procedure.

Dental dam. The dentist will prepare a dental dam around the tooth. This is done to keep the pulp chamber clean during the treatment.

Drilling. This is the part that most patients fear: the drilling. But, in reality, the nerves of the tooth should have little feeling once the anesthesia takes effect. The dentist begins by drilling a small pilot hole to access the pulp chamber. This can be widened if needed.

The infected tissue is removed. The dentist will use specialized tools to clean out the infected pulp tissue of the tooth. Using these tools, the dentist can actually reach down into the tooth root to remove any decayed tissue.

Cleaning and preparing the inner chamber. To prepare the tooth for the filling, the dentist (or endodontist) will sterilize and sculpt the tooth canal.

Filling the tooth. After the decayed tissue of the pulp has been removed and the chamber has been prepared, the dentist will fill the void using a thermoplastic known as gutta-percha, which is actually a type of latex harvested from a tree in Malaysia. Since gutta-percha is a simple hydrocarbon latex, it is biocompatible with the tissues of the tooth. Dental cement is then used to seal off the canal, protecting it from reinfection.

The restoration. Most dentists and endodontists recommend that a crown be placed following root canal therapy. A crown gives the tooth some added strength while also serving as a protective barrier from bacteria. If you elect to have a crown placed, you will most likely leave your root canal treatment session with a temporary filling. On your follow-up appointment, a restoration will be completed on the tooth. This may involve a dental crown or some other kind of restoration.

What’s the Recovery Process Like?

Since only a local anesthetic is used, a designated driver is not necessary. The first thing you will notice following the procedure is that there will be some lingering numbness. Therefore, you should wait to eat until all the feeling has returned to your tongue and mouth. This is to help protect against accidentally biting the tongue.

You may notice some inflammation around the tooth for the next few days. An over-the-counter NSAID such as Aspirin or Motrin® may be used to counter any residual pain or discomfort.

Avoid Hard, Chewy Foods
It’s important to remember that until you have a restoration performed, the tooth will not be as strong as it once was. Therefore, try to chew only on the side of the mouth opposite of where your tooth canal was performed.

How Much Does a Root Canal Treatment Cost?

There are many factors that will influence the cost of a root canal treatment. Most dental insurance plans cover a large percentage of treatment costs, which will reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. Root canal treatments are seen as a less-expensive alternative to extracting a tooth and replacing it with a bridge or dental implant.

Is there an Alternative to Root Canal Therapy?

Yes and no. While you could extract the tooth and replace it with a bridge or implant, the one thing you shouldn’t do is ignore the situation altogether and hope that it heals on its own. When pulpitis goes untreated, it can turn into an abscess which can put your whole health and life at risk. Therefore, it’s best to trust the expertise of your doctor and follow through with the recommended course of treatment — it might just save your life!

Are Pulpotomies, Pulpectomies, and Root Canals the Same?

To many patients, the words used to describe a pulpotomy, pulpectomy, and “root canal” all sound the same. But, in fact, there are some major differences that set these procedures apart from one another.

Pulpotomy. When a pulpotomy is ordered, it means that the pulp of the crown will need to be removed due to infection, but the canal pulp is still healthy and will be left intact.

Pulpectomy. You could say that all root canal treatments start with a pulpectomy, that is, the removal of all the pulp and nerves within the tooth. Pulpectomies are essentially root canal treatments that don’t progress to the restoration phase.

Root canal therapy. The difference that sets root canal therapy apart from a pulpectomy is that root canal therapy also includes some type of dental restoration. This could be in the form of a permanent filling, crown, or some other type of dental restoration.

What are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns, or “caps,” are used to restore the function and appearance of a tooth that has become fractured, chipped, decayed, or undergone a root canal procedure. In years past, only gold and porcelain veneers were available. Nowadays, dental crowns come in a vast assortment of durable, lifelike materials. These include options such as lithium disilicate, ceramic glass, and yttria-stabilized zirconia.

To bring dental crowns to Miami, Moderna Dental offers crown placements as part of our comprehensive Moderna Smile Makeover. Contact us today to schedule a dental crown consultation.

Why are Dental Crowns Used?

Dental crowns are used to treat a range of conditions that threaten the health, stability, and appearance of a tooth. Your dentist may recommend a dental crown under one of the following scenarios:

  • You have a cavity that cannot be treated with only a filling
  • You have a tooth that is worn down and missing enamel
  • You have an advanced stage of tooth decay and the tooth is weakened
  • You’ve undergone root canal therapy and need a crown to stabilize the tooth
  • You have a tooth that is fractured or cracked
  • You wish to cosmetically enhance a tooth that is diminishing your smile

What’s a Dental Crown Procedure Like?

Prior to starting the process, the dentist will likely order X-rays or a CT scan. The dentist uses information from these scans to gain a better understanding of your general oral health and determine if there are any issues below the surface that could complicate your dental crown procedure.

Preparing the tooth. Before a crown can be placed, the tooth will need to be prepared. The process involves having a portion of the tooth enamel shaved in a process known as enameloplasty or odontoplasty. The purpose of this is to slightly reduce the thickness of the tooth so a crown can be placed on top without interfering with neighboring teeth.

Impressions. Once the tooth has been prepared, the dental staff creates an impression of the tooth and the surrounding teeth. This impression is sent to a dental fabrication lab that will then craft the crown in the desired material. Depending on the type of process used, you may leave your first appointment with a temporary crown.

Fitting and placement. If you have a temporary crown, the dentist will schedule a follow-up appointment to swap the temporary for a permanent crown. Before cementing the permanent dental crown in place, the dentist will place it on the prepared tooth to check its fit and appearance. This step is important; a poor-fitting dental crown can significantly reduce its lifespan. If the dentist finds the crown to be free of flaws and you approve its fit and appearance, the dentist will then cement the crown into place.

What is the Cost of a Dental Crown?

Like other types of dental restorations, it can be difficult to estimate the cost of dental crowns. For one, the cost can vary based on the materials selected. Secondly, practitioners sometimes charge a premium for their expertise. As a ballpark figure, you can expect to pay somewhere in the range of $1,100 to $3,700 for a dental crown.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

Most information you will find on the web will quote a 5 to 15-year lifespan for dental crowns. But it should be noted that lower quality dental crowns are responsible for this low averages. When quality materials are used by an experienced practitioner and the patient takes the necessary precautions to extend the life of the crown, dental crowns can last upwards of 30 years.

Dental Crown Aftercare

Following your appointment to have your dental crown placed, you will receive information and advice on how to maintain your dental restoration. Some sensitivity should be expected the days and weeks following your crown placement. This is due to some natural tooth material (enamel, dentin, etc.) being removed, which means the nerves are now closer to the surface of the tooth. In time, this increased sensitivity will subside.

Caring for your dental crown. It’s important to note that while dental crowns are not subject to cavities in the traditional sense, the gums around the crown do require proper oral health care. Keeping gums healthy is also cosmetically important as a receding gum line can reveal the crown margin, which will require crown lengthening later on.

Be sure to brush twice a day and floss using traditional floss or interdental cleaners. Depending on the type of restoration, you may want to avoid pulling floss away from the gums when flossing between teeth as this could potentially loosen or dislodge the dental crown. Instead, draw the floss through the teeth when you are moving onto the other side of the tooth.

Things to avoid. While some dental crowns are more resilient than others, there is no such thing as a fracture-proof dental crown. Your dentist may caution against the following:

  • Hard foods (ice, hard candies, granola, etc.)
  • Sticky foods (gum, taffy, caramel, etc.)
  • Tough foods (steak, French bread, biscotti, etc.)

If you experience bruxism (teeth grinding), this will factor into the type of dental crown material recommended to you. Depending on the type of material, many dentists will also caution against excessively hot or cold foods and drinks.

What are Dental Crowns Made Of?

If we asked you when the first dental crowns were invented, you would most likely be a few thousand years off. Archaeologists in the Philippines have uncovered 4,000-year-old skeletal remains that had dental crowns made of gold. Fortunately, dental crowns have made leaps and bounds over the past 50 years, yielding materials that are more durable and realistic than ever before.

Dental crowns are fabricated in a variety of materials. The most popular options include:

  • eMax (lithium disilicate)
  • Empress® (ceramic glass)
  • Zirconia (zirconium dioxide)
  • Monolithic zirconia (yttria-stabilized zirconia)
  • Porcelain

The dentist will most likely recommend a type of crown that fits your esthetic and oral health goals. The location of where the crown will be placed is also an important consideration. A crown placed on a molar requires more durability than, say, one being placed on an incisor.

How Much Tooth Enamel is Removed to Place a Crown?

Different types of crown materials require different amounts of tooth enamel to be removed. Each crown type requires a certain amount of enamel to be removed. This is done to ensure the placement is strong and stable. On average, 65-75% of the tooth enamel is removed. This sounds like a lot, but it’s important to remember that tooth enamel, on average, only 2.5 mm thick.

Is it Painful to Have a Dental Crown Placed?

Having a dental crown placed comes with about as much discomfort as having a dental filling performed. To help with any pain or discomfort, the dentist may apply a local anesthetic and/or offer conscious sedation.

How Many Visits are Needed for Crown Placement?

While there are same-day, single-appointment crown options, most crowns require two or three appointments. During the first appointment, the dentist prepares a tooth and takes impressions. On the follow-up visit (typically several weeks later), the permanent crown is then placed.

How Do Same-Day Dental Crowns Work?

Dentists are able to offer same-day crowns by using the latest technologies to replace two time-consuming steps: taking impressions and fabricating the crown. Instead of taking impressions (in the traditional sense) and then sending these to a lab to fabricate the crown, 3D-imaging technology is used to create a highly accurate digital scan of the teeth. These 3D scans are then sent to a computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) device that will then create a crown in the patient’s chosen material. Using this method, a dentist can create and place a crown all in one visit.

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