Root Canals 101 With Dr. Rhonda Kalasho

Dr. Rhonda Kalasho is a graduate from the prestigious UCLA School of Dentistry, which has been ranked as the #1 Dental School in the US.  She is a board-certified Dentist who is highly regarded for her aesthetic workmanship. She is also one of a handful of graduates who have received advanced residency training in full mouth reconstruction and hospital dentistry at the VA San Diego, and UCSD Health Care System. Dr. Kalasho has been ranked “Top Doc” in Orange County Magazine and holds a solid five-star rating on several platforms for her quality of practice, exceptional care, and skill. She is also a member of the American Academy of General Dentistry and the American Academy of Facial Aesthetics. She operates her practice, Go Modern Dental, in Los Angeles, California.

root canal Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Haute Beauty had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Rhonda Kalasho to discuss Root Canals. 

If you’re like most people, just hearing the words “root canal” sends shivers down your spine. In fact, you’ve probably heard horror stories about someone having a root canal, and everything that could go wrong did. Thankfully, the world of modern dentistry has changed a lot, so having a root canal isn’t as scary as it may seem.

Here’s what you need to know about root canals and why you shouldn’t worry if you need one.

HB: What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is an endodontic procedure, which means it treats the inside of your tooth. The inside your tooth is a pulp chamber and root canals that are full of the dental pulp. The pulp chamber is underneath a hard layer called dentin, which is located in the middle of the tooth. There are numerous nerves, blood vessels, connective tissue, and specialized cells within the pulp that help your teeth develop. The root canal connects the pulp to the nerves and blood vessels in your jaw below the tip of the tooth root.

Deep decay or fracturing of a tooth can affect the pulp inside it. If this happens, the pulp can become inflamed and possibly infected. To make matters worse, it can spread to surrounding dental structures and teeth.

Once the pulp infected is infected, no amount of brushing or antibiotic use will correct the issue. While antibiotics can reduce the pain by clearing up the infection, it’s not uncommon for reinfection to occur.

The only way to permanently treat pulp infection and pulp damage caused by inflammation is with root canal therapy. Root canals treat the affected tooth by removing its pulp and filling the space with a rubbery filling material.

HB: How does a Root Canal work?

Root canals are usually performed in one visit; however, there are situations that sometimes can require more than one. After the root canal is complete, additional dental procedures are required to restore the tooth’s function.

Once the need for a root canal is diagnosed, this is how most root canal therapies are performed. Your dentist will take x-rays to determine the length and shape of the canals. A local anesthetic is used numb the affected tooth After the tooth is anesthetized, a rubber sheet or “dental dam” is placed around the tooth. The dental dam helps to keep bacteria in your mouth from getting inside the infected tooth. It also protects your mouth from the dental tools a dentist uses to perform the root canal.

Using a drill, a small opening in the tooth, allowing access to the pulp chamber. Endodontic files are then used to remove the infected pulp. The files are put directly through the pulp chamber and into the root canals via the opening created with the drill.

Afterward, files use a bleach-type solution to flush out debris. This kills any remaining bacteria and disinfects the root canals. Once clean, the root canals are filled with a soft, rubbery material. Patients will return for a crown after they’ve had time to heal.

HB: Post Treatment?

Some patients may experience discomfort for 3-4 days after having a root canal. However, this is usually short-lived and should go away on its own. Over-the-counter pain relievers with anti-inflammatory properties work well to relieve any discomfort.

HB: How much does a root canal cost?

The cost of a root canal varies depending on how complex the problem is and which tooth needs treatment. Since molars are usually more difficult to treat, the fee is usually more. Most dental insurance policies provide some coverage for root canal treatment.

root canal Photo Credit: Shutterstock

HB: Any final thoughts?

An infection inside your tooth’s pulp and root can cause significant pain and discomfort. If you have persistent tooth pain or other symptoms, you need to see your dentist as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. And although the term “root canal” may still elicit fear in some patients, the dental procedure is usually pain-free, and most people feel better shortly after treatment.

Haute Beauty is affiliated with the luxury lifestyle publication Haute Living. As a section of Haute Living magazine, Haute Beauty covers the latest advancements in beauty and wellness, providing readers with expert advice on aesthetic and reconstructive treatments through its network of acclaimed surgeons.

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