Endodontists are dental practitioners who specialize in maintaining teeth through performing procedures on the soft inner tissue of the teeth called the pulp. While endodontists perform many types of procedures, perhaps the most common and well known is root canal therapy.

Root canals are performed by making an opening through the crown of a patient’s tooth and entering into the pulp chamber. Root canals are generally done when decay is present in the tooth pulp, or there is infection or injury to the tooth or the root tip.

The damaged pulp is removed and the root canals are cleaned, enlarged, and shaped. If infected, medication is placed in the canal and a tiny filling may be placed on the tip of the tooth to seal the root canal. Gum tissue is stitched back into place and a crown may be placed to protect the tooth while healing takes place.

After a Root Canal, What Comes Next?

The reason you had a root canal will determine what kind of treatment comes next.

If your tooth has been damaged or suffered severe decay, and a large filling won’t do the trick, then the preferred course of treatment may be to install a dental crown. Assuming enough of the tooth is left, a post will be placed down into the tooth root. Then a crown buildup will be made and placed around the post where the crown will be placed. Once the base is in place, Dr. McLeod will take an impression and install a temporary crown while a permanent crown is being created. The temporary crown will be in place for two to four weeks before the permanent crown is installed on the tooth.

When teeth are discolored, sometimes one of the treatments patients seek is bleaching. When it is done on the exterior of teeth, it is known as extracoronal bleaching. However, in other cases, intracoronal bleaching is the best course of treatment. Good candidates are teeth that become discolored from some sort of dental trauma that causes the discoloration to start from the interior of the tooth and travel outwards until it becomes visible on the surface.

After a successful root canal, a chemical oxidizing agent is placed in the coronal portion of the tooth using bleach crystals that are placed inside the tooth. The crystals are left for a short period of time and then removed by the dentist before a patient leaves the office. A walking bleach treatment takes place when the bleach crystals are placed inside the tooth and left for several days. The patient returns to Dr. McLeod’s office and the crystals are removed.

Dr. Neil S. McLeod is located at 9201 Sunset Blvd. and serves patients in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Studio City and other nearby communities.