It is important to get relief when your teeth and gums hurt badly and the pain won't go away. A root canal is usually suggested if there is infection inside the pulp of the tooth. Dentists specializing in treating the inner area of the tooth are known as endodontists. Dr. Emine Loxley, DDS, owner of Santa Rosa Endodontics, is such a specialist. Patients regard her as an excellent choice for non-surgical root canal care. Dr. Loxley has responded to patient requests from further north by opening a second office by the same name in Ukiah. The Ukiah office phone number is (707) 380-0088.
Dr. Loxley has an extensive amount of schooling and experience. She served with the U.S. Army Dental Corps after graduation from the School of Dentistry at University of Alabama, Birmingham. During her tour of service, she was selected for additional training in her career field. She received a specialty certificate in Endodontics from the Army's Tingay Dental Clinic, Fort Gordon, GA and the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Loxley opened an Endodontic practice in Bend, Oregon, at the end of her tour of duty in 2004. She moved her practice to Santa Rosa in 2013 after selling the one in Oregon. Professional organizations include the American Dental Association. She is active in local programs, such as Meals on Wheels.
Pulp is a soft tissue located in the center of the inside of each tooth. Its purpose is to provide the nutrients required to build the tooth. Pulp consists of connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels. Anytime it becomes inflamed or infected, it requires a root canal to get rid of the infection and stop the pain. Deep decay, a crack or fracture, and other types of trauma to the tooth are examples of things that affect a tooth’s health and lead to root canal treatment.
Dr. Loxley first evaluates the best treatment for the tooth. If non-surgical root canal is an option, an opening is made in the crown of the infected tooth. The pulp is cleared from the root canals using specialized dental instruments, after which the canals are thoroughly cleaned to remove any infection. She places gutta-percha, a material similar to rubber, and adhesive cement into the canals. The two materials work together to properly seal the canals. The opening is closed with a temporary filling. An appointment is made to return within the next four weeks. At that time, the final restoration is completed to prevent the tooth from re-contamination.
Root canal therapy is recommended for many reasons. The most common include:
Three important things reviewed by Dr. Loxley before she suggests treatment are the patient’s recent dental history, an examination, and X-rays. In some cases, the teeth are cleaned prior to the decision for surgical or non-surgical root canal treatment.
Non-surgical root canal therapy is similar to the procedure required for deep fillings. With cavities, local anesthetic is applied by the doctor or her assistant to the affected area before dental work begins. As soon as the tooth and surrounding area are numb, the doctor drills into the tooth. The diseased area is thoroughly cleaned and the hole filled to avoid further infection.
Deeper drilling is required for non-surgical root canal therapy. This treatment, also referred to as non-surgical Endodontic therapy, is preceded by local anesthetic that greatly reduces the pain. The tooth is drilled to provide access to the root canal, pulp and nerves. Once Dr. Loxley removes the infected or inflamed pulp, she completely cleans and disinfects the inside of the tooth. Gutta-percha is used to fill and seal the hole. A crown or filling protects the tooth.
Two appointments are typically required for either type of root canal treatment. Dr. Loxley recommends surgical root canal if X-rays do not show what is causing the pain or if the infection is bad. In that case, an incision is made in the gum after the area is sufficiently numbed. The infected tissue is removed from the side instead of through the center of the tooth.
What is the purpose of pulp? A combination of nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels inside the root canal, it supplies the nutrients to build healthy teeth and roots. A fully-developed tooth can survive from the nourishment provided by the tissues around it. It no longer relies on the pulp to stay healthy. Patients can avoid dental implants and bridges by keeping their natural teeth through root canal treatments.
There are other reasons to select a root canal instead of having a tooth pulled. Your natural teeth allow you to chew comfortably, bite normally, and protect other teeth from shifting or working too hard. In some cases, a root canal is needed because a preventive root induction was never done.
Today’s method of root canal has improved over the painful memories of yesteryear. Patients frequently comment about how surprised they are that the process is less stressful than they feared. A success rate of over 85 percent is one reason to consider a root canal, if needed. It also reduces the chance of an abscess and even more pain.