Do I Need A Root Canal?

Root Canal Shreveport LA
Do I Need a Root Canal
root canal shreveport

Do I Need a Root Canal?

Do I need a root canal? Finding out whether you need a root canal is similar to figuring out if you need a filling. It might be difficult to tell if increased oral hygiene efforts will address the problem or whether dental treatment is necessary for the early stages of a condition. This is due to the fact that many of the symptoms may only be detected by a professional dentist. Your endodontist Shreveport is here to help!

Physical symptoms typically don’t appear until the condition has progressed, which is why it’s essential to see your Shreveport dentist regularly. However, if you don’t see a dentist before a condition worsens, you might end up with an infected tooth and the need for a root canal.

Signs You May Need a Root Canal

Root canals salvage teeth that have gotten extremely damaged or diseased and need to be repaired. When a tooth’s pulp, which is made up of blood vessels and nerves, is injured, the pulp must be removed and the interior of the tooth cleaned and sealed.

Tired of second-guessing and wondering, do I need a root canal? Here are seven symptoms from root canal Shreveport you need a root canal if you suspect a problem with one or more of your teeth:

Persistent Pain

One of the most common signs that anything is amiss with your tooth’s root is pain. If you are experiencing discomfort while doing routine tasks such as drinking or eating, you should schedule an appointment with your emergency root canal Shreveport dentist as soon as possible.

Your dentist will check your sore tooth to discover whether the infection has irritated your blood vessels or nerves. Because antibiotics may treat these infections, your dentist may recommend a root canal to relieve the discomfort.

Teeth That Have Chipped Or Cracked

Eating complicated meals, participating in contact sports, or having prior dental operations go wrong might cause your teeth to chip or break.

When a tooth is cracked or chipped, the nerves under the tooth’s surface are exposed, leading to infection. An infection in the root of a tooth may enter the circulation and spread throughout the body. An untreated infection necessitates a root canal to avoid additional infection and suffering.

Heat or Cold Sensitivity

Dr. O’Grady, Denver Highlands dentist, states that tooth sensitivity is another indicator that you could require a root canal. If your tooth hurts when you consume hot liquids like coffee or tea, this is an issue. A mild aching may quickly turn into a severe, excruciating agony.

For people who have an infected tooth, cold meals and beverages might be excruciating. Your dentist may determine that a root canal is required to treat your uncomfortable tooth.

Gums Are Swollen

Swollen gums are a symptom of underlying issues. Your dentist will check your swollen gums to determine whether inflammation is to blame. If they are sore, puffy, or have a raised lump on them.

If the condition of the inflamed gums does not improve, a root canal may be required.

Tooth Discoloration (Dark Discoloration)

A discolored tooth might be caused by poor oral hygiene, exposure to staining foods and beverages, or nerve injury under the tooth’s surface. When nerve and blood vessel damage develops, your dentist will recommend a root canal procedure to remove the affected root.

Sensitivity That Lasts a Long Time

If putting pressure on your tooth causes pain, and the sensitivity persists for weeks or months without improvement, you may need a root canal. A damaged root is the most common cause of long-term tooth sensitivity, and they don’t heal on their own. Your dentist can assist you in getting rid of the discomfort for good and preventing contamination from spreading.

Deep Decay 

Brushing, flossing, or rinsing with mouthwash will not address the issue if extensive rot has set in at the root of your tooth. If a cavity is left untreated for an extended period of time, it will spread to the nerve and base of the tooth. A root canal could repair in this situation before the patient is fitted with a crown.

This is why maintaining good dental hygiene and seeing the dentist on a regular basis is critical. When your teeth and gums are ignored, infection and illness spread. What started out as a little issue may quickly escalate into something much more dangerous.

Don’t Panic: Have it Taken Care of ASAP

Don’t panic if you feel you have a dental problem that can only be treated by a root canal. Root canals, although not everyone’s idea of a good time, are rather frequent and don’t have to be unpleasant. It doesn’t have to be a frightening experience if you choose the correct dentist.

Continuing to live with a broken tooth or teeth causes much more pain than undergoing a root canal operation. In reality, the majority of patients report that the operation was painless. Though you may have slight pains and sensitivities when the anesthesia wears off, these minor discomforts will pass in a few weeks. The greatest thing you can do right now is to contact your dentist. Call and make an appointment to get your teeth back on track.

Please Contact Our Office

Our courteous, experienced team will address any dental problems you may have. In the pursuit of healthier, more attractive smiles, Dr. Kacos has conducted many root canals, exams, and cosmetic operations for his patients. For more information about root canals, as well as any other dental procedure, contact our office today.

Root Canal Awareness Week

Celebrating Root Canal Awareness Week

Root Canal Awareness Week Shreveport LAShreveport Dental Solutions is celebrating National Root Canal Awareness Week! At Shreveport Dental Solutions, it is our mission to educate people about dental health practices to enhance their overall health and lives.

Below, Dr. Ben Kacos, the best dentist in Shreveport LA, covers important information that patients should know about root canals. As follows, read on to educate yourself this National Root Canal Awareness Week.

What Exactly is a Root Canal?

The root canal is the hollow portion of a tooth’s root that contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues, equivalent to a pencil lead flowing across the middle of a pencil. Thus, it gives your teeth blood, feeling, and touch.

What Exactly is Root Canal Therapy?

Root canal surgery entails drilling out the decayed tooth from the crown of the tooth. This goes all the way down to the dentin. Then, the contaminated or inflamed pulp is extracted from both the tooth and the root.   However, if the tooth requires additional reinforcement, a post can be inserted into the emptied root, and the filling material packed around it. After, the crown is either restored or replaced by a porcelain crown. At our practice, we offer root canal therapy and emergency root canal Shreveport services.

The aim of root canal treatment is to save the normal tooth instead of removing it. Patients should be mindful, however, that often a tooth cannot be saved by root canal treatment. This is due to the level of rotting or fracture, explains our friend Dr. Boals, a dentist in Colorado Springs.

Is a root canal procedure painful?

Root canals are sometimes used as the punch line of a joke, typically to illustrate how unpleasant the treatment is. However, root canals are practically painless when performed by a professionally qualified endodontist in Shreveport such as Dr. Ben Kacos, who employs advanced anesthetics and procedures.

Remove Your Anxiety

The prospect of getting dental work done can be overwhelming for most people. In reality, according to a recent AAE survey, 56% of respondents said root canal treatments made them anxious. However, the positive news is that root canal procedures play a vital role in maintaining tooth health. Thus, it can be performed in a painless and simple manner. Dr. Ben Kacos is a specialist in all things root canals, making him the perfect choice for your root canal procedures.

Why see an Endodontist for Root Canal Treatment?

Patients should have peace of mind that they are providing the highest-quality care. Thus, by seeing a licensed endodontist for Shreveport root canal procedures, they can ensure they are getting quality care. Our friends over at Green Dental Care, root canal Parker CO specialists, agree that endodontists are a wonderful option to ensure optimal care. Endodontists play a significant collaborative part in the dental team and can provide special skills to help a general dentist manage and care about a patient’s optimal dental wellbeing.

Don’t put off dental diagnosis and recovery any longer! The consequences of leaving an infected tooth root untreated are not worth it. We can provide nearly pain-free care. Contact Dr. Ben Kacos today to schedule your evaluation and root canal treatment today.



How Long Do Root Canals Last?

How Long Do Root Canals Last?- Dr. Ben Kacos

How Long Do Root Canals Last?

Many of us dread hearing the word root canal therapy. When you think of this procedure, the pain usually comes to mind. A certain level of discomfort is expected however, excessive pain is not normal.

Luckily for us, new modern technology allows us to save our natural tooth while going through the procedure in a typically pain-free, easy manner. The use of anesthetics makes this root canal therapy in Shreveport, LA a lot more safe and quick. 

To avoid letting the tooth get to an extreme, it is advised to seek professional help in the event of a toothache. Also, stay on top of your check-ups and teeth cleanings. At Shreveport’s Dentist, we recommend a check-up before an infection has spread throughout the root system. 

Fast Facts On Pain After A Root Canal:

  • Our tooth is preserved while only the diseased tissue is treated 
  • Before the procedure, an anesthetic is given to the patient. Therefore, the pain is decreased to levels equivalent to that of a basic filling.
  • In the case of failure, re-doing a root canal can help in fixing the problem 

How Much Pain Is Normal?

A slight feeling of tenderness or sensitivity is expected for a few days. The reasons for this are:

  • Tissues around your gums remain swollen and inflamed. Although the nerve root may have been removed, there may still be small nerves in ligaments that surround the tooth.
  • Dental instruments may have irritated the area surrounding the tooth, which will cause some tenderness. 
  • The tooth can experience pain and soreness if the case of a filling is too high or even slightly higher than the surrounding teeth.  

In most scenarios, the sensitivity and possible discomfort that you may experience from the root canal is expected to go away in a week or two at most. 

If you are experiencing persisting pain and extreme levels of discomfort, it is important to contact Shreveport’s Dentist immediately, and Dr. Ben Kacos will meet with you as soon as possible. 

The reason why pain may still persist could be due to some of the following reasons explains, Green Dental, a Parker, CO dental office:

  • A leakage in the restoration 
  • Unhygienic dental conditions and poor oral health 
  • Tooth cracking or breaking down 
  • The existence of an extra canal that goes unnoticed by the endodontist 
  • An error made by the dentist or endodontist 

Managing Root Canal Pain At Home 

One must be sure to practice good oral hygiene by flossing and brushing regularly. Over the counter prescription for pain management can be sufficient for relieving discomfort after the root canal procedure. 

How Is A Root Canal Performed?

First, an endodontist takes an X-ray of the tooth before the procedure. Next, a local anesthetic is given to numb the gum area where an opening is made to access the structure inside. A rubber-like substance is used to fill the root canal, called gutta-percha, which is then sealed within the tooth. Then, a temporary filling is placed to protect the insides during the healing process.

What is an Endodontist?

what is an endodontist? - Shreveport LA

What is an Endodontist?

The word endodontic is a Greek medical term that can be broken into two segments. The first is “endo” and it means inside. The second part is “odont” which means the tooth. Therefore, endodontic refers to conditions that are connected to the inside of a tooth. Endodontists are dental specialists who undergo extra training of two or more years after graduating from dental school. That additional training equips them with higher skills and specialized knowledge.  This enables endodontists to handle more complex conditions. Dr. Ben Kacos, an endodontist in Shreveport, LA, discusses typical treatments and reasons a person would need to visit an endodontist.

What Does Endodontic Treatment Entail?

“Most people who visit an endodontist do so to have root canal therapy done” explains Dr. Ben Kacos, an outstanding endodontist and dentist in Shreveport, LA.  A local anesthetic is administered before a latex or non-latex sheet referred to as a “dam” is placed around the tooth. The dam isolates the target tooth ensuring it will stay dry during the procedure.  Our friend and Denver, CO dentist, Dr. O’Grady explains that a root canal requires up to four basic steps. However, the number of visits needed to undergo those steps will be unique to each patient and the specifics of the endodontic problem. 

Diagnosis and Treatment of  Tooth Pain

It can sometimes be difficult to get to the bottom of what is causing oral pain. As Dr. Kacos, explains, there is a huge network of nerves inside the mouth. Consequently, pain that is originating in one place may manifest in a different part of the body, such as the neck, head, another tooth or even an ear. Endodontists, like Dr. Ben Kacos, can diagnose such pain and treat it so that your dental health is restored to an optimum level.

Treatment of Traumatic Tooth Injuries

Endodontists specialize in treating traumatic oral injuries. For instance, if a person gets hit in the mouth and one or more of their teeth are damaged. When such a traumatic injury affects a developing permanent tooth in a child, the root of such a tooth may stop growing. A specialist can perform a procedure referred to as apexification. This stimulates bone tissue and causes it to accumulate at the tip of the root. When that happens, the affected tooth can be saved by performing a root canal. 

If one or more teeth is ever knocked out of their sockets, your dentist will refer you to an endodontist, like Dr. Ben Kacos, for specialized care. If you get this attention promptly, the avulsed (knocked-out) teeth can be saved. 

Additional Endodontic Visits

Once treatment is completed, the endodontist will monitor the treated tooth periodically. The number and interval of these follow up visits will vary depending on the condition for which you were treated. For example, Dr. Ben Kacos cites the case of a patient who had an abscessed tooth. He monitored this patient for about two years because that is the average time needed for the abscess to fully heal.


A tooth that underwent endodontic treatment may need to be re-treated. This could happen if the patient experiences symptoms that indicate the problem has returned. For instance, someone who underwent a root canal may start experiencing pain in the treated tooth. Such a patient may be referred to Dr. Ben Kacos, an endodontist in Shreveport LA, for retreatment. Alternatively, someone who has undergone endodontic treatment may not heal as expected, and such a person will need retreatment.

The inside of your tooth or teeth will need specialized care from an endodontist. If you suspect that you need the services of such a specialist, contact Dr. Ben Kacos, an endodontist in Shreveport, LA and you will receive the timely care that you need.

Tips for a Speedy Root Canal Recovery

Tips for a Speedy Route Canal Recovery

Tips for a Speedy Root Canal Recovery

Finding out that you need a root canal can seem scary. According to Shreveport’s dentist Dr. Ben Kacos, root canal therapy has an undeserved reputation for being uncomfortable and painful. But the truth is there will be no pain or discomfort during the procedure. Additionally, patients should feel little to no discomfort after the procedure.
The majority of patients who see Dr. Kacos for root canal treatment, and correctly follow aftercare instructions, find that they feel back to normal within a week of the procedure. To get you and your treated tooth feeling back to normal as soon as is possible, we’ve gathered ten tips to help speed up your root canal recovery time. 

Tip 1. Elevate Your Head, and Don’t Eat Immediately

Immediately after the procedure, you may feel some discomfort and swelling. You will be able to minimize both by keeping your head elevated for several hours after your procedure. If you can, it’s helpful to add one or more extra pillows when you go to bed.
Dr. Brian Leeson, a general dentist in St. Petersburg FL, says that it’s normal to be a little hungry after your procedure, but it’s important to wait to eat until the numbness has worn off. If you don’t, you may be risking inadvertently injuring your gums or your treated tooth. It’s best to wait until the feeling has returned. 

Tip 2. Take Pain Relievers as Instructed 

Once your anesthesia wears off, you may start to feel some throbbing and discomfort in your tooth, gum or jaw. Don’t be a hero and try to hold off on using pain relievers. Keeping yourself comfortable during recovery from a root canal treatment can help promote good healing. Your dentist will give you a list of medications to take and to avoid while healing. If you are prescribed antibiotics, be sure that you take the entire course as is directed.

Tip 3. Warm Salt Water Gargles

Dr. Kacos will prescribe antibiotics if he believes that you need them to fight off infection. In addition to taking your prescribed medications, you should gargle several times a day with warm saltwater. This will help to clean your mouth and keep infections at bay so that you can continue to recovery without complication. 

Tip 4. Use cold compresses and enjoy ice cream

After a root canal procedure, using a cold compress or enjoying your favorite bowl of ice cream will help reduce swelling and other inflammation. Use cold compresses for about 10 minutes at a time, for the first few days after your treatment.

Tip 5. Things to Avoid During Recovery

Our friend, Dr. Kristina Neda, a dentist in Georgetown, KY, says that there are several things that you will need to avoid after a root canal treatment. You shouldn’t smoke or drink alcohol for the first few days. You should avoid using straws and hot drinks that might cause inflammation. Hard foods or toffees should be also avoided. Stick to cold drinks, plenty of water, and your favorite foods that are easy to chew.

Tip 6. Take it Easy on Activity

It’s advisable to avoid any type of activity that could raise your blood pressure for the first two days after your procedure. A rise in your blood pressure may impede healing, and that’s definitely something you want to avoid. Skipping the hikes, runs, sports, or those intensive workout classes you love is best. You’ll be back to hitting the treadmill soon enough if you take the time to take care of yourself now.

Tip 7. Educate Yourself on Root Canal Therapy

Knowing what to expect when recovering from root canal treatment can help you avoid overthinking and worrying. If you have some sensitivity to cold or hot or experience a dull but persistent ache in your tooth or gum, it should ease up within a week of treatment. Ask questions, do your homework, and trust your newfound knowledge. 

Tip 8. Don’t Hesitate to Call Your Shreveport’s Dentist

In some cases, patients can experience bleeding and swelling that doesn’t subside. There may also be fever or serious pain. These are rare concerns, but you should not hesitate to contact Dr. Ben Kacos to get input about what your next step should be.
Having a root canal procedure done can help preserve much of the tooth structure so that you don’t ultimately lose your tooth. If you do lose a tooth or need to have one extracted, you’ll find that dental implant specialist Dr. Kacos can help restore your smile in no time at all. He even offers options for sedation dentistry Shreveport patients will appreciate. We hope these tips for a speedy root canal recovery help.
Do you have a tooth causing you discomfort? Are you sensitive to cold drinks or hot foods? Call Dr. Ben Kacos to schedule your appointment and get a treatment plan set into motion.


Root Canal Treatment Aftercare

Root Canal Treatment Aftercare

Root Canal Treatment Aftercare

Root Canal Treatment Tips & Solutions

It is important for you to understand the potential complications associated with undergoing root canal treatment. You always want to make informed decisions when it comes to your oral health. This blog will give you aftercare tips and solutions should complications manifest. Fortunately, root canal treatment has been refined so much over the years. So complications are a rarity during and after the procedure. For the small fraction of patients that do develop complications, remedies are available. Here are some of the possible complications that could occur after you undergo root canal treatment.

Is Tooth Pain Normal After a Root Canal?

It is normal to feel some discomfort or mild pain after you have undergone root canal therapy. Root canal therapy entails removing the infected pulp from the canals inside the root of your tooth. At this point, the surrounding tissues may be inflamed after the procedure. However, this pain usually subsides after a few days so it shouldn’t overly worry you.
Nevertheless, you need to contact Dr. Ben Kacos, your emergency dentist in Shreveport LA, immediately if the pain subsides and then resumes days or even weeks after you underwent root canal treatment. The root may have become re-infected, so prompt follow-up treatment will deal with that new infection before the problem worsens.

Infected Areas of The Tooth

Some teeth, such as the molars, have more than one root. A tooth infection may have spread to another root. A tooth infection may have been missed during your root canal procedure. Alternatively, the dentist treating you could have missed one canal that had bacteria in it. This bacteria can proliferate and cause an abscess or another infection. This is extremely rare but important to note, it does happen from time to time.
In such a case, an endodontist in Shreveport will have you back repeat the root canal treatment in order to get rid of the additional problem area. However, this repeated treatment can remove the removal of any seals, or dental crowns. aIf you are in pain be sure and let your Dr. know before the permanent crown is put on.

Undetected Crack in the Tooth

Another root canal treatment complication that could occur is that your dentist can fail to detect that there is a crack in the root of your tooth. Advanced dental technology is worth asking about before your procedure. This complication is rare when you undergo a root canal performed by experienced dentists like Dr. Ben Kacos. Our 3D Imaging and High-Resolution Intraoral Cameras detect these potential issues before we begin your dental work.
If a crack is missed, it leaves room for bacteria to enter the root and infect it. When that happens, follow-up treatment will be needed to fix the crack and eliminate the infection. Shreveport’s dentist has handled lots of such cases, so you should contact Dr. Ben Kacos once this complication is discovered after your dentist tells you there was a crack that wasn’t initially detected in your root.

Dental Crown, Post Root Canal

During a root canal, two seals are placed on your tooth. One seal is inside the root itself while the other is on the surface of the tooth. With the passage of time, the inner seal can degrade or erode. This leaves gaps that bacteria can go through to reach the inside of the root. Dr. Ben Kacos normally informs patients about this risk and cautions them to adhere to all the root canal after-care instructions so that the risk is minimized. Follow up visits to Shreveport’s dentist are also important. It is important that the treated tooth is monitored. Any anomaly will, be detected quickly and remedied before the complications arise.
Root canal treatment procedures are frequently done by dental care professionals. Before your root canal, discuss the procedure in detail with Dr. Ben Kacos. This discussion should cover any complications that can occur during the procedure itself and afterward. The emergency dentist in Shreveport will explain what can be done in the event that a complication occurs, and this information will help you to make an informed decision on the options available.
It is also crucial for you to know that it is far better to prevent the need for root canal treatment rather than having to undergo the procedure. Oral hygiene, annual dental checkups and professional cleanings every six months can go a long way towards averting the need for root canals.
Also, note that you may need to undergo a root canal even if you aren’t feeling any tooth pain. Dr. Ben Kacos and the entire team are available to give you all the information you need about root canals. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any help regarding your dental health.


6 Signs You Have a Tooth Infection

6 Signs You Have a Tooth Infection

6 Signs That You Have a Tooth Infection

Toothaches normally result from infections that can be easily dealt with, but in some cases, those infections can spread and become life-threatening. To avoid letting your toothache reach a dangerous level, it is important to understand the signs of a tooth infection. Here are some of the most common signs:

Decoding a Tooth Abscess

At the most basic level, a tooth abscess refers to a collection of pus. This collection of pus in most cases occurs on the tip of the root, but it can also surface in any area of the tooth. Dr. Ben Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport, LA, points out the following signs that suggest you could be having a tooth abscess.

  • A nagging, persistent toothache.
  • Sudden, severe sensitivity to cold or hot substances.
  • Sensitivity as you chew or bite.
  • Facial swelling.
  • A pimple-like pocket of pus on the gum line close to the area infected.
  • Swollen lymph nodes just beneath your jaw.

With prompt treatment, a tooth abscess will not cause any serious problems. However, Dr. Ben Kacos may have to perform a root canal in order to save the affected tooth.

The Symptoms of a Tooth Infection Spreading Elsewhere

When the Abscess Ruptures

The tooth abscess may rupture and cause you to notice a salty fluid accompanied by a foul taste in the mouth. This rupture could also cause the pain you feel to subside immediately, but don’t be fooled into thinking that you are out of danger.
Dr. Ben Kacos, an emergency dentist in Shreveport, advises you to get professional care immediately if a dental abscess ruptures. This is because when an abscess ruptures, the infection can quickly spread to the rest of the body through the adjacent blood vessels. You are therefore at a high risk of developing sepsis, a life-threatening condition.
However, rupturing isn’t the only sign that the tooth infection has taken a turn for the worse. Other signs may precede the rupturing, so you should see Dr. Ben Kacos as soon as you notice these other signs when you have a tooth infection.

Feeling Unwell

Another sign that the tooth infection is spreading to other parts of the body is when you begin to feel unwell. This could take the form of inexplicable fatigue, episodes of dizziness and a feeling that you are about to be ill.
The localized toothache could also worsen and become a nagging headache. You could also feel pain in your ear or jawbone. All this shows that the tooth infection has worsened and it is beginning to affect other parts of your body.

Feeling Feverish

An elevated body temperature (fever) is a natural way through which the body deals with infections. That high temperature makes it hard for many types of bacteria to survive, so when you notice that you have a fever, seek immediate professional help because the tooth infection may have spread to other body systems and parts.
That high body temperature can damage some of your body systems since fevers are typically characterized by a body temperature hovering above 101°F which is higher than the optimum temperature at which the body functions properly. Persistent fevers may suggest that you are developing sepsis as a result of the tooth infection.
Oftentimes, people with tooth infections that are spreading also shiver and experience chills from time to time. This may be accompanied by a drop in temperature. Whether your temperature increases or drops, see an emergency dentist in Shreveport LA immediately so that the infection can be contained before it causes severe complications.

Facial Swelling

It is normal for a tooth abscess to cause minimal facial swelling, especially around the affected tooth. However, you should seek emergency medical or dental attention if the swelling persists or worsens.
This emergency dental care is necessary because the swelling could affect your airway and make it harder for you to breathe or swallow, which can then be a life-threatening situation.

An Elevated Breathing and Heart Rate

Have you started breathing at a faster rate than you normally do? Is your heart beating faster than it normally does? Are you panting or struggling to get enough air into your lungs?
All these are pointers that you are developing sepsis as a result of the tooth abscess. If you cannot see your dentist immediately, contact your doctor as a matter of urgency. The sooner you can get proper treatment the better because when sepsis sets in, it is a race against the clock to contain it and save your life.

Stomach Pain and Dehydration

As the sepsis worsens, you may start experiencing stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Another symptom that you could notice is that you will pee less often and the color of your urine will be darker than it usually is. This indicates that your body is becoming dehydrated as the sepsis advances to its second stage.
When this dehydration is coupled with vomiting and diarrhea, your health condition can worsen rapidly so it is important to see Dr. Ben Kacos or your doctor immediately.

How to Prevent a Dental Abscess

As you have seen, an abscess can spread and cause serious problems to your overall health, so it is beneficial for you to learn what you can do to prevent an abscess from developing. This is much better than having to deal with an abscess once it develops. Here are the tips Dr. Ben Kacos suggests to help you avoid tooth infections and abscesses.

  • Brush your teeth twice each day.
  • Floss once a day.
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash daily to kill oral bacteria.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months.
  • Have a dental exam and cleaning done every six months, or as frequently as Dr. Ben Kacos recommends based on your dental health condition.
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks.

All the preventive tips above are routine dental care habits that you should already be implementing on a daily basis. If you aren’t, then the seriousness of tooth infections and abscesses discussed above may have proved the value in simple preventive habits, like brushing and flossing.
If you have any questions about tooth abscesses or any other aspect of your dental health, contact Dr. Ben Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport, LA. The entire team will be glad to address your concerns and give you the dental care that you need to stay in good health.


How Does an Endodontist Differ from a Dentist?

How Does an Endodontist Differ from a Dentist?

How Does an Endodontist Differ From a Dentist?

You may not know that all endodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are endodontists. In fact, only three in ten dentists are endodontists, so it is no wonder that many people may not encounter an endodontist until they need this professional’s expertise. This article discusses how a dentist differs from an endodontist. Use this information to make an informed decision regarding when to procure the services of these professionals in different situations.

Schooling for Endodontists and Dentists

Both dentists and endodontists start out at the same schools. These professionals first spend four years in dental school and qualify as general dentists. While at dental school, all dentists are taught the basics of endodontics, such as how to perform a root canal. Dr. Ben Kacos, therefore, asserts that dentists can competently perform most endodontic procedures. He’s had the additional training that allows him to treat dental problems that are connected to the pulp of the teeth.
As their name suggests, endodontists (endo, meaning inside and odont, meaning tooth) master everything related to the inside of the patient’s teeth. This is similar to what happens in the case of doctors who go for additional training and specialize as pediatricians, orthopedic surgeons, and many other specialties within the medical field.

Who Should Perform Your Root Canal?

As already mentioned, you can have a root canal done by either your dentist in Shreveport, LA or an endodontist. You need to weigh several factors before choosing who performs this procedure when you need it.

Factors In Favor of Endodontists Performing Root Canals

Focused experience. Endodontists spend a good amount of time fixing problems affecting the pulp of their teeth. This makes these specialists have a wealth of experience in this area, and that experience can sometimes be the deciding factor on whether your treatment is a success or not.
Specialized equipment. Because endodontists only treat conditions affecting the internal parts of your teeth, they accumulate the latest, most specialized equipment to deal with those conditions. Dr. Ben Kacos will most likely be able to perform your procedure right in the office.
Higher success rates. The superior diagnostic and treatment equipment available to endodontists, as well as their focus on a narrow aspect of dental care, positions them to have higher success rates for root canals. For example, while an endodontist could perform almost 30 root canals each week, a general dentist may perform 2 or 3 such procedures in a typical month. The resultant expertise developed by these two professionals may, therefore, differ in accordance with how often they perform root canals.
Expert pain management. As part of their specialized training, endodontists are trained in advanced techniques of managing pain during endodontic treatment. These advanced pain management techniques may be better suited for you if you have severe dental anxiety or when your body doesn’t respond as expected to the common pain management methods used.

Factors in Favor of Dentists Performing Root Canals

Lower fees. Endodontists are specialists, so their fees tend to be higher than a general dentist. If you have limited funds, seeing a dentist for your root canal treatment would be a cost-effective option. We asked our friend, Dr. Matt Laurich, a dentist in Canton, MI, his thoughts on a root canal performed by a dentist vs. endodontist. Dr. Laurich says that the choice is up to you but it’s always best to see a specialist if you have a unique case. Otherwise, you may end up paying for two procedures instead of one. 
Familiarity. For some people, going to a familiar environment to have a root canal done is an important factor. In such a case, Dr. Ben Kacos’s office will be a great fit because he does it all. 
Convenience. Many people also opt to have their dentist perform a needed root canal because it is usually easier to access a dentist. You won’t have to go far since Dr. Ben Kacos is in the heart of Shreveport, LA.  
Continuity. It is also beneficial to have your dentist in Shreveport perform your root canal because it makes it possible for the same professional who takes care of your other oral health needs to continue attending to you. The dentist is also in possession of all your dental health records. This continuity is beneficial to your overall dental health.
Sometimes, it may not be up to you to decide whether your dentist will perform the root canal or the procedure will be done by an endodontist. For example, the affected tooth may be a molar with many roots, which makes performing the root canal complicated. Regardless of the problem, Dr. Ben Kacos specializes in endo and can help you with whatever dental problem you may be experiencing. It is therefore advisable for you to see Shreveport’s dentist for a thorough examination if you suspect that you may need to undergo a root canal. Dr. Kacos will recommend the best course of action so that you get the needed treatment.

What to Expect After a Root Canal

What to Expect After a Root Canal

What to Expect After a Root Canal

It is important that you do everything you can to increase the likelihood of root canal therapy success, minimize discomfort, and prevent infection while you heal. Most, if not all the things that you can do to attain these objectives will be revealed to you by Shreveport’s dentist, but it doesn’t hurt to have this written point of reference to ensure you have covered all the bases.

What You Can Expect Immediately After Root Canal Treatment

Your tooth is likely to be sensitive for a few days once you undergo a root canal. There’s nothing to worry about this sensitivity since it is a natural response to the procedure you have just undergone and it normally subsides on its own. However, you can buy and use an OTC analgesic like Advil or Motrin to manage this sensitivity. You can also resume your normal dental care routine, such as brushing and flossing, the same day you undergo the root canal.

When You Can Eat After Root Canal Treatment

Dr. Ben Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport, LA, recommends that you don’t eat anything until after the numbing is gone. Otherwise, you risk biting your cheek or tongue if you attempt to eat when still numb. The numbness may take a few hours to wear off, so just wait it out.
Desist from using the tooth which has undergone the root canal to chew until the treatment process has been completed. The final phase may include placing a crown or filling on the tooth. Using the tooth to chew can predispose it to further damage or infection since food particles can get stuck in the hole left after the procedure. The tooth is also weaker, so it can fracture easily if it isn’t protected by a restoration like a crown.

What You Can Eat After a Root Canal

Opt for lighter or soft foods after you have undergone root canal treatment. Dr. Kacos explains that such foods don’t need a lot of chewing, so there is a limited chance that you will strain while eating these foods.

Taking Alcohol After Root Canal Treatment

There’s nothing to stop you from taking alcohol once you are no longer numb after the root canal treatment. However, Shreveport’s dentist advises that you talk to your doctor about alcohol consumption if you are taking medication for any other condition. You may also need to reconsider alcohol consumption if you need some medication for any sensitivity you feel after the root canal.

What to Avoid Eating After a Root Canal

We asked our friend, Dr. Kristina Neda, a dentist in Georgetown KY, about what to avoid eating after a root canal. Dr. Neda suggests that you avoid eating any hot food or drinking any hot beverage in the immediate aftermath of having a root canal. You risk burning your mouth if the treatment site is still numb, or you could aggravate tooth sensitivity during this recovery period.

Can I Drive Home After the Root Canal?

Root canals are usually performed under a local anesthetic. In this case, you may drive back home or to work after the procedure. However, some patients request for IV sedation during the procedure. Such patients will be unable to drive home since the sedation takes a few hours to wear off fully. Ask someone to drive you home and stay with you for those hours while the sedative runs its course if you prefer IV sedation during the root canal procedure.
If you have any other question about the root canal procedure or if you experience anything unexpected, such as excess bleeding or severe pain, call Dr. Ben Kacos immediately. You will be advised on what to do while at home, or you may be asked to come to the office for proper dental care.

The Pros and Cons of Root Canal Therapy

The Pros and Cons of Root Canal Therapy

The Pros and Cons of Root Canal Therapy

The Pros and Cons of Root Canal Therapy

When you come into a dental office complaining of tooth pain, your Shreveport’s dentist will assess the problem and come up with a treatment plan. You may need a dental filling or even a root canal or tooth extraction. Dr. Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport, always aims at preserving your natural teeth, so he may recommend that you undergo root canal therapy if the tooth can still be saved. f you can’t decide on whether to accept the root canal or opt for tooth extraction, read on and discover the most compelling pros and cons of root canal therapy. Use this information to make the most appropriate decision regarding the way in which your painful tooth should be managed.

The Pros of Root Canal Therapy

  • Permanent Relief from Tooth Pain

As you may already know, tooth pain can be so excruciating that you will find it hard to function normally until the problem is fixed. Root canal therapy involves removing the infected pulp from your tooth so that you no longer feel that excruciating pain. Since the pulp has been removed, the pain will not recur in that tooth.

  • A Root Canal Saves Your Tooth

As mentioned earlier, when you visit an emergency dentist in Shreveport, you may be told that undergoing a root canal will get rid of the pain while preserving your tooth. Depending on your case, you may have the other option of extracting the tooth.

  • Root Canal Therapy Leaves You With Options

We asked our friend, Dr. Cody Cowen, a dentist in Baton Rouge, LA, about the pros and cons of root canal therapy. Dr. Cowen says that while a tooth extraction is irreversible, a root canal allows you to have several options regarding the health of the affected tooth. For example, you can have a crown made so that the affected tooth retains its structural integrity after the root canal treatment. As for extractions, once the tooth is out, then there’s nothing else you can do except think about replacement options.

  • Root Canals Forestall Consequences of Tooth Extractions

When a tooth is extracted, several undesirable things can happen when that lost tooth isn’t replaced promptly. For example, bone loss can occur in the jaw and you will look older than you are. Dr. Kacos also warns that any delay to replace a tooth which has been extracted can result in the nearby teeth shifting towards the gap left. Consequently, you may develop bite issues. A root canal avoids all these issues by keeping your natural tooth in your mouth.

  • It is Cosmetically More Appealing

Root canals also have the added benefit of producing cosmetically appealing outcomes. This is because your teeth will remain looking uniform after the procedure. Dr. Kacos asserts that from an esthetics point of view, having a set of natural teeth always trumps including artificial restorations.

The Drawbacks of Root Canals

  • Root Canals Make Teeth Brittle

Once the pulp is removed from your tooth during a root canal, that tooth will no longer be vital (that is, it will no longer be alive). Consequently, the tooth will become brittle and it will be susceptible to fractures, chips, and cracks. A porcelain crown and post can help to strengthen the tooth so that it doesn’t fall apart.

  • Root Canals are Costly

Root canal therapy is considerably more expensive when you compare its cost to the cost of having the affected tooth extracted. Dr. Kacos explains that root canals are more expensive because more time and skill is used during the procedure.

  • Root Canals May not Be 100% Effective

In simple terms, a root canal treats an infected tooth by removing all the infected pulp in that tooth. However, the degree of success attained during the removal of the infected pulp may vary depending on the skill and experience of the dentist performing the procedure. Consequently, there is a slight risk that the root canal will fail and you will eventually have to extract the tooth. The remedy to this risk is to do your homework and select an experienced dentist, such as Dr. Kacos, to have your root canal done.
Contact Dr. Kacos if you are considering having a root canal or extracting your painful tooth. Shreveport’s dentist will assess the affected tooth and give you the best advice regarding the treatment option which will give you the most optimum outcome.