Here at the San Francisco offices of Dr. Robert M. Walley, we know what happens when a patient hears that their tooth pain may require a root canal: their heartbeat quickens, their palms get sweaty, and an icy chill runs up their spine—all because someone at some point in their life told them that nothing is worse than a root canal.


However, there is no need for all the concerns surrounding root canals, as modern San Francisco dentistry has made terrific strides in alleviating root canal pain, both during and after the procedure. We can’t tell you how many patients have left a comfortable root canal surgery saying, “That wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be!” That’s a testament to the work we’ve done in making the procedure much more comfortable than it may have been decades ago.


How California Dentists Alleviate Root Canal Pain


Let’s start with the obvious: root canals are often the fix for excruciating tooth pain, not the cause of it. When Dr. Walley recommends a root canal, it almost always is a response to debilitating toothaches, tooth trauma, and/or infection. You are going to feel better once the procedure is finished. Your pain will be lessened.


As for the process itself, it feels a lot like a normal filling that just requires more time in the chair. To make sure patients don’t feel a thing, Dr. Walley will start by numbing the area around the infected root using a local anesthetic. Just like any other shot you’ve even gotten, you’ll feel a little pinch at first, and then the pain is over while your dentist works through the process of completing the procedure. As you drive home, the most pain you’ll likely experience will be a slightly sore jaw from holding your mouth open.


Afterward, your tooth may be a little sore and tender for a few days at most, but the pain is mild and can be tempered by over-the-counter pain meds like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.


Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Have a Root Canal Done


Comparatively, procrastination in getting the procedure done can be incredibly painful. An infected root is not going to simply get better on its own, and in fact, if left alone it may require complete tooth loss and can even spread the infection to other parts of your body. If this happens, patients can experience fever, chest pain, difficulty breathing, skin rashes, vomiting, and even painful urination. Compared to the slight, temporary discomfort of a root canal, these symptoms would seem especially bad.


Scheduling Your Root Canal with Dr. Robert M. Walley

Does anybody want to get a root canal? Of course not. But in this case, it’s simply much easier and less painful to have the thing done as soon as it’s necessary rather than dealing with the pain and complications that can come with putting it off. Thankfully, Dr. Robert M. Walley has been performing root canal procedures for years and knows exactly what he’s doing to ensure it’s as quick and painless as possible. If you find yourself due for a root canal, you couldn’t be in better hands!

Being a teenager isn’t easy. Not only does acne make its first unwelcome appearance during the adolescent years, but they’re also are countless social obstacles to hurdle and awkward rites of passage to undertake. Maintaining healthy teeth may not always be on teenagers’ minds with so much else going on, but there are several ways of being mindful of positive dental habits that can approve a teen’s life. Here at the offices of Dr. Robert M. Walley, we do our best to encourage teens to take care of their teeth, both through good cleaning habits and by offering Invisalign clear braces in San Francisco.


5 Reasons Why Dental Health Matters for Teenagers

1. Self-Confidence

As teens grow into their bodies, they struggle mightily with self-confidence. For example, more than 70% of girls age 15 to 17 avoid normal daily activities (including going to school) when they feel bad about the way they look, and certainly, many boys also feel the same way. Poor dental habits or a crooked smile is precisely the sort of thing that can impact the way teenagers feel about themselves, so maintaining good brushing and flossing habits, visiting a dentist twice a year for professional cleanings, and considering orthodontics are great ways to combat any issues with self-confidence.

2. Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

Of course, that self-confidence carries over to the thousands upon thousands of photographs that people take during their teenage years. Whether it’s official dance photos and school portraits or one of many, many selfies teens take with their friends, there may not be a more photographed era of someone’s life than the teen years. They may as well have healthy-looking teeth in all those photographs!

3. Bad Breath Sensitivity

The teen years also mark the era of “The First Kiss” for many, but concerns about bad breath could derail these formative romantic experiences. Healthy dental habits help ensure that teens have fresh breath and a clean mouth so that as they start spending more time in closer proximity to their crushes, they don’t have to feel embarrassed about their breath.

4. Surviving Orthodontics

Put simply, orthodontic options like braces or Invisalign are easier for teens with healthy teeth. More importantly, braces and Invisalign trays are a big investment meant to generate results that will last a lifetime. What’s the point of straightening out a smile if you’re not going to try to keep those teeth healthy?

5. Teens Have Sweet Teeth

A sweet tooth is very common among teenagers, but massive sugar intake—through sweet snacks and sugary beverages—is not great for teeth, as it acts as an enabler for bacteria and the acids that break down tooth enamel. Knowing how much teens love their sugar, it’s important to keep up good brushing habits to enjoy the other benefits of healthy teeth and gums mentioned above.

We know it’s not easy being a teenager, but keeping your teeth in good shape through those tough years can pay dividends for the rest of a person’s life. Teenagers should do their best to maintain good dental habits, and they can’t forget that for many teens in San Francisco, Invisalign braces have helped make the travel through those phases of life easier while setting up an entire adulthood with a nice, straight smile. What you do as an adolescent impacts your teeth for the rest of your life!

Types of Major Dental Surgery in CA

Many of the procedures Dr. Robert M. Walley performs on dental patients are quick, non-invasive, and routine. Deep cleanings and fillings, for example, are not what we’d consider “major” dental surgery. So what does constitute a “major” dental procedure? The following is a list:

  • Root Canals
  • Dental Implants
  • Wisdom Teeth Extraction
  • Reconstructive Dental Surgery
  • Cosmetic Dental Surgery

These range from common, scheduled procedures like root canals to emergency invasive treatment that can come after a car accident or sports trauma. Whatever the cause, there are some things patients can do in preparing for their dental surgery.

Steps in Prepping for Dental Surgery

Knowing how to prep for dental procedures is an excellent way to reduce anxiety before surgery and make aftercare much simpler. Here, we look at a few steps that patients can take while gearing up for their procedure:

1. Do the Basics

While Dr. Walley will give you the specifics of your procedure well ahead of time, it’s generally considered protocol to avoid eating or drinking anything (including water) for as much as 12 hours before your procedure, particularly if your procedure requires anesthesia. We also suggest brushing and flossing well before arriving for your procedure.

2. Dress for Surgery

We recommend wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. In some cases, procedures require an IV, and short-sleeve shirts will make that easier and more comfortable for everyone involved.

A few other items to avoid include jewelry (you’ll be asked to remove it before surgery, anyway), contact lenses, makeup, and perfume or cologne. For longer-haired patients, it also can be helpful to gather hair into a ponytail.

3. Prepare Your Home for Recovery

Depending on the surgery, it’s fully possible that you will have some blood in your mouth that could leak out while you sleep, so before your procedure, make sure you change out your bedsheets so your good ones don’t end up stained. Give yourself a comfortable space to recover since, depending on the procedure, you may not be inclined to do much moving around for a few days after the surgery.

4. Get Your Medications Organized

You may be asked to stop taking blood-thinners such as Tylenol for a certain amount of time before your procedure. Also, if your doctor has plans for you to take certain medications (painkillers and/or antibiotics) try to arrange to pick them up before your procedure rather than after. Again, the more you have done up-front, the easier your recovery will be.


Once the procedure is done, there’s not a lot a patient can do except rest, take the proper medications, and drink a lot of water. Recovery time varies considerably based on the patient and the procedure, but nearly all dental procedures result in a full recovery.

If you experience nausea, vomiting, headaches, muscle aches, or any symptoms of infection following your surgery, contact Dr. Walley’s office right away so we can help you work through any complications.

As your San Francisco root canal dentist, Dr. Walley is a pro at managing these types of procedures, but being prepared can help them all go even smoother. And let’s face it, we all want a smooth recovery following major dental work!


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