If you are experiencing pain, sensitivity, or discoloration in a tooth, you may need root canal therapy, a procedure which is available at our Missouri City, TX and Richmond, TX offices. Untreated infection can result in tooth loss, meaning root canal treatment can help you avoid more costly, extensive dental work in the future. Our doctors provide a caring and relaxing atmosphere to ensure that your treatment is as convenient and comfortable as possible.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy, which is a type of endodontic treatment, is usually necessary when a cavity advances beyond the outer structure of a tooth to the inner pulp, where the tissue consists largely of nerves and blood vessels, and where bacteria can spread rapidly. During the procedure, your doctor will remove the pulp and fill the tooth with a compound that will protect it from further damage. Lastly, your doctor will place a protective crown over the affected tooth.
When Is a Root Canal Necessary?
A root canal procedure may be necessary after minor trauma, like cracking a tooth, or because of an internal problem like an untreated cavity. You may notice that, in addition to pain, you experience increased sensitivity to heat and cold, even after the source of the heat or cold is removed. You may also see discoloration of the tooth or experience swelling and discomfort in the surrounding area, and some patients report the development of a pimple-like sore near the infected tooth. However, some patients might not experience any symptoms until the problem is advanced, which is why regular dental checkups are crucial for preventative care.
During your exam, your doctor will determine the source of the pain by taking x-rays. This will also show how many teeth need repair. If you do need a root canal, your doctor will rate the level of urgency and recommend a treatment time accordingly.
The Root Canal Procedure
Though the procedure is widely thought to be uncomfortable, you can expect it to feel comparable to other restorative procedures, like having a cavity filled. Your doctor will first numb the site with local anesthetic to ensure your comfort, and then place a rubber dam around the tooth to keep the area dry.
Though root canal therapy is widely thought to be uncomfortable, you can expect it to feel comparable to other restorative procedures, like having a cavity filled.
Next, your doctor will drill a small hole into the pulp chamber in order to remove the damaged tissue from the root. There will no longer be a living nerve in that specific tooth, which means it will not be temperature-sensitive. However, this does not affect the long-term health of the tooth.
The doctor will fill the tooth with gutta-percha, a rubber compound. If the doctor is concerned about infection, he may also administer medicine at this stage to keep the area clean and healthy.
The last steps are preparing the tooth for a crown and placing the restoration. This may require an additional office visit if your doctor needs to have a custom crown created for your tooth. If he cannot place the custom crown the same day, he will place a temporary crown.
Schedule an Appointment Today
We are committed to relieving your pain as quickly and comfortably as possible, while also providing you with long-term solutions for improved oral health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.