A root canal (also known as an endodontic treatment) is a critical procedure that aims to save an infected tooth or severely damaged one instead of removing it. If possible, saving your natural tooth with root canal therapy should be your first choice to maintain optimal oral health and smile appearance.
If you suffer from toothaches or decay, contact Oak Hills Dentistry in Spring, TX, for a more accurate diagnosis, treatment options, and cost estimates.
Why You May Need a Root Canal
Every tooth has a soft innermost layer called the dental pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerve tissue. When a tooth has a deep cavity, cracks, or chips, bacteria can gain access to the pulp.
A tooth injury can also damage the pulp or cause inflammation. Left untreated, bacteria and tooth decay can cause a severe tooth infection, leading to pulp death, bone loss, and eventual tooth loss.
Each patient’s situation is different and we prioritize what is in our patient’s best interest. On some occasions when a root canal is more complex, after an exam and x-rays our dentist office may refer a patient to a local endodontist to complete the treatment before we prepare a crown to protect the tooth.
When Should You Receive a Root Canal?
Patients generally need root canals when they have a deep cavity, cracked tooth, or issues from a previous filling. Signs you might need root canal treatment include:
- Sensitive teeth, particularly to hot or cold sensations
- Deep decay or darkening of the gums
- Severe pain while biting or chewing
- Swollen or tender gums
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- Pimples on the gums
- Sensitivity to heat and cold
What Happens During Root Canal Treatment?
Modern root canals are very similar to routine fillings. Dr. Smith can usually complete the procedure in one or two appointments, depending on the condition of your tooth.
Dr. Smith begins the process by taking an X-ray or conducting a pulp validity test to determine the extent of the damage. Before starting the procedure, he’ll numb your tooth with local anesthesia to maximize your comfort. He then drills a tiny hole on the top of your tooth to access the infected pulp.
Next, he removes the pulp and cleans the canals to remove bacteria before filling the tooth with resin and sealing it with a crown. A mature tooth can survive without the pulp because the surrounding tissues continue to nourish it.
As painless procedures, root canals require minimal recovery time. However, you must maintain proper oral hygiene to avoid further infection.
Although a root canal may leave you numb for a couple of hours after the procedure, most patients can resume their usual activities immediately afterward. However, you should avoid eating until the numbness goes away completely.
For more information about root canals or to schedule an appointment for an accurate diagnosis, treatment options, and cost estimates, contact Oak Hills Dentistry in Spring, TX.
Advantages of Root Canal Treatment
The benefits of saving the natural tooth with root canals include:
- Prevents tooth loss: By saving the infected tooth, you don’t have to worry about losing it naturally or through extraction.
- Restores normal bite function: You can continue eating your favorite foods without worrying about constant tooth pain.
- Boosts oral health: Removing the infection prevents it from spreading.
Contact Our Dental Office Today
Call Oak Hills Dentistry at 281-350-8852 to schedule an appointment and receive a more accurate diagnosis, cost estimates, and various treatment options.