Root Canal Therapy – Ingenious Dentistry, Houston TX
Natural teeth are meant to last a lifetime. So if you are experiencing a serious problem with one or more of your teeth, and all other treatment options have been exhausted, root canal therapy (also known as endodontic therapy) may be the last chance for a dentist to save your tooth. In years past, diseased or injured teeth were commonly pulled, however in the 21st century, removing a tooth is done only as a last resort.
With advanced procedures in the field of dentistry, many teeth that may once have been pulled are now saved with root canal therapy. This procedure may have a bad reputation, but in reality, it is no more painful than getting a new filling.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is the removal of the infected nerve in the tooth. Doing so preserves the tooth so that it does not have to be removed and then replaced. During the procedure, the root of the tooth is removed and the hole that is left is filled with a sealant that stabilizes the tooth and allows it to remain firmly in place. A crown is placed on top of the tooth as an added measure of security.
Why is Root Canal Therapy Needed?
A root canal procedure is the method of treatment for damage or inflammation of the dental pulp, the soft tissue that lies inside of your teeth, and contains the nerves and blood vessels. If the pulp is damaged or infected, it must be treated in a timely manner. Damage can be caused by a crack or chip of the tooth or by a cavity that goes very deep within the tooth where bacteria can cause infection. If left untreated, the bacteria may cause damage to the jawbone as well as necessitating removal of the tooth.
Removing a tooth is done only as a last resort. A missing tooth, not replaced, causes its own set of serious issues. The teeth around the space can shift and cause issues with chewing or speaking. Saving your natural teeth is always the goal of your dentist.
Is the Procedure Safe?
With years of experience performing root canals, Dr. Dale Brant notes, “They are very safe and root canals are recommended for the simple reason that the procedure allows you to keep your natural tooth. A root canal allows a patient to retain the tooth for many, many years, if not their lifetime.”
What Can Happen If You Don’t Get a Root Canal?
Several things can happen if you choose not to have the procedure performed. In addition to the intense pain and discomfort, the following can also occur:
- The tooth can crack or break, necessitating that it to be pulled or surgically removed
- The infection can spread to other teeth and cause them to be damaged, leading to their subsequent removal
- The infection can become systemic and spread throughout the entire body
- The resulting pain can cause you to not eat as you should, increasing the risk of infection and sabotaging your immune system
Dr. Brant says, “Putting off a root canal can lead to unbearable pain and could even lead to death if the infected tooth is not taken care of. An alternate treatment is the extraction of the tooth, but then you have to replace it with a dental implant. A root canal can save the person’s natural tooth, which is why it is generally the best option.”
When Should I Make My Appointment?
If you experience lingering pain or other problems with your teeth, you should see a dentist immediately for an evaluation. If your dentist suggests a root canal, it is in your best interest to follow your doctor’s orders. If you don’t, you may eventually experience more severe problems than what you were facing to begin with.
It is vital to never take chances with your dental health. Protect your teeth and your overall health and follow through with a root canal if the procedure is recommended.
Dr. Dale Brant says, “Root canals are an essential procedure for many patients and putting them off can lead to a host of oral health issues and overall health issues. In my dental career, I have multiple years of experience in performing root canals and am confident in recommending and performing this effective procedure when it is needed.”
How is Root Canal Therapy Done?
- Your dentist will make sure that your tooth and the surrounding areas are sufficiently numbed so that you will feel no pain, just a little pressure.
- A small protective sheet will be placed over the area to keep the tooth dry and clean during the procedure.
- Next, an opening in the crown of the tooth is made. Your dentist will use very small instruments to clean and remove the damaged or infected dental pulp. The area will then be shaped in order to make space for the filling.
- When the space that once held the pulp is cleaned and shaped, the filling material is placed within it. The filling is bonded to your tooth with adhesive cement to ensure that your root canals are completely sealed.
- Sometimes a temporary filling is placed to close the opening, and then removed before the tooth is permanently restored.
- During another visit to your Houston dentist, you will have a crown or other covering placed to protect it and allow it to be restored completely.
- Occasionally, if the structure of the tooth is insufficient, your dentist may need to place a post inside your tooth. This helps hold the structure of the tooth in place.
Post Root Canal Care
Following your root canal procedure, you may experience some tenderness of the tooth and jaw area. This is normal and not a cause for alarm. The discomfort should respond well to over-the-counter medications and subside in a few days. You should contact your root canal dentist if you develop severe pain or swelling.
Contact Ingenious Dentistry
Our staff is more than happy to answer all of your dental questions including cost and pricing information for root canal therapy. Please schedule a consultation at our Houston office today or call us at (713) 795-5905.