Understanding root canal treatment for maintaining oral health and wellness
When Dallas, Texas area patients, or likely anyone in Texas, hear the phrase “root canal,” they likely envision a painful and unpleasant dental procedure. Root Canal treatment got its horrible reputation in the 18th and 19th century, when the “dentist” did root canals without any anesthetic (other than maybe getting the patient drunk) and because it involves removing the nerve in the tooth. It hurts thinking about it. Fortunately, root canal therapy, or “endodontic treatment,” today is done without pain and discomfort; actually, the excruciating pain a patient is suffering is immediately relieved as soon as the tooth is numbed to begin the procedure. After the procedure is completed, the pain remains gone as the procedure eliminates the infection of the tooth nerve that was causing the pain. Drs. Mary Swift and Morgan Petty of Dallas Laser Dentistry can help you get out of pain quickly with root canal therapy when it is needed.
Why do people need root canal therapy?
The main reason people need root canal therapy is that they have an infection that has reached and infected the nerve in a tooth. This can happen because of a deep cavity, a crack or chip, or some other injury to the tooth. The infection can cause severe pain and can lead to other problems if it’s not treated.
Root canal therapy is a very common procedure. It has a reputation of being undesirable and painful. But when done properly it is actually painless. Every tooth in your mouth is composed of a crown and a root. When a cavity or bacteria penetrates the tooth, the root and its nerves become irritated. As a result, the bacteria within the pulp cavity needs to be removed and cleaned in order to restore the tooth to its healthy state. Following the procedure, the tooth is fragile and consequently is restored with the natural crown for a lifetime of durability. Root canals have a success rate of 95% or greater. Most root canal are diagnosed by patients’ sensitivities to a specific tooth. Be sure to consult your dentist any symptoms or discomfort occur.
How does root canal treatment work?
Root canal therapy, or endodontic treatment, eliminates the infection and saves the tooth from being extracted. The procedure involves the dentist removing the infected tissue, including the nerve, from inside the tooth and then sealing it off to prevent further infection. In most cases, root canal therapy is highly successful, and the tooth can be saved after the procedure with the placement of a dental crown over the weakened treated tooth.
What is the root canal process like?
The actual root canal procedure is done in one visit by the dentist or dentist and endodontist (endodontic specialist). During the first visit, the infected tissue is removed and the tooth is prepared for sealing by our dentist, or in a more complex case by the endodontist. Sometimes, a temporary filling will be placed to protect the tooth until the second visit when a crown is to be placed.
At the second visit, our dentist will place a permanent filling or dental crown over the tooth to protect it from further damage. The root canal procedure itself is not painful, but you may still feel some discomfort during the treatment.
How do I find out if I need endodontic treatment?
The short answer is – you will be in excruciating pain, it will usually strike in the middle of the night on a weekend when all dental offices are closed, and you will remember your dentist warning you not to put off getting that filling or crown because you might then be in terrible pain one day and need an emergency root canal! We can usually reduce your pain significantly with antibiotic treatment until Monday morning when we’ll get you in for the root canal procedure.
Dallas Laser Dentistry is conveniently located in north Dallas at 7557 Rambler Road, Suite 1023, and accepts new patients. We can help patients of record mitigate the pain until they can have the root canal procedure done. Call the office at 469 838 5292 to get our emergency number for existing patients, or complete the appointment request here. We accept patients with or without any private PPO dental insurance plan and have a subscription membership plan as an additional option.