What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is an important procedure that saves your tooth from complete decay. This procedure involves drilling a hole into the affected/ decayed tooth to remove all the infected pulp tissues. Once the infected tissues are removed, the hollow tooth is sealed and protected with a dental crown. Root canal treatment is necessary when dental infection or decay reaches the pulp chamber of the tooth. If you don’t seek root canal therapy promptly, you risk losing your tooth completely because the infection would spread to the root and necessitate an extraction.
Why would I need a root canal?
Root canal treatment is necessary to eliminate infections and bacteria from the affected root canal. To understand the need for root canal therapy, you must understand the tooth’s structure and infection causes.
The tooth consists of several layers. The outermost layer of the tooth is the enamel, followed by the dentin, followed by the pulp chamber or root canal. The root canal houses the pulp tissues, nerves, and blood vessels, making it the most important part of the tooth. In most cases, dental decays and infections start at the enamel — the accumulation of plaque and tartar on the teeth leads to the release of acids that decompose the enamel. Bacterial accumulation at the decaying site leads to faster decay, gradually increasing the cavity size.
At this stage, the cavity can be sealed with a dental filling. However, if you don’t go for regular dental checkups or avoid fillings, the cavity will continue increasing in size. The cavity will eventually go through the enamel and dentin and reach the pulp chamber. Once the pulp tissues are infected, you have no other option but to seek a root canal. That’s because the bacterial infection will eventually destroy the entire tooth, reach the root, and start spreading to other parts of the mouth. If you don’t seek a root canal, you’ll eventually need an emergency dental extraction.
You need a root canal because it’s your last resort to saving your natural tooth.
What are the signs I need a root canal?
Root canals aren’t inevitable. You can avoid needing root canals by maintaining optimal oral hygiene and going for regular dental cleanings once every six months. This will prevent plaque and tartar accumulation, which, in turn, will prevent cavities and dental decay. Furthermore, regular dental cleaning is important because cavities don’t cause any obvious signs or symptoms.
Most people only realize they have cavities during dental check-ups. As such, if you don’t go for regular dental cleaning, your cavity will continue spreading, and you’ll only realize you have a problem when you experience sharp pains. If you have a toothache, the cavity has probably advanced into the pulp chamber, at which point you’ll need a root canal. As such, optimal oral hygiene and dental checkups help you avoid root canals.
The following are the primary signs and symptoms that you need a root canal:
- Severe dental pains while chewing or biting
- Sudden occurrence of severe toothaches
- Cyst-like formations on the gums
- Severely chipped or cracked teeth
- Large dental cavities
- Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Gum swelling and tenderness
- Darkening of the gums
What are the benefits of getting a root canal?
Root canal is a painless and safe procedure with a nearly perfect success rate. Most people don’t experience any post-treatment pain and discomfort, especially since you’re given painkillers for a day or two. You can resume your daily activities and work immediately after the treatment, but you may have temporary diet restrictions to prevent damaging the weakened tooth. After the root canal, the affected tooth can be secured with a dental crown to strengthen its structure and prevent damages.
However, the primary benefit of a root canal is that it helps you preserve your natural tooth. In fact, a root canal is your last chance to protect your natural tooth. If you don’t get root canal therapy promptly, you’ll eventually need an emergency dental extraction, which can lead to speaking, chewing, and aesthetic problems. You’ll then have to consider teeth replacement options, such as bridges, dental implants, and partial dentures, all of which are far more inconvenient and expensive than a simple root canal.
The following are the primary benefits of root canal therapy:
- Minimally-invasive procedure
- Virtually painless procedure
- Extremely safe and effective
- Cost-effective procedure
- Natural-looking results
- Saves the tooth from complete decay
What is the process of getting root canal therapy?
The following is an overview of the complete process of getting root canal therapy:
- The dentist takes digital x-rays to examine the extent of the problem.
- The dentist curates a treatment plan for your specific needs.
- The dentist administers local anesthesia around the infected tooth to ensure comfort.
- A dental dam is placed around the tooth to prevent saliva from interfering.
- An access hole is drilled into the infected tooth to access the pulp chamber.
- The infected pulp tissues and nerves are removed.
- Using water and a special solution, the entire root canal is cleared of debris.
- An antibiotic is applied to treat the infection.
- A dental sealant, called gutta-percha, is applied to seal the root canal.
- The dentist takes impressions of your teeth to prepare the dental crown.
- You receive a temporary crown for a week or two until the permanent crown is made.
- Once the permanent crown is ready, it’s attached to your post-root canal tooth.
Please schedule an appointment at a general dental office in Houston, TX.
URBN Dental is a general dental office in Houston, TX, led by extremely talented general and cosmetic dentists. We use the most effective root canal techniques to save your tooth without any problems or complications. Our dental offices are located in Uptown and Midtown Houston, TX. Please schedule an appointment with a dental doctor near me today.