Root Canal Treatment

What is a root canal?

A root canal, also referred to as root canal treatment, is a procedure that we use to save a tooth when its pulp, the soft tissue at its center, is infected. Your tooth is made up of narrow passageways that extend from the pulp chamber, a hollow space in the center of your tooth, to the ends of the tooth roots. A root canal involves the removal of decayed or infected tissue from the pulp chamber.

How is a root canal performed?

If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend non-surgical treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 90% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment. We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort. In addition, we will provide nitrous oxide analgesia if indicated. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.

What happens after root canal treatment?

Your dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.

How much will root canal treatment cost?

The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth and which tooth is affected. In general, endodontic treatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth.

Root Canal FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Help! My tooth is killing me. Why am I experiencing such pain? What can I do to fix it?

Maybe you’ve been told you need a root canal but have no idea what that means. Not to worry. Root canals are simple, routine procedures that we perform in our offices. At Texas Dental, we know that dealing with oral issues and tooth discomfort can be stressful, so we’ve designed this guide—a list of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to non-surgical root canals—to help you navigate next steps. 

Why do I need root canal treatment?

Chances are you’re reading this because you’re experiencing some sort of tooth pain and you’re looking for help with fixing the irritating problem. If the pain is being caused by an infection or inflammation, the tissue in question will need to be removed to stop the infection from spreading and the pain from worsening. This process is called root canal treatment.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

If we have not already diagnosed a need for endodontic treatment, the best way to find out if your toothache warrants a root canal is by scheduling an appointment with us so we can evaluate your situation. In the meantime, symptoms that may indicate a need for a root canal include:

  • Discomfort when biting or chewing
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Dull ache or severe pain
  • Pain that disrupts your sleep

Is there an alternative to getting a root canal?

Extraction is the alternative, but it’s always best to try and save your tooth rather than remove it. Root canal treatment is a common procedure that has an extremely high success rate of over 90%. Removal of your tooth should be your last resort. Keeping your tooth can help prevent dental troubles, such as bite problems from drifting teeth, difficulty eating, and loss of jawbone mass and structure, down the road. The benefits of root canal therapy versus extraction come down to the fact that no matter how good a teeth replacement option might be, nothing is as good as your natural tooth.

Can I just take antibiotics for my dental infection?

Although antibiotics help your body’s immune system reduce the number of bacteria present in the tissues surrounding your tooth, the infection will persist until the diseased tissue inside your tooth are removed.

What will happen during the procedure?

Once we’ve numbed the area with a local anesthetic, we isolate the tooth with a little rubber dam and begin to clean the canals through an opening we make in the crown. After the cleaning, we shape the canals and fill them with a filling and sealer. Finally, we place a temporary filling that will eventually be removed by your dentist when he or she provides the final restoration.

Does it hurt to get a root canal?

No. Thanks to modern technology and local anesthetics, our patients rarely feel a thing during a root canal procedure. If you experience any discomfort or sensitivity in the days following treatment, simply manage the pain with over-the-counter medications, like Ibuprofen.

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