Your tooth has a soft center called the pulp – it contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues and helps the roots grow during development. A chip or crack in the tooth allows bacteria to invade the dental pulp, causing an infection. When your pulp is infected, you may experience sensitivity and pain when chewing, and the affected teeth may also be loose. Fortunately, a root canal treatment can help eliminate bacteria from the infected root canals Houston to prevent reinfection and tooth extraction.
What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure designed to eliminate bacteria from infected root canals. During the procedure, your dentist removes the diseased pulp using files. Next, the dentist cleans and disinfects the inside of your tooth before filling and sealing. Contrary to popular opinion, a root canal procedure is not painful since you are given anesthesia. It is similar to a routine filling, and the procedure is usually completed in one or two appointments.
Why would I need a root canal treatment?
Your dentist may recommend a root canal when dental x-rays show that bacterial infection damaged your pulp. Symptoms of an infected pulp include pain when biting or chewing, loose teeth, and sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks. These symptoms often disappear as the infection progresses since the pulp dies. Your tooth may seem to have healed, but the disease has spread to the root canal system.
An infected tooth cannot heal by itself, so you must see your dentist if you develop a toothache. Without treatment, the infection within the tooth becomes established, making it less likely for the root canal treatment to be effective. Antibiotics are ineffective in treating root canal infection, but they can help if the infection spreads beyond the root and causes swelling.
What happens during a root canal treatment?
Upon arrival, a technician will escort you to a dental office where the procedure occurs. You will get situated in a chair, and the assistant will place a bib around your neck to protect your clothes from stains. Next, your dentist will apply numbing medication to your gum near the affected tooth before injecting a local anesthetic into your gums. The injection causes a sharp pinch, but this fades away almost immediately. The anesthesia keeps you from feeling pain, but you will be awake during treatment.
When the tooth is numb, the dentist makes an incision at the top of the tooth, exposing the infected pulp. The dentist uses files to remove the diseased pulp and will be careful to clean out all the canals in your tooth. After removing the infected pulp, the dentist uses a topical antibiotic to treat the infection and prevent reinfection. The dentist then fills the tooth with gutta-percha and seals the small opening with a soft temporary material.
After treatment, your tooth and gums may feel sore; your dentist may recommend over-the-counter pain medications to treat these symptoms. You may resume normal activities, but you are not to chew with the treated tooth until it is permanently filled.
If you have further questions about root canal treatment, consult your dentists at The Dental Design Studios.