Sometimes decay or damage reaches the pulp of a tooth. When this occurs, the nerves and tissues inside the tooth become irritated and inflamed. In these cases, root canal therapy is necessary to treat the issue. Contrary to popular belief, root canal therapy actually alleviates pain because it removes the very source of infection.
At Cinco Ranch Smiles & Braces, Drs. Ryan D. Menezes and Andrea S. Fernandes routinely perform root canal therapy for patients in Katy, TX, as well as those residing in Sealy, Cypress, Sugarland, and Houston. We use the latest, most advanced techniques to ensure maximum comfort during your procedure.
There are several warning signs that could indicate root canal therapy is needed. Call our office right away if you notice:
Keep in mind that symptoms may not always be apparent. Therefore, it’s important to visit your dentist regularly to monitor your oral health.
To determine whether or not you need root canal therapy, your dentist will perform a comprehensive assessment of the affected tooth. In addition to a visual examination, x-rays will also be taken to determine the extent of damage. If infection has entered the pulp chamber, you will need root canal therapy.
To begin the procedure, your dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the treatment area. Nitrous oxide sedation is also available upon request.
Next, a small access hole is created in the chewing surface of the tooth. This allows your dentist to remove all infected tissues, nerves, and blood vessels. Once this step is complete, the inside surfaces of the tooth are cleaned and disinfected. The canals and pulp chamber are then filled with rubbery filling material and the tooth is sealed with a filling. In many cases, a dental crown is also added to reinforce the weakened tooth.
Depending on the complexity of your case, root canal treatment may take one or two office visits. During your initial consultation, our team can tell you what to expect.
Because root canal therapy actually removes the source of infection, most patients feel relief following the procedure, particularly if there was significant pain beforehand. However, it is common to feel some level of tenderness or sensitivity after treatment. These side effects can be mitigated with over-the-counter pain medication. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to reduce the risk of reinfection.
In most cases, patients can return to work the same day. Be sure to follow the postoperative guidelines provided by our team for a comfortable and successful recovery.
The only alternative treatment for an infected tooth is removal. Root canal therapy can be performed to save the tooth from extraction. If the damage is severe, or if the tooth doesn’t have a good prognosis, your dentist may recommend an extraction and implant instead. All options will be discussed with you in detail during your initial consultation.
If you are suffering from tooth pain or swelling in the jaw, you may need root canal therapy. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, contact us online or call our office at (832) 913-5542.