If you have developed a tooth infection, a root canal is used to restore the infected tooth (sometimes called an abscessed tooth) to full function and beauty. In a root canal, the infected material is removed from the tooth and a dental crown is added to the tooth. People fear a dental crown will be painful, but most people experience a reduction in pain with a root canal treatment. A tooth treated with a root canal can last for ten years or more–even a lifetime–making this a great alternative to extraction and replacement with a dental implant.
If you know or suspect you need a root canal in the Houston area, please call (281) 367-5559 or contact us today for an appointment with Dr. Scott Young or Dr. Leah Zils at Woodlands Premier Dentistry.
What Is an Infected Tooth?
Tooth infection occurs when a cavity, erosion, or damage to the tooth penetrates into the central area of the tooth, called the pulp chamber. This is the living portion of the tooth, and it includes the tooth nerve. Once this area is open, bacteria can penetrate inside, and quickly begin to destroy the tooth pulp and nerve, leading to pain.
The damage to the pulp also causes it to swell, which makes pressure against the sides of the tooth, causing further pain.
Symptoms of an Infected Tooth
Symptoms of an infected tooth may include:
- Pain when chewing or biting
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Swelling around a tooth
- Pimple on the gums
- Persistent bad breath or foul taste in the mouth
- Red gums
- Lymph node swelling
If you begin to experience any of these symptoms, you need to contact our Houston dentist right away. Left untreated, an abscessed tooth can continue to cause significant discomfort and will eventually either fall out or require extraction. The only way to avoid tooth loss and prevent future pain is with a root canal procedure.
An untreated infected tooth can allow infection to spread to your other teeth, your sinuses, and potentially even to your brain.
Not everyone experiences noticeable symptoms from their infected tooth. That’s one reason why regular dental checkups are so important.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
In a root canal, the infected tooth tissue is removed and the tooth is restored so it is attractive and fully functional.
First, we use anesthesia to numb the area to be treated. We make sure the area is numb before we proceed. Root canals have a bad reputation, so people often come in with anxiety. For people with dental anxiety, sedation dentistry often helps you get numb more easily.
Dr. Young will then remove the damaged exterior parts of the tooth and the infected pulp inside the tooth. All the pulp material is removed to eliminate the risk of future infection.
Dr. Young fills your tooth with an inert material that helps support the tooth. This may include a metal post to reinforce the tooth.
Finally, Dr. Young will seal the tooth with a dental crown to protect it and provide the functional, aesthetic exterior.
During the procedure itself, there is little to no discomfort. After your root canal, you will likely experience significantly less discomfort than you did before the procedure.
Comfortable Root Canal
We understand that many people are nervous about a root canal procedure, and we go out of our way to ensure that root canal patients are as comfortable as possible before, during, and after their procedure. We offer many amenities for our patients, including:
- Massaging dental chair
- Warm blanket
- Knee and neck pillows
- Personalized playlist
- Cooling eye mask
With the addition of sedation dentistry, this can make your root canal one of the most relaxing things you do all week. If you have to get a root canal, you might as well do it in comfort.