A root canal is a dental procedure performed to repair severely damaged or infected teeth and save them from extraction. At The Dental Design Studios in Houston, Texas, Dr. Hernandez routinely performs root canal procedures to restore her patient’s oral functions and dental health.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal treatment is a procedure during which the dentist removes the infected dental pulp and cleans the canals inside the tooth’s root. Before, this treatment was relatively painful. However, with advancements in technology and anesthesia, root canals are now simple and painless procedures.
When Do You Need a Root Canal?
Inside the tooth, extending from the crown to the tip of the tooth root, is the dental pulp. It consists of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. When a tooth is cracked or infected with a deep cavity, harmful bacteria enter the pulp.
When this condition is left untreated, bacteria can cause severe infections or tooth abscesses. The pulp dies, and this can cause jawbone loss and even tooth loss.
The symptoms you might experience if you have a root canal infection are:
- swelling around the face and neck
- a hole in the tooth
- severe tooth pain
- swollen gums
- temperature sensitivity
Root Canal Procedure
An endodontist or a general dentist usually performs a root canal treatment. The procedure takes one or two dental visits.
During the first visit, the dentist will take a dental X-ray to determine the extent of the damage. Then, they will administer local anesthesia to control any pain you may experience during the procedure and drill a small hole in the tooth to remove the decayed pulp.
After the pulp is removed, the root canal is flushed and cleaned thoroughly to ensure no bacteria is left.
During your second visit, the dentist will prepare the tooth for restoration, usually using a crown. After the crown is placed, you will have to avoid biting and chewing with the affected tooth for a few days.
Aftercare for Root Canal
After the dentist has restored the root canal, you need to follow good dental hygiene practices to minimize the risk of re-infection. For the first few days after the procedure, you may experience sensitivity, and you may also feel pain after the local anesthesia wears off. To reduce the pain, the dentist will prescribe painkillers.
To learn more about root canals and when you may need one, contact The Dental Design Studios at (713) 468-5800 or visit us at 8391 Westview Drive, Houston, TX 77055.