Root Canal by Dr. Shiney George can give you pain relief today. At Highland Oak Dental we prioritize and care for our patients who are experiencing pain.
Endodontic treatment, also known as root canal therapy, is a fantastic option for preserving a severely infected (and painful) tooth from extraction. An endodontist, according to American Association of Endodontists is a specialist at saving teeth. The good news – even just a part of the procedure can give you notable relief from unendurable tooth pain.
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The noticeable portion of your natural tooth or crown is guarded by dental enamel below the gums. Protection is also available to the tooth right down to the tip of the root by dentine which also is a hard substance, somewhat less harder than the enamel. Within this enclosed cage and along the length of the tooth root exists a long cavity which is called the canal. It is saturated with dental pulp and is also identified as the pulp chamber. This is an important chamber as the pulp contains nerve tissue and blood vessels apart from other substances which feed the tooth. However, if the pulp becomes infected the formation of bacterial products and debris result in excessive pressure inside the pulp. This condition results in significant discomfort, and sometimes unbearable pain, eventually leading to tooth loss.
The procedure ensures the infected pulp is eliminated from the tooth to provide relief to the patient, instantly in most cases. This is also the primary procedure recommended by your dentist in order to save your natural tooth from further decay or from being extracted. The procedure of root canal is safe even when you are suffering from other dental conditions or are wearing braces. If you are going through extreme dental pain or discomfort, the relief provided makes the procedure well worth it because the effects are long-lasting.
Are you wondering “how can the pulp inside the tooth get infected despite having all the protection it needs?” The reasons for the infection are simple. The food that you have regularly can attack the enamel. You may believe you have a choice in the food you want to eat. However, you must understand some food particles can stick onto the teeth long after you have finished eating. They stay in the spaces between the teeth and on the chewing surfaces of the molars which are also known as the rear teeth. If you are regularly ignoring brushing and flossing, the bacteria present in your mouth begins to convert the sugar and carbohydrate content within the particles into acid. The acid has the potential to reduce the shielding effect of saliva on the enamel which in turn can begin to erode the tooth. The erosion of the tooth results in cavities which if not appropriately filled up leads to the puncture of the enamel, sometimes causing the infection to affect the pulp.
The bacteria in the mouth can also infect the gums. The loosening gums begin to expose and puncture the dentin layer below the gum. This provides a route for the infection to reach the pulp. Regardless of the route taken by the infection, the pulp needs to be eliminated to prevent infections repeatedly. In the absence of this procedure, abscesses can develop which could eventually necessitate extraction of the tooth. The pulp could also be infected by other reasons which include untreated dental injury, a chip or a crack in the tooth, root fracture, and repeated repair of the tooth.
Read More: How Did I Get A Cavity
A root canal procedure is more expensive than an outright extraction. If so wouldn’t it be financially beneficial simply to extract the painful teeth in the first place? The option can certainly be considered but it must be understood that an artificial tooth will never have the functionality or be as good as a natural tooth. When the tooth is extracted it will affect your ability to eat and also the smile if you don’t have a natural replacement. The vacant gap can trigger an erosion of the jawbone around the vacant socket resulting in facial features which are distorted
The root canal therapy is helpful for treating multiple issues such as inflamed nerves, dying nerves, dead nerve, a cracked or even a dead tooth. The procedure can also be repeated following an RCT which failed. On some occasions, it may be necessary even to remove nerves or teeth. The final decision whether to go for this procedure or not should be made by yourself after consultation with one of our expert dentists who will listen to your concerns and examine you thoroughly.
- Extreme sensitivity to cold and heat
- The location of the pain and/or swelling
- Duration of the pain
- Type of pain — whether it’s continuous or pulsed
Chances of you not being aware of the problem developing in the pulp until it’s too late are high. However, some indications to the trained eye of your dentist may seem obvious that the problem has infected you for quite some time. They are:
- The color of your teeth.
- Signs of pus discharge.
- Obvious changes in soft tissue and asymmetry
The signs by themselves may not be significant for a precise and accurate diagnosis. Therefore you may have to undergo additional tests which may be advised. The tests which are available for identifying the defective tooth include x-rays, percussion, thermal sensation, and electronic pulp testing.
- Imaging — the initial steps of this procedure is to assess the condition of the tooth concerned. We use an x-ray image to determine the damage as well as the roots configuration. Rear teeth generally have multiple roots and many among them could be contaminated. The dentist needs to have information beforehand about the orientation of the root as well as identify the root which is infected.
- Anesthesia — surgery is always a requirement for root canal therapy. Therefore the administration of local anesthesia is a common feature before an operation.
- Opening the canal — some patients need to be sedated before anesthesia is administered. After the administration of local anesthesia, a hole is drilled through the enamel to expose the ailing areas. It instantly frees the pressure inside and the patient doesn’t feel any pain even after the anesthesia wears away. The drilling is accomplished in the crown for the molars, and from the lingual side in the event of it being a front tooth.
- Cleaning — the tooth undergoing the root canal therapy will be entirely vacated by removing nerve tissue and any other pulp matter. Thereafter the canal is cleaned thoroughly and dried. Similarly, a pulpotomy removes the pulp tissue from the tooth chamber, but from a baby tooth instead of a permanent one.
- Sealing — the space cleaned must not be left unfilled because of the risk of abscesses and infections. We will saturate the empty canal with a rubber-like material known as gutta-percha along with a resin sealing solution to ensure empty spaces are not present inside.
- Temporary filling — as the mouth begins to heal the new hole is overlaid with a temporary filling.
- Permanent seal — all things going well and no complaints being received from the patient the temporary filling is superseded with a permanent filling during the next appointment.
The procedure leaves a tooth with slimmer walls making them vulnerable. We, therefore, recommend that the tooth should be reinforced with help from a dental crown after the healing process is completed. If you decide to opt for a crown we can give you a temporary one right away and dispatch the impressions to the lab to have a permanent one made. Another visit will be essential for fitting it. Additional work may be needed in some cases where the tooth is weak or broken to prepare it. Discover how a dental crown works.
The procedure is generally completed in approximately two visits. The patient and the dentist get an opportunity to view the progress to understand whether further work is needed during the second visit. On occasion, our dentists may do away with the temporary filling and opt instead to fit a permanent filling during the first visit. In such cases, the recovery time will be highly minimized.
- Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAID] such as ibuprofen can be used if the pain is experienced in the tooth.
- Patients that are sensitive to NSAID or aspirin can utilize acetaminophen [Tylenol].
- Prescription medications can be used if the pain persists. The possibility of remnant contamination must be checked.
The possibilities of infection after a successful procedure are rare. However, if an infection is speculated:
- Antibiotics may be used to kill the remnant infection.
- The root canal may be reopened, cleaned and sealed again during the retreatment.
In some cases, driving is considered safe after undergoing a root canal procedure. However, the strength of the sedation used during the treatment will determine whether or not a patient can begin driving and therefore it is suggested that help is sought for the ride back home.
This restorative treatment can range in price, typically based on the condition of the tooth, skill of the endodontist, and possible additional services needed (i.e. after hours appointment). As it can save a tooth from falling out or being pulled, and can restore your smile with a crown, the price for this procedure is more than worth it. That being said, if you are spending the money you should spend it wisely on an experienced specialist who has good reviews, is close to you, and has a variety of financing options that fit your needs. Our office accepts most PPOs, works with lenders like CareCredit, and offers interest free, in-house payment plans. Get more root canal cost information and find out the best way to pay for this treatment.
Contact Us to make an appointment with our office in Frisco, TX and we can determine if a root canal is a proper procedure for your specific situation or case. Our dental care specialists will ensure your questions are fully answered to make sure you are confident in your decision.
Dr. George’s Dental Affiliations
Dr. George is highly educated and experienced in providing dental care. She provides the dental care you and your family need to reach healthy smiles. Read Dr. George’s full bio…