If you are currently suffering from tooth sensitivity or pain, you might be in need of a root canal. The thought of root canal therapy might make some nervous, but you should know that technological advancement has made root canals easier and more affordable than in the past.
At East El Paso Dentist, our highly trained dental staff offers root canals for patients in El Paso who have a tooth infection. But, do you know exactly what a root canal is and if it is the right treatment for you? This article will explain the ins and outs of getting a root canal in El Paso, TX.
What is a Root Canal?
An endodontic treatment can save a severely decayed, cracked, or broken tooth when the pulp (nerve tissue in the root canal) has become inflamed or infected by bacteria. When not properly treated after a period of time, pain or a tooth abscess from an infection can result. Endodontic treatment is also called root canal therapy.
This root canal therapy is usually treated within one to two office visits, depending on the severity and amount of teeth affected. After our patient’s tooth restoration is complete, the tooth continues to function properly. With a good oral hygiene regimen and regular dental visits, the restored tooth has the potential to last a lifetime.
Root Canal With a Dental Crown
Your first visit for a root canal with a dental crown will entail getting impressions of your teeth, preparation of the tooth, removal of the tooth pulp, and then receiving a temporary crown. Between your first and second visit, we will have a custom crown specifically made for your bite and comfort while chewing.
What Are the Benefits of a Root Canal?
The first benefit of a root canal is pain relief. A root canal will relieve the pressure from inflammation in the pulp of the tooth and allow patients to live their lives without pain again. The doctor will also immediately give you an anesthetic or prescription for pain relief if needed.
Get Rid of Infection
Another added benefit is that by treating the infection in the tooth through root canal therapy, our dentist can ensure that the infection won’t spread to the jawbone, brain, or circulatory system. There are many health problems that can arise in the body that originates from dental health issues. So, it’s important for you to get treatment now. Patients that receive a root canal will remove any infection expeditiously and typically recover completely from the treatment within 24 to 48 hours.
Save Your Natural Tooth
Saving your natural tooth through root canal treatment is almost always better than having it extracted. It will be a good investment in the long term for several different reasons.
Here are some long term complications that result from extractions include:
- Bite Misalignment
- Drifting Adjacent Teeth
- Bone Loss at the Extraction Site
- Costly bone graft therapy
- Dental Implant installation
- Full or Partial Dentures
Avoid Bone Loss
If you have a tooth extraction and wait too long to get a dental implant, bone loss from the removed tooth might disqualify you from receiving a new tooth. After a tooth has been removed, the jaw bone begins to recede if a bone graft or dental implant has not been placed in the socket.
If you decide to receive an extraction to save money, you will eventually pay higher costs than if the root canal procedure with a dental crown were done, to begin with. A dental implant or bone graft will eventually have to be placed. Complications from a missing tooth may lead to biting misalignments and bone recession. A tooth extraction instead of a root canal may seem the cheapest route sometimes, but it is usually a better long-term investment for your overall health.
Should I Get a Root Canal?
A tooth canal is usually necessary when the pulp inside the root canal of a tooth becomes inflamed or infected. This could be the result of deep tooth decay, a crack or chip, or an injury to your tooth which leads to tooth pain or abscess.
There are tell-tale symptoms indicating a need for a root canal such as experiencing tooth pain, sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to touch and chewing, discoloration, swelling, or tenderness in your lymph nodes. You and the doctor will discuss these symptoms to discuss treatment options and see if you need root canal therapy to prevent further damage and to save a tooth.
Root Canal Procedure
Thanks to modern technology a root canal is safer and easier than ever. Our dentist needs to clean out the infected pulp and fill the canals to prepare the tooth for the crown. Patients usually will receive a temporary crown after the procedure on the first visit. Below are all of the steps need to complete the procedure.
Preparing the area
The dentist will begin by numbing the area where the tooth is with injections that are used to send the numbing agent into the gums and the tooth’s root. Once the tooth and area are numbed, the dentist will place a dental dam in the mouth. This dam isolates the tooth that needs the root canal and covers the rest of the teeth in the mouth.
Accessing and cleaning the roots
After preparation, the dentist will drill a hole through the top of the tooth to access the root canals and pulp chamber. The pulp chamber and root canal will be cleaned thoroughly cleaned out. An antibacterial and antiseptic solution is used to clean and disinfect the chamber and canals. This eliminates the bacteria and treats the infection located in the canals.
Shaping the canals
The dentist must place a filling in the root canals. First, the canals must be shaped. The dentist will use tiny instruments to shape the canals, so they will be ready to receive the filling material. Once shaped, the canals are cleaned a second time.
Filling the canals
The dentist will use gutta-percha to fill the canals. This rubber-like material is placed inside the canals and then heated. The dentist compresses it, so it fits snuggly against the walls. The dentist adds adhesive cement to further seal the canals. Properly sealed canals keep bacteria out.
Filling to the access hole
The dentist must also seal the hole made to access the canals. The filling prevents bacteria from entering the tooth. The dentist also might need to place a post in a canal to strengthen the tooth. This is only necessary if the tooth is severely damaged and cannot support restoration on its own.
Is a Root Canal Painful?
Does a root canal hurt? A root canal procedure sounds scary, but with today’s technology, it’s typically not a whole lot more different than having a deep filling. There’s little to no pain because your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb your tooth and gums so you’re comfortable during the procedure
Root Canal Aftercare
It is natural to experience some sensitivity, swelling, and discomfort following the procedure. This could last several days to weeks.
The local anesthetic you were given at the start of your treatment typically provides several hours of numbness. You may experience tenderness and discomfort as the local anesthetic begins to wear off. In most cases, this is easily treated with over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
If you’re worried about having a low pain threshold, discuss prescription options with our dentists. If your pain worsens, prescription antibiotics may be necessary to address a possible infection.
Schedule a Root Canal Consultation Today!
Schedule a root canal consultation today by calling (915) 621-2880 or clicking the Schedule Appointment button above.