If you’re currently dealing with a terrible toothache, the last thing you probably want to hear is that you might need a root canal. However, despite this procedure’s reputation, it’s actually one of the best and fastest ways to stop dental pain, and the treatment itself is practically painless here at Bridlewood Dental. Don’t let fear prevent you from getting the care you need—you’ll wish you contacted us sooner after Dr. Song makes your toothache disappear with root canal therapy in Flower Mound, TX. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today.
Root canals are typically used to treat teeth that have developed an infection in their inner nerve, which is called the dental pulp. In addition to dental pain, people with this type of problem may experience:
With root canal therapy, Dr. Song is able to not only relieve the worst dental pain very quickly, but he’s also able to preserve teeth that would otherwise have to be extracted. In the past, teeth with a pulp infection were simply removed, meaning patients had to go through the hassle of getting them replaced. With Dr. Song, your tooth will be cleaned, disinfected, filled, and topped with a crown so it will look, function, and feel like nothing was wrong with it for many years to come.
During the year, about 15 percent of patients in the United States will avoid root canal therapy because they’re afraid of the pain that’s supposedly associated with the procedure. However, the reality is very different. The tooth and the nearby gum tissue will be numbed with a special medication, meaning you’ll notice very little, if any, pain. And once the nerves of the tooth have been removed, the discomfort caused by the infection itself will stop.
You should expect some soreness for a few days after the treatment, but it shouldn’t be anything unmanageable. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and other painkillers can be very useful during this time. That said, if the pain becomes unusually severe, fails to clear up after a few days, or comes back months or years later, call us immediately; there’s a chance that a new infection might have developed, and we’ll need to find a solution as soon as possible.
Infected tooth pulp doesn’t have any way to heal itself. Without root canal therapy, dangerous bacteria will continue to attack the nerves and the tooth’s structure. At some point, the nerves might be completely destroyed; that will temporarily stop the pain, but the infection will still be there and could eventually spread to the rest of your body, leading to further health problems.
If root canal therapy isn’t performed in time, then sooner or later you might need to have the tooth extracted. While this prevents further damage from the infection itself, it will leave a gap in your smile. As a result, the teeth will shift, your bite will become unbalanced, and your jawbone will start to break down. You can get a dental implant to maintain your oral health, but that means undergoing additional surgery. It’s always better to save your natural teeth whenever you have the chance.
Before we start, we’ll take an X-ray of the tooth to familiarize ourselves with the shape of the tooth’s root canals; we can also check to see if the infection has reached the nearby bone. To begin the procedure itself, we’ll numb the area and place a rubber dam to keep the tooth dry. Then, after drilling a small hole in the tooth, we can take out the pulp and any other harmful substances. (You don’t need to worry about losing the nerves and blood vessels in the pulp; a fully developed tooth can survive without them.) The next step is to clean the root canals by scraping and scrubbing the sides with a series of riles; any remaining debris is flushed away with water. The last step is to seal the tooth with filling material and a crown so that it maintains the strength and stability it needs to withstand the rigors of chewing.
On rare occasions, a tooth that has already received root canal therapy might need further endodontic treatment. Maybe the healing process was unsuccessful, or perhaps a completely new infection formed due to damage to the tooth. Either way, if you notice pain or swelling that could point to a new oral health issue, let us know right away so that we can discuss your treatment options.
If retreatment is required, we’ll reopen the tooth and check the filling material, which in most cases will have to be removed. After that, we’ll carefully check and clean the root canals, making sure that we haven’t missed any areas. We can then place a new filling as well as a new crown.
Just like the initial root canal therapy, endodontic retreatment is often your best option for keeping your smile intact. If the tooth ultimately can’t be saved, extraction will be the only option.
We can help you estimate the overall price of your root canal therapy during your first visit. Bear in mind that the cost will vary depending on how bad the damage is and which teeth need to be treated. (A front tooth might not be as expensive as a back tooth because of the number of canals it contains.) Don’t forget: if you keep your natural tooth, you won’t have to pay for a dental implant or another type of replacement in the future.
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