Endodontics in LongviewWe are proud to offer our patients the latest in root canal therapy. A root canal is a procedure that extracts decayed pulp from the central part of the tooth, reshapes the root canal, and replaces it with strengthened filler.


Is a Root Canal Painful?

A common misconception is that a root canal is a painful procedure. Root canals are similar to having a cavity filled, producing minimal pain. Needing a root canal can be painful because usually, the center of the tooth that contains the nerves and blood vessels is infected. When different temperatures hit the nerves or blood vessels, it can cause extreme pain. 


Your dentist, Dr. Dolive or Dr. Acres, will use anesthesia and sedation to make you comfortable during the procedure. You should feel minimal pain during the process, and you may feel pressure. 


Why Would I Need a Root Canal?

There are several reasons a root canal may be necessary. We perform a root canal when there is severe damage to the tooth’s center, called the pulp. As mentioned above, the pulp contains the blood vessels and nerves in the tooth. Not only can teeth with exposed nerves be painful, but you can also risk getting a systemic infection or heart disease if you don’t treat the tooth quickly. This is because bacteria from outside the tooth enter the tooth’s center and, subsequently, the blood vessels. 


A few common reasons you may receive a root canal are if you have an infected/inflamed tooth, severe tooth decay, chipped/broken tooth, or swelling or tenderness near the tooth. In all cases, the tooth’s center is damaged and should be replaced to decrease pain and prevent further complications.


What Happens if I Don’t Get a Root Canal?

When left untreated, these problems can lead to severe tooth decay reaching the tooth’s root, causing extensive damage to the tooth structure. You can also develop heart disease or sepsis because bacteria enter the bloodstream in the tooth’s center. When the damage goes beyond what we can treat with a filling, we can perform a root canal to preserve the tooth and retain its original integrity.


What Happens During a Root Canal?

After your initial consultation appointment, where your dentist examines your teeth and recommends a root canal, you will schedule the procedure. When you arrive for the procedure, we will give you anesthesia. Anesthesia will make you comfortable during the process. 


Then, your dentist will use a dental dam to isolate the tooth. We will extract the tooth’s center, and the dentist will remove the infected or dead pulp. Your dentist will then thoroughly clean your tooth, including cracks and canals. While cleaning, your dentist will reshape the canals in the tooth. Then, we will fill the tooth with a biocompatible filling material. Lastly, a temporary cover fills the opening. Your dentist will fit you for a permanent restoration later, such as a dental crown. 


Procedure for After a Root Canal

You will be given anesthesia during the procedure, which will make you sleepy. You should coordinate someone to drive you home from the procedure before your appointment. Our dentists recommend that patients avoid eating until the numbing medication wears off. Next, continue your oral health routine as usual. Carefully brush and floss around the tooth that received treatment. Lastly, remember to follow up with Dolive DDS Family and Cosmetic Dentistry for your final permanent restoration. 


We will work with each patient individually to discuss the details of your treatment and any possible alternatives. Our top priority is to provide you with the highest standard of care. Although getting a root canal may sound worrisome, there is nothing to fear. A root canal can be an excellent restoration option to enhance your oral and overall health. For more information about endodontics in Longview or root canals, or to schedule an appointment, call our office.