Many patients in Longview, Texas, who have experienced an infection in their tooth have benefited from a root canal. A root canal is a procedure that extracts decayed pulp from the central part of the tooth, reshapes the channel, and replaces it with strengthening filler. A root canal is an essential procedure that can improve your tooth and rid it of spreading infection.
Why Would I Need a Root Canal?
Dr. Dolive and Dr. Acres often recommend a root canal to patients who have an infection in the center of their tooth. The infection can result from dental decay, which is the superficial erosion of the enamel of the tooth. This decay can burrow into the deeper reaches of the tooth, causing extensive damage to the tooth structure. When the damage goes beyond what we can treat with a filling, Dr. Dolive and Dr. Acres can perform a root canal (or endodontics), preserving the tooth and retaining its original integrity, thereby saving a tooth that in the past would have to have been pulled.
Why is a Root Canal Necessary?
Our dentists often recommend a root canal as a treatment to repair the damage to the tooth to help prevent decay from spreading. When dental decay is left untreated, it causes an infection in the tooth’s center. If decay in the tooth’s center develops into a more server condition, that infection can enter your bloodstream. If the decay enters your bloodstream, it can spread systemically and cause a severe illness or heart disease. Yes, decomposition can spread to your other teeth and gums, but it can also spread throughout your body. Ultimately, a severe tooth infection can put the viability of your teeth and body at risk.
What Happens During a Root Canal Procedure?
After your initial exam, your dentist will schedule you for a root canal procedure. Your dentist will give you an anesthetic when you arrive for the procedure. The anesthetic will make you comfortable during the process and help you forget what happened. Your dentist will also give you sedation medication to make you comfortable.
Once you are medicated, your dentist will begin the procedure. He will isolate the tooth he will work on with a dental dam tool. Next, your dentist will perform either a surgical or non-surgical root canal. In a non-surgical root canal, your dentist uses a drill to access the tooth’s center from the top of the tooth. In a surgical root canal, your dentist accesses the tooth’s center from the side gums.
Once your dentist accesses the tooth’s center, he will remove the decayed and infected parts. If needed, he will reshape the canals, so there are no cracks. Once we remove the decay and infection, we will fill your tooth with a biocompatible material.
The top of the tooth, the part that is not affected by the tooth’s center, is temporarily filled. In a few weeks, your dentist will recommend that you return to the office for a permanent dental restoration. Usually, this restoration is a dental crown. A dental crown often called a cap, is placed on the tooth to restore a large cavity, break, or decay.
The “root canal” has become a frightening term for dental patients, but the procedure’s benefits and developments in dental technology have made it far less so. In most situations, local anesthetics and proper pain medication allow the process to be completed with little to no pain. There may be some discomfort following the procedure, although this is common with most dental surgeries. After that, over-the-counter pain relievers are usually sufficient, although you may be prescribed medication.
If you have a severe dental infection in one or more teeth, consider a root canal from Dolive DDS Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. Our goal is to save your natural tooth and help restore the appearance and function of your smile. If you need a root canal in Longview, TX, call Dolive DDS, and we’ll get you taken care of!