Houston Root Canal
Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy and endodontic therapy) is one of the most-common dental procedures performed each year. Root canals are performed to save natural teeth from internal damage caused by infection or disease.
At the center of every tooth there is a collection of blood vessels known as pulp, feeding the tooth with nutrients. This pulp can sometimes become damaged or infected, causing pain and placing the tooth at risk for decay. Pulp damage occurs for many reasons, including:
- Extensive tooth decay has reached the pulp
- Trauma from damaged, cracked, or chipped teeth
- Infections of the gums
- Excessive or damaged dental work
The infected or damaged pulp is extracted without removing the tooth, and then replaced with a crown. An effective root canal will:
- Prevent the need for removal of a tooth by removing infection.
- Prevent infection by removing the damaged or diseased tissue completely.
- Eliminate pain, disease, and decay by removing diseased and damaged tissue.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
Not every infection will be easily noticeable to the naked eye. We recommend regular dentist check-ups to ensure healthy teeth and gums. Most often, damaged or infected pulp is accompanied by one or more physical symptoms. These can include but are not limited to the following:
- Pain or irritation in the tooth or gums
- Swollen, tender lymph nodes
- Noticeable pus drainage from your tooth
- Abscesses on the gums
- Intensified sensitivity to hot or cold
- Tooth becomes sensitive to the touch
If you have experienced any of these symptoms Dr. Barras recommends immediately scheduling an examination so that he may determine the cause of the symptom and a proper course of action for treatment. The sooner pulp infection or damage is discovered and removed from the tooth, the greater the likelihood of saving the natural tooth.
What is the Procedure for a Root Canal?
Many patients worry that root canals are painful procedures. After the root canal has been performed, many patients report having experienced little to no pain at all during the procedure. Most often, the pain associated with root canals is caused by the infected pulp and damaged nerves. The infection causing the pain is removed during the root canal procedure. The root canal process is generally spread over several visits to our office, depending on patient needs and dental structure. The basic procedure for a root canal is:
- The area is numbed with local anesthetic, then cleaned and prepared.
- Using specialized tools decay and debris are removed.
- The area is completely cleaned and prepared for filling.
- The tooth is filled first with a temporary filling, and later with a permanent crown.
Most patients are pain-free soon following treatment but the use of over-the-counter pain medication may be necessary at first. You will be able to drive home after your procedure and return to your normal routine immediately. It is normal for the area to remain sensitive to pressure and temperature for several days after treatment. Proper dental care and hygiene is an important part of the aftercare process.
Root Canal Therapy by Dr. John Barras, DDS
Despite their reputation root canals are generally comfortable, painless procedures. Houston dentist Dr. Barras uses advanced technology to perform laser-assisted root canals, greatly reducing the chance of reinfection by eliminating bacteria in hard-to-reach areas. Using the ER:YAG laser instead of traditional dental tools Dr. Barras cleans areas of the teeth unreachable by other dentists for a sterile, healthy root canal.
The cost for a root canal will vary based on the patient and depth of the procedure. Generally a root canal is much less expensive than the complete removal and replacement of a tooth. During your examination Dr. Barras will list any observations he makes, and will then explain possible treatment options available to you. Root canals are usually necessary, general dentistry procedures and we work with many insurance carriers.
If you suffer from any of the listed symptoms and think you might need a root canal, or you’re just interested in a check-up contact our Galleria office in Houston at (713) 993-9814 to schedule your examination today!