Root canal treatment saves a tooth by removing damaged, infected, or dead pulp from a tooth—deep into the roots. The pulp—tissue, blood vessels, and nerves—is removed. And the tooth is cleaned, disinfected, filled, and sealed. Dr. Siny Thomas of Sugar Land provides painless root canal treatment.
When Is Root Canal Treatment Needed?
Several factors can damage tooth pulp and result in a need for root canal treatment:
- Trauma – A severe crack or break can permanently damage the living tissue inside your tooth. Even if the tooth is just bumped and not cracked, the impact can cause the blood supply to the tooth to be severed.
- Deep decay – If left untreated, decay will infect a tooth and cause inflammation, swelling, and pain. Your body will respond to the infection by sending antibodies and white blood cells to the tooth pulp, which further crowds and chokes the inflamed pulp. As the infection spreads, it forms an abscess at the tip of the root of the tooth. From there, the infection can spread into your jawbone and beyond.
- Complications with a dental crown or filling – A faulty crown or filling can irritate a tooth and cause inflammation or infection.
What Signs and Symptoms that Root Canal Treatment Is Needed?
Although you may not experience all the signs or symptoms, these factors might mean that your tooth needs root canal treatment:
- Lingering sensitivity to heat or cold
- A tender bump or pimple on your gums near the tooth root
- A toothache
- Intense pain when you bite or chew
- A severely chipped or cracked tooth
What’s the Process?
Dr. Thomas uses endodontic rotary instruments to thoroughly and safely perform root canal treatment. He will take the following steps:
- Numb your tooth
- Isolate it to keep it dry
- Make an opening in the crown of your tooth and into the pulp chamber
- Remove the diseased or dead pulp
- Clean and shape the canals in your tooth
- Use a dental filler material to replace the pulp
- Seal the tooth and protect it with a temporary filling
- Restore the tooth with a dental crown
Is It Painful?
In many cases, the pulp of the tooth will be already dead before root canal treatment is begun, meaning that it has lost all capability to feel pain inside the tooth. Nevertheless, before root canal treatment, Dr. Thomas will numb your tooth. Most of our patients don’t feel any pain at all. If you’re anxious about dental appointments, sedation dentistry is available to help you relax during the procedure. It also minimizes your sensitivity to pain. After the procedure, you may experience temporary, minor sensitivity or discomfort in the tooth. Tooth extraction is a much more traumatic dental procedure than root canal treatment.
Preventing the Need for Root Canal Treatment
Deep decay, trauma, or a faulty filling or crown can lead to inflamed or infected tooth pulp and root canal treatment. But how can root canal treatment be avoided?
- Minimize decay – Be diligent about maintaining good oral hygiene at home. Prevent plaque buildup by brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing between them daily. Schedule regular dental exams and cleanings. Early detection and treatment prevent deep decay.
- Protect teeth from trauma – You can’t avoid all injuries. But if you play contact sports, wear a custom-made mouthguard. If trauma cracks or breaks a tooth, prompt treatment may help you avoid root canal treatment.
- Replace defective fillings or crowns – If you have a defective filling or crown, Dr. Thomas can replace it. He has advanced training in tooth restoration and occlusion and bite (the way your teeth fit together). He will ensure your filling or crown fits comfortably and keeps your bite healthy.
If you think you need root canal treatment—or if you want to avoid it—schedule an exam with Dr. Thomas. Call us or complete our Request an Appointment form.
“I’m not a fan of the dentist, but the staff at Cornerstone Dentistry made me feel very comfortable. Dr. Thomas did root canals on two of my teeth. He reassured me during treatment and ensured my tooth remained numb. Not once did it hurt!” – Aimee