We’ve all heard the jokes about root canals, so it’s no secret that they have a pretty bad reputation. In spite of everything you’ve heard, however, root canal treatment today isn’t much more complicated than having a tooth filled.
Your anxiety is understandable, but having a dental team who cares about your concerns can make all the difference in the world. Our team’s efficient and gentle approach ensures that a root canal at our Baytown dental office will be the most comfortable you’ve ever experienced.
According to the American Association of Endodontists, more than 15 million root canals are performed every year! In all the years our practice has existed, we’ve performed hundreds of safe, comfortable root canal procedures, so we’re used to apprehensive patients. Since we’re sympathetic to your concerns, we’ll do everything we can to make sure that you’re completely comfortable during and after your treatment.
Your tooth is made up of an outer layer of dental enamel, a hard layer beneath the enamel called dentin, and a soft tissue under the dentin called pulp. Pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue and helps grow the root of your tooth during development.
Root canals treat the inside of the tooth when the pulp becomes infected. This can be the result of severe decay, periodontal disease, a crack or chip in the tooth.
If a tooth is avulsed (knocked out) it can sometimes be put back into the socket and saved.
However, the nerve, pulp, and blood supply to the inside of the tooth is severed and therefore the tissue dies. Leaving the dead pulp tissue in the tooth is not an option because an abscess can form at the tip of the root. In this case, a root canal is almost always indicated.
Also if a tooth sustains trauma, but isn't totally knocked out, the nerve can slowly die over time and the tooth can turn a darker shade. The dead tissue should not be left in the tooth for the same reason.
When this occurs, Dr. Holder or Dr. Kirkpatrick gently clears away any damaged tissue, then carefully cleans and seals the tooth. We may just need to fill the tooth after root canal treatment, but in most cases, we’ll recommend a dental crown to protect and strengthen the tooth.
One of the ways we provide such efficient and comfortable root canals is by using updated technology. Rotary endodontics allow us to remove the infected pulp and disinfect the tooth quicker than using traditional hand files. The electronic apex locator allow us to obtain the length of the tooth root canal quicker and easier, and without as many x-rays needed. All of this allows us to to treat many of the root canal cases in one appointment vs multiple appointments.
If inflammation or infection of the pulp isn’t treated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess. The pain will continue and increase, and we may need to remove the tooth to provide relief. However, if we treat the inflammation or infection early enough, we are able to prevent tooth loss in most cases.
During root canal treatment, we’ll remove the inflamed pulp, then carefully clean, disinfect, and seal the opening. In most cases, we’ll recommend a dental crown to further protect and strengthen the tooth. After restoration, your tooth will function just like any other tooth.
We make every effort to keep you comfortable during your root canal. Our team understands that years of conditioning have probably left you with a pretty low opinion of root canals.
Aside from our team’s calming approach, we offer nitrous oxide sedation to help keep you relaxed during your procedure. You can just sit back and listen to your favorite tunes while we restore your tooth to perfect health. If you experience intense anxiety about dental visits, we can talk to you about adding oral conscious sedation.
We would love to show you the difference that the support of a friendly team of professionals can make when it comes to your root canal treatment. If you suspect you need a root canal, please don’t delay treatment. We always reserve time in our schedule for emergencies so you can relax, knowing that the care you need is just a phone call away.