Root Canal Therapy in Dallas, TX
Suffering from an infected or damaged tooth can be painful, and the idea of treating it can feel overwhelming. You may also be concerned about losing your natural tooth. Fortunately, modern dentistry provides a variety of options for effectively treating infected or damaged teeth, such as root canal therapy. Root canal therapy is a dental procedure that aims to treat issues like infected or badly damaged teeth while saving your natural teeth in the process.
With root canal therapy at Bent Tree Dental, Rick Miller, DDS, can alleviate your severe tooth pain and help protect your oral health.
When Is Root Canal Therapy Needed?
Some common signs and symptoms that you may need root canal therapy include:
- Chronic and severe tooth pain, particularly during chewing
- Prolonged sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures
- Dark discoloration of the tooth, usually brown or deep yellow colors
- Swelling and soreness in nearby gums
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best to reach out to Dr. Miller as soon as possible for an evaluation.
Causes Leading to Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy becomes necessary when the pulp of the tooth, which is the soft tissue inside, becomes infected or inflamed. Why does this happen?
If your tooth has decayed all the way down to the pulp, you could develop an infection. Tooth decay is often caused by poor oral hygiene, which allows the buildup of plaque and bacteria, often leading to cavities and deep decay.
Multiple Dental Procedures
Multiple dental procedures on one tooth can stress the pulp, which can cause inflammation or infection.
Chipped or Cracked Tooth
If you’ve sustained an injury to your tooth in the form of chips or cracks, the pulp of your tooth could be exposed. Exposed pulp allows bacteria to enter the tooth, which can cause an infection.
The Importance of Seeking Treatment
If your dental issues go untreated, especially if they are severe enough to require a root canal, you could experience serious health complications.
Infections in the teeth can spread, causing other health issues like abscesses or even sepsis, which can be life-threatening. Additionally, if you neglect treatment, you could end up losing your tooth altogether.
The Root Canal Therapy Process
Root canal therapy is a careful and meticulous process designed to preserve the placement and function of your natural tooth while preventing the spread of infection in order to avoid further health complications.
Here is a breakdown of what typically happens over the course of root canal therapy:
Root canal therapy starts with a comprehensive dental examination. During this examination, we take a detailed history of your symptoms and perform a thorough examination of your mouth and teeth.
We may use X-rays to evaluate the extent of the damage or infection in the tooth and surrounding bone area.
Before performing a root canal, we’ll administer local anesthesia to numb the area, which includes both the actual tooth and surrounding tissues.
The local anesthetic ensures that you’re as comfortable and pain-free as possible throughout the procedure.
Isolating the tooth is a critical step that allows us to keep the tooth clean and dry throughout the root canal therapy. It also protects the rest of your mouth from the products we use during the procedure. Isolation is typically achieved by using a thin sheet of rubber called a rubber dam.
Once we isolate the infected tooth, we’ll create an opening in the cross of the tooth in order to access the infected pulp. We use specialized tools to clean the infected pulp from within your tooth’s root canal.
Cleaning and Shaping
After all the infected material is removed, we’ll clean and shape the root canals to prepare them for filling. The cleaning and shaping stage involves using advanced, flexible instruments to disinfect the tooth area completely.
Filling the Canals
When your canals are cleaned and shaped, we’ll fill them with a biocompatible material to seal the canals in order to prevent new infections from occurring.
We then place a temporary filling on top of the biocompatible material to seal the access hole. The temporary filling helps protect the tool before a permanent restoration, like a crown, is placed.
The last stage of root canal therapy is to restore the tooth so that it can look, feel, and function as naturally as possible. We usually use a dental crown to achieve this, which not only strengthens the tooth, but also protects it from future damage.
Post and Cap
In severe cases, the restoration process may look like inserting a post into the root canal followed by a cap, which restores the full function of the diseased tooth. With mini dental implants, this can be achieved in a single visit.
Preventing the Need for Root Canal Therapy
Although over 3 million Americans have at least one dental implant in place, there are steps you can take to prevent the need for root canal therapy in the first place.
Regular Dental Check-Ups
Regular, routine check-ups and cleanings are critical if you want to keep your teeth healthy. These regular check-ups can also help you spot potential problems early on, which allows you to address any issues before they progress in severity.
Good Oral Hygiene
Nothing beats good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day, floss daily, and try using an antimicrobial mouth rinse, which can help reduce oral bacteria.
Practice Healthy Eating
Try to limit foods that contribute to tooth decay, such as sugary snacks and drinks. Additionally, consume a balanced diet full of nutrients, so you can keep your bones and tissues strong and healthy.
Protect Your Teeth
Some common causes leading to the need for root canal therapy include trauma to the teeth. So if you play sports, you should wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth from injury.
Additionally, if you grind your teeth at night, you should consider a nightguard, which can help protect your teeth from excessive wear. Excessive wear from grinding often leads to fractures, which are a breeding ground for potential infections.
Root Canal Therapy in Dallas, Texas
Preventive care is always easier than trying to cure issues with your teeth. But whether you need a routine cleaning or more advanced dental care, you can turn to Dr. Rick Miller at Bent Tree Dental.
Dr. Rick Miller has been treating patients in Dallas for decades. We work with any budget and offer a variety of financing options. Contact us today for a free consultation today.