Root Canals — Friendswood, TX
Relieve Toothache & Repair Damaged Smiles
For severe tooth decay or injury that cannot be treated with a simple crown or filling, your dentist in Friendswood provides comfortable root canal therapy. Yes, you read that right -- there is nothing to fear from a modern root canal. Also known as endodontic therapy, the treatment is often the last solution available before extraction of the tooth is necessary. Continue reading to learn more about root canals in Friendswood, TX from Dr. James Sierra at Friendswood Dental Group.
Root Canals: An Overview
A root canal is necessary when decay or infection has penetrated the tooth enamel to reach the interior of the tooth, or the “pulp.” Infections in this stage are serious, and usually cause moderate to severe discomfort. Root canal can rescue the tooth from extraction.
What are the warning signs of a root canal? Usually discomfort and some visible symptoms, too. The symptoms of a tooth infection requiring root canal include…
- Persistent ache in a tooth
- Prolonged sensitivity to heat, cold, and pressure
- Discoloration of the tooth
- Swelling of the gums
- Sore spot beneath the tooth
- Bad odor coming from the tooth
To keep your smile intact and reduce your discomfort, schedule an appointment as soon as you realize you have an issue.
Root Canal Therapy Procedure
If you have a tooth requiring root canal, the procedure will likely be completed in two visits to Friendswood Dental Group. Sometimes treatment can be completed in one appointment -- your treatment plan depends on the severity of the infection.
To begin a root canal, we will first administer local anesthesia to ensure you feel nothing throughout the procedure. Sedation dentistry is available as needed for additional relaxation. Once you are completely comfortable, Dr. Sierra will…
- Access the interior of the tooth by drilling a small hole in its surface
- Remove all infected tissue with a special vacuum-like tool
- Measure and reshape the root canals
- Fill the tooth with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha
- Apply a temporary or permanent filling or crown
- After a brief healing period (if necessary), a permanent crown is attached in a separate appointment.
Root canal therapy may be combined with antibiotic treatment for complete healing of the infection.
Root Canal Aftercare
If your root canal treatment is spread out over two appointments, your tooth will be fitted with a temporary crown. Be careful with this restoration -- it will not withstand excessive force, so try to avoid chewing on that side of your mouth, and don’t eat excessively crunchy, sticky, or hard foods at all.
You will likely experience the side effects common with any oral procedure after your root canal. Take any prescribed pain medications as directed, and brush and floss your teeth as you normally would.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Don’t delay root canal treatment when you need it. With our experienced team and the latest in dental technology and sedation, we provide comfortable, efficient root canals at Friendswood Dental Group! We’re the dentist you are looking for when you search “dentist near me” -- so contact us to schedule your appointment today.
Root Canals Frequently Asked Questions
Even after reading through the information given above, you probably still have several lingering questions about your upcoming root canal in Friendswood. Before you start scouring the internet for answers, stop right there because we’ve got you covered. Our team at Friendswood Dental Group has decided to answer a few of the most common questions we get from patients about root canals. If you don’t see your specific question below, feel free to reach out to us for an answer!
How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Root Canal?
Since every smile is different, the recovery time for a root canal in Friendswood will vary from patient to patient. Generally, most patients can expect to return to work or school the day following their procedure. Although you’ll likely experience mild soreness and discomfort for the first few days after your root canal, it shouldn’t be severe enough to interfere with your daily routine. You can manage these symptoms by taking your medications as directed and using cold compresses. While you heal, you’ll also want to stick to a soft-food diet and chew on the side of your mouth away from the root canal. If your job requires physical labor, be sure to request two to three days off since vigorous exercise can hinder the recovery process.
Are Root Canals Painful?
Long ago, root canal therapy may have been considered a painful procedure. But thanks to advanced technology and techniques, root canals are about as comfortable as getting a cavity filled! The pain associated with root canals typically stems from the intense toothache that warrants the procedure. Since root canal therapy removes the infection within the tooth, it actually helps relieve you of this pain. Additionally, Dr. Sierra will numb your mouth and administer sedation (if needed) to ensure you’re completely comfortable during your procedure. Your mouth might feel slightly sore and sensitive following your root canal, but it can be managed with medication and cold compresses.
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
Root canals can usually be completed in one appointment, but it can sometimes take up to two. In these cases, Dr. Sierra will place a temporary antibacterial medicine in the tooth to relieve pain at your first appointment. Then, you’ll return, and the inside of your tooth will be cleaned out at your second appointment. The actual length of root canal therapy can range anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes or more, depending on the location of the tooth. Generally, the farther back in the mouth you go, the longer your root canal will take.
Do I Still Need a Root Canal If My Toothache Went Away?
Some patients may experience a severe toothache that seemingly disappears overnight. Since teeth cannot heal on their own, this usually means that bacteria have destroyed the nerves within a tooth to the point where it doesn’t feel pain anymore. If that happens, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can avoid getting a root canal. Failing to get treatment can cause the infection to spread to other parts of your mouth and body, resulting in more pain down the line. So, if Dr. Sierra recommended you get a root canal, it’s a good idea to schedule it as soon as you can.