Root canal therapy is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. Root canal treatment occurs when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected, or the pulp becomes damaged. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
A root canal treatment has the reputation of being painful. However, most people report that the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed. The discomfort experienced in the period leading up to seeking dental care is what’s painful, not the root canal procedure itself.
Signs You May Need Root Canal Treatment in Fort Worth, TX
Having an infection usually provides some warning signs. If the pulp of your tooth has become diseased, you may:
- See a discoloration or a large cavity
- Feel prolonged or increased sensitivity to heat, cold or pressure
- Suffer pain
- Notice pus that drains into your mouth
- Experience a foul taste in your mouth, even after brushing
- Experience swollen or tender lymph nodes
Sometimes, there are no noticeable symptoms, but our team at Ellis Dental will be able to discover the infection during a routine visit.
What Occurs During a Root Canal Treatment in Fort Worth, TX?
Once your general dentist performs tests on the tooth and recommends therapy, he or she can perform the treatment or refer you to an endodontist (a pulp specialist). Treatment usually involves one to three appointments.
First, you will probably be given a local anesthetic to numb the area. A rubber sheet is then placed around the tooth to isolate it. Next, an opening is drilled from the crown into the pulp chamber, which, along with the root canal, is cleaned of all diseased pulp and reshaped.
Medication may be inserted into the area to fight bacteria. Depending on the condition of the tooth, the crown may then be sealed temporarily to guard against recontamination. The tooth may be left open to drain, or the dentist may go right ahead and fill the canals.
If you’re given a temporary filling, usually it is removed on the next visit and the pulp chamber and canal(s) are filled with gutta-percha or another material to prevent recontamination. If the tooth is still weak, a metal post may be inserted above the canal filling to reinforce the tooth. Once filled, the area is permanently sealed. Finally, a gold or porcelain crown is normally placed over the tooth to strengthen its structure and improve appearance.
What Happens After Root Canal Treatment?
Natural tissue inflammation may cause discomfort for a few days, which can be controlled by an over-the-counter analgesic. A follow-up exam can monitor tissue healing. From this point on, brush and floss regularly, avoid chewing hard foods with the treated tooth and see your dentist regularly.
Root Canal Treatment at Ellis Dental
The Ellis Dental team is highly experienced with root canal treatment and other general dentistry services. If you need to request an appointment, or if you have questions about our services, call 817.760.2746 today.