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Frisco Root Canal Therapy

Dealing with an abscessed tooth is not fun. In fact, such a tooth can be lethal if not cared for properly. The discomfort experienced with an infected tooth can cause you to want to get rid of the tooth. However, that is not always the best option. Missing teeth can be the start of a variety of problems that over time can have a very negative impact on your oral health. Extracting an infected tooth is generally a last resort in many cases.

When an infected tooth has a great deal of healthy tooth structure left, it is often advisable that a root canal be performed. This general dentistry treatment eliminates the infection in the tooth and saves the tooth as well. Many people prefer this alternative to pulling a tooth. It is always better to retain your natural teeth when possible.

Root canal therapy involves removing the nerve from the root of the tooth as well as all the infection and decayed material. Specific instruments are used to clean out the root canal thoroughly and disinfect it. Once this has been done, a special material is placed within the tooth to prevent any more bacteria from entering the canal. Gutta percha is often the material used to close off the root canal. Next, the remainder of the tooth is filled.

Root Canals Offer Pain Relief for Infected Teeth!

Swelling from the infection presses on the nerves of the tooth at the apex, causing severe pain. The pulp, or nerve, of the tooth also causes intense pain when it is exposed to decay and in the process of dying. Not addressing the problem can lead to the infection and bacteria getting into the bloodstream.

Applying root canal therapy not only saves the tooth, but it also prevents the infection from spreading to the bloodstream. Once the infected nerve is removed, the pain and discomfort begin to subside. It may take a few days for the swelling to decrease. In some cases, antibiotics must be used to help stop the infection.

What many people fail to realize is that root canal therapy relieves the pain of an infected tooth. It is the infection of the nerve of the tooth that is actually causing the discomfort. Once the nerve has been taken from the tooth, normalcy should return.

Why Would I Need a Root Canal?

Root canals are performed to remove the soft center of your tooth, known as the pulp, when it becomes damaged. You may need a root canal if your tooth’s pulp has become inflamed, infected, or the pulp has died.

While pain can be an indication that a root canal is needed, it does not necessarily mean you need a root canal, and alternatively, a root canal can also be needed on a tooth that is experiencing no pain. Some signs that your tooth is infected include:

  • Chips, cracks, or holes in the tooth
  • Significant pain when chewing or applying pressure to the tooth
  • Tender and swollen gums
  • Facial swelling/swelling around the neck
  • Pimple around the gums which could be an abscess
  • Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold foods & drinks
  • Tooth discoloration or dark tooth

To identify if you need a root canal, Dr. Parul Vashisht will take an x-ray of your teeth to look for signs of infection. Key indicators that your tooth requires a root canal include:

  • Gum pimples
  • Unexplained darkening of the tooth
  • Exposed nerves

Root Canal Process

After x-rays have been taken to determine that a root canal is needed, an access hole will be made into the affected tooth with a drill. You will be given local anesthesia before the drilling so you won’t feel any pain. 

A pulpectomy, which involves removing the pulp of the tooth, will be performed. The tooth’s pulp will be scraped out and all of the canals inside the tooth will be thoroughly cleaned. The tooth will then be filled with a material called gutta-percha. A temporary filling will seal the access hole.

At a separate appointment, you will come back to receive a permanent filling and likely a crown will be placed on top of the affected tooth if it is weak or susceptible to damage. This will protect the tooth and reduce the likelihood of complications in the future.

Healing from Root Canals

In the first few days after the root canal, it is normal to experience some pain and discomfort but this is typically mild. Over-the-counter pain medication can be taken to relieve pain in the first few days but if this pain persists for over a week, you should contact Dr. Parul Vashisht.

Because we administer local anesthetic for this procedure, your mouth will still be numb for several hours following the procedure. You should avoid consuming food or hot drinks during this period to avoid accidentally biting or injuring your mouth.

Wait until your mouth is no longer numb to eat. When you are ready to eat, you should stick to soft, cool, or warm temperature foods and chew on the opposite side of your mouth. After the first day, you should still stick to soft foods but it is safe to return to hotter foods and drinks.

Follow the directions provided to you by Dr. Parul Vashisht and continue to practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. You may want to avoid flossing around the tooth of the root canal initially. 

Make sure that you return for your follow-up appointments to permanently seal the tooth and put a crown on top of the affected tooth for additional protection.

Have an Infected or Damaged Tooth? Make an Appointment at Parklane Family Dentistry Today!

If you are experiencing signs of an infected, inflamed, or dead tooth, you should contact us at Parklane Family Dentistry right away for an emergency dental appointment. If you’re experiencing pain, schedule an appointment with Dr. Parul Vashisht and we can relieve your pain during the first appointment.

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