The words “root canal” may evoke fear. But they shouldn’t. In the hands of a skilled dentist like Hung T. Chau, DDS of Sunshine Dental, located in Houston, Texas, this endodontic treatment can save a tooth from requiring extraction, is simple, and relatively painless. For expert endodontic treatment, call or book a consultation online with Dr. Chau.
Endodontics and Root Canals Q & A
How do I know if I need to have a root canal?
If your tooth is infected but can be saved, Dr. Chau may recommend a root canal (endodontics) treatment. Pulp, a tissue living inside your root canal, may be inflamed. The inflammation causes pain because this is where your veins, nerves, and connective tissue reside within the tooth. In severe cases, the pulp may become infected. As a result, your tooth is damaged and begins to decay. A root canal procedure allows you to keep the tooth while removing the pain caused by the infected pulp.
What causes a tooth to become infected?
The infection affects pulp, the soft tissue within the tooth, and is caused by:
- Deep cavities
- Cracked teeth
- Broken teeth
- Tooth injury (not always visible)
- Several dental procedures to the same tooth
Sometimes, the tooth dies. It might happen because the infection is left untreated or because of gum disease. But sometimes, it dies without reason or cause. Still, Dr. Chau may suggest the root canal to remove dead tissue. Otherwise, the dead tissue can lead to more infections that can affect your other teeth.
What does a root canal treatment entail?
Dr. Chau takes X-rays of your tooth to locate any potential infections that affect the bone around the tooth. During the procedure, Dr. Chau forms an access hole in the tooth. He removes bacteria and the infected pulp through this hole. Then he uses root canal file to clean the tooth down to the roots. When the tooth is successfully cleaned, he uses a dental filling to close the access hole.
Will the root canal hurt?
Thanks to modern techniques, root canals are no longer the scary procedures they once were. Dr. Chau numbs your tooth and the surrounding area to alleviate pain throughout the procedure. The numbing agent makes your face, mouth, and gums numb for several hours. After it wears off, your tooth may feel a bit sore. It may also be sensitive. Follow Dr. Chau’s instructions to reduce pain during the healing process.