Many people fear root canal treatment because they believe it will be painful. Root canals, however, are safe procedures that often are no more painful than having a filling placed in your teeth. They are important because they can treat damaged and infected teeth, saving your natural teeth. They also stop the toothaches you’ve been having leading up to the procedure. Our endodontist team at Lovett Dental Heights specializes in keeping you relaxed and comfortable during treatment.

Why Have A Root Canal?doctor walks patient through her root canal

The pulp is a collection of blood vessels and nerves that helps to build the surrounding tooth. When the pulp is damaged,  either through trauma to the tooth, decay, or chips and cracks, bacteria multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria can cause an infection or abscessed tooth. In addition to an abscess, an infection of the root canal of the tooth can cause:

  • Swelling of the face, neck, and head
  • Bone loss
  • Drainage into the gums and cheek
  • Systemic inflammation
  • Loss of the affected tooth

Having a treatment as soon as possible can help prevent these complications.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

If you are experiencing the following symptoms, chances are we will recommend you have root canal therapy:

  • Swollen gums
  • Pimples on the gums
  • Deep decay or darkening of the gums
  • Severe pain while biting or chewing
  • A chipped or cracked tooth
  • Sensitivity to heat and cold, even after the sensation has been removed

What Is A Root Canal Treatment?

A root canal treatment stops the infection in your tooth. Root canal files remove the pulp, bacteria, and related debris.  Then water or sodium hypochlorite flush away the debris.  The inside of the tooth is then filled with a rubber-like material, and the tooth is crowned or filled.

We do the entire procedure with local anesthesia to keep you comfortable. The procedure sometimes can be done in one visit; other times, it requires two visits. Root canals are successful about 90 percent of the time.

What Happens If Treatment is Not Successful?

If a tooth has received treatment but still fails to heal, it can receive additional endodontic retreatment. Some of the reasons a tooth may fail to heal after the first treatment are:

  • New decay exposes the root canal’s filling material, causing infection.
  • A cracked or loose restoration exposes the tooth to a new infection.
  • Too much time elapsed between the root canal therapy and placement of the crown or restoration.
  • The crown or restoration failed to prevent saliva from contaminating the inside of the tooth.
  • Curved or narrow canals were not treated the first time properly.
  • The first treatment failed to detect complicated canals.

During retreatment, your endodontist will reopen the tooth to access the root canal filling material. We will remove this restorative material to enable access to the root canal, clean your canals, and then take another look at the inside of the tooth. Once the canals have been cleaned, the doctor will fill and seal them and place a temporary filling in the tooth until the doctor can permanently crown or fill the tooth.

Contact Lovett Dental Heights to Find the Endodontist You Need

At Lovett Dental Heights, our board-certified endodontists are experts at successfully treating your abscessed tooth. Endodontists are specialist dentists whose additional training focuses on diagnosing and performing procedures inside the tooth. The American Association of Endodontists says that fewer than 3 percent of dentists are endodontists.

We have endodontists on staff, and we also perform a full range of dental services, making our practice a one-stop-shop. Our large dental team performs general and pediatric dentistry, as well as cosmetic dentistry services. We also have specialists in orthodontics, periodontics, and oral surgery.

Contact us at 832.780.4573, or contact us online to make an appointment today.