The interior of your tooth is made up of a soft, pulpy material that holds the nerves and blood vessels that keep your tooth healthy. When that pulpy material becomes infected, you typically need a root canal to clear any decayed tissue and preserve your tooth. George Saliba, DDS, and Basil Moukarim, DDS, provide root canals to patients from throughout Houston at the Champion neighborhood and West University offices of Dental Illusions. Call or schedule an appointment online today.
A root canal is a very common dental procedure that saves severely infected and damaged teeth by removing decayed tissue from the inside of your tooth. Over 14 million root canals are performed each year. Advances in dental technology have improved root canal techniques, making the procedure no more painful than a normal cavity filling.
The two most common symptoms that indicate you might need a root canal are temperature sensitivity and a sharp shooting pain when you bite down or chew. Discoloration or darkening of the tooth is another sign that there is an issue inside your tooth.
However, in many cases, decay and infection inside of your tooth won't cause any noticeable external symptoms. The best way to monitor the health of the insides of your teeth is to have regular dental exams that include dental X-rays. Dental X-rays show your dentist if any issues are developing inside your teeth that can't be seen with the naked eye.
Root canals are very similar to surface cavity fillings. After an exam and X-rays, either Dr. Saliba or Dr. Moukarim will thoroughly numb your tooth and the surrounding tissues. Then, they drill into your tooth and remove the decayed tissue. Once they’ve removed all of the damaged and decayed tissue, they clean your tooth inside and out with an antibacterial medication and fill it with a rubber-like material. They seal your tooth with a filling and, if your tooth is severely weakened by the decay, they may fit you with a crown that protects your tooth.
Your tooth may be sensitive for a day or so after a root canal. You can use ice packs and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to reduce any discomfort. You’ll have a follow-up appointment with Dr. Saliba or Dr. Moukarim to check that the treatment was successful and to fit a permanent crown, if needed.
You should always brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day and floss at least once a day. You should continue to have routine dental cleanings and exams every six months.
Call or schedule an appointment online today.