What Is a Root Canal and When Do You Need One?

At Parke & Rogers Dentistry, our goal is always to keep your teeth in the best possible state of health. We highly encourage regular oral hygiene and preventative dental services. But sometimes, when extra care is needed, we are asked to provide more advanced dental care in the hope of preserving as much of your natural tooth as possible. That is what happens in the case of a root canal.

When Do You Need a Root Canal?

You may need a root canal when the pulp, or living tissue inside the tooth, becomes damaged to the point that it is causing you to experience a great deal of pain. In may become damaged due to an infection, untreated cavity, worn filling, cracked tooth, or other causes. Signs you may need a root canal include:

  • Increased tooth sensitivity, especially to hot and cold temperatures.
  • Severe pain.
  • Swollen, tender, or darkened gums.
  • Dental abscess.
  • Swelling in the jaw.
  • Infection or pus in the gums.

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact our Woodlands dental office immediately for an appointment. One of our experienced dental professionals, Dr. Stephanie Parke or Dr. Renee Rogers, will perform a thorough examination and may order X-rays to determine the exact cause of your discomfort. If they determine that a root canal is needed, we will first explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you have.

What Happens During a Root Canal?

Without treatment, the interior of your tooth may continue to deteriorate, leading to nerve damage, advanced levels of infection, bone loss and increased pain. The pain may become so intense that the entire tooth may need to be removed.

The purpose of a root canal is to repair and cleanse the inner portion of your tooth, while preserving and reinforcing its visible components. During the root canal procedure, our dentist removes the nerve and pulp from inside the tooth, cleans the damaged area thoroughly, and then seals the cavity that is left behind. We use a local anesthetic to keep you relaxed during the procedure, and most patients experience minimal discomfort. Depending on the extent of the damage, we may then install a filling or crown to maintain your tooth’s natural appearance.

Although the possibility of a root canal may seem worrisome, we work to keep it as comfortable as possible. Once the procedure is complete, we advise you of steps to take care of the affected area during your recovery. You may need to gently rinse with a warm salt water solution or take over-the-counter medications. After healing, the tooth will perform normally for biting and chewing purposes. Be sure to follow our advice for flossing and brushing all of your teeth.

Parke & Rogers Dentistry is located at 9191 Pinecroft Drive, Suite 270 in The Woodlands, Texas. Visit our website at https://www.parkerogersdentistry.com, call 281-419-2632, or email info@ParkeRogersDentistry.com to set an appointment or learn more about having a dental root canal.