Longview Root Canal Therapy
Even our toughest dental patients cringe when they hear a root canal is in their future. Luckily for our patients at the Longview Dental Center, root canal therapy may be just what you need to relieve toothache pain and dental sensitivity. Best of all, root canal therapy allows us to save teeth that may need to be removed. If you want to learn more about root canals or any of the safe, comfortable, and effective dentistry services we provide, call the Longview Dental Center team today. We’ll be happy to answer your questions over the phone when possible or schedule an appointment for you to visit us for all of your dental care needs.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is an advanced restorative dentistry procedure that is necessary when tooth decay or damage accesses the part of the tooth where the nerve system is housed. There are three layers of teeth – the outer enamel, the supportive dentin, and the interior pulp and nerve tissue. When dental cavities, chips, cracks, or breaks access the nerve layer, the result is usually a severe toothache or dental sensitivity that requires the removal of the pulp and nerve tissue to restore full health and function.
What are the Warning Signs of Root Canal?
Many of the dental patients we treat with root canal therapy visit our Longview dentistry office on an emergency basis. It’s important that patients recognize the warning signs of this oral health issues, and that they contact our office as soon as possible. Some of the common indicators of a need for root canal therapy include:
- Severe toothache that may be a sharp pain or a dull throb
- Dental sensitivity to changes in temperature that lingers
- Darkening of the tooth usually near the gum line
- Swelling, inflammation, or infection in the soft tissue around one tooth
How are Root Canals Performed?
Root canal therapy is relatively simple. We numb the area to relieve pain and keep you comfortable throughout treatment. Then, we drill an access hole from the top of the tooth into the pulp layer. The damaged tissue is extracted. The inside of the tooth is fully cleansed, and all infection and decay are removed. Next, a similar substance is used to refill the tooth. The access hole is sealed. Finally, we place a dental crown to protect and fortify the root canal treated tooth, ensuring the results will last for ten or more years with proper care.
How do I Care for My Smile After Root Canal Therapy?
Following root canal therapy, most patients tell us that they feel almost immediately better. You will need to carefully brush and floss around the treated tooth, especially if you have a temporary crown in place. We recommend avoiding chewing with that part of the mouth until your final dental crown is in position over the treated tooth. Otherwise, you should be able to go right back to brushing teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting us twice a year for preventive dental exams and teeth cleanings to keep your smile whole and healthy for a lifetime.
Root Canal FAQs
At Longview Dental Center, we believe that it’s important for our patients to be as educated as possible. We will always be more than happy to answer your questions about root canals. We’ve compiled this list of the root canal questions we get asked the most often.
Do Root Canals Hurt?
Root canals in Longview have a scary reputation of being painful, but most of the pain associated with them comes from before the procedure. In fact, root canal therapy is one of the best ways to relieve dental pain, since the nerve is removed from the tooth. Before your root canal begins, Dr. Stoddard will use local anesthesia so that you won’t feel a thing during the procedure. There may be some soreness for a few days afterwards, but you should be able to manage that with over-the-counter painkillers.
How Long Do Root Canals Take?
The amount of time needed for a root canal is slightly different for each patient, and even then, it’s different for each type of tooth. In general, the farther back in the mouth you go, the longer a root canal will take. This is because back teeth have more canals that need to be treated than front teeth. The procedure will typically last between one and two hours, and can often be completed in one appointment. If, however, you need a restoration, like a crown or filling, a second appointment is needed to finish that process.
Are Root Canals Expensive?
Before we begin treatment, we’ll help you understand the cost. Your emergency dentist in Longview will do everything in his power to make the treatment as efficient as possible so you don’t pay a cent more than you need to. Like the time needed for a root canal, the cost will vary depending on the type of tooth we’re treating. Although root canals might cost some money up front, it’s much cheaper in the long run than having to replace the tooth with dentures or dental implants. We accept most major dental insurance policies, so don’t be afraid to contact our office if you have any questions regarding your insurance.
I’m Not in Pain – Why Do I Need a Root Canal?
Even though a toothache is the most common indicator that a root canal is necessary, it’s not the only sign. There are cases where a patient in unaware that their tooth has a problem. This happens when a tooth has “died.” The nerve in a dead tooth no longer sends out pain signals, and it doesn’t have any blood flow anymore. Although you might not be in pain, a dead tooth can lead to infection in the mouth and even in the rest of the body if left untreated. If your tooth, or the gums around it, is discolored, it may be infected. That’s a sign that a root canal might be needed.