Have you got one or more teeth that hurt whenever you chew? Do you feel acute sensitivity to heat or cold? Or maybe you’ve noticed discoloration or swelling of the gums? If any or all of these scenarios apply to you, then you may need to visit an endodontist.
Simply put, endodontics is a field of dentistry that studies dental pulp and treats pulp infections. The word “endodontics” is derived from the from the Greek roots endo- (meaning “inside” and odont- (meaning “tooth”). Houston endodontists perform a variety of procedures, most notably endodontic therapy (also known as a root canal), endodontic retreatment, and treatments for cracked teeth and dental trauma.
Root canals are commonly performed in instances in which the dental pulp inside the tooth becomes diseased or injured. Dental pulp contains nerves, arteries and tissues that perform several functions, including forming dentin (a major component of teeth) and providing the tooth with nutrients. In many cases, the natural tooth with diseased pulp can still be saved through a form of endodontic treatment that restores health and functionality to the damaged portion of the tooth.
In this article, we will outline a few key reasons why Galleria endodontics can often prove necessary for the patient:
Root canal therapy often preserves most, if not all, of the original tooth, thereby making it easier to place natural looking crowns as needed.
It alleviates bacterial infections within the pulp that can result in tooth decay and inflammation, as well as cause the formation of abscesses.
It repairs chips and fractures within teeth that, if not addressed, can lead to bacteria invading and infecting the dental pulp inside.
It heals and resets teeth that were injured in instances where the tooth became dislodged as a result of a direct or indirect blow to the mouth.
It allows a Houston endodontic specialist to affix a removed tooth to its socket in cases of emergency, followed by a formal root canal procedure to preserve the long-term health of the tooth itself.
For many patients, the fear of the unknown is what often prevents them from receiving the dental care they need. In this section, we’ll briefly describe the root canal process so that you can know what to expect for your next visit with an endodontist in Houston.
Typically, a root canal takes between one and three visits to complete depending on your needs and availability. During your first visit, a technician will take complete x-rays of your teeth so that the endodontist knows which area or areas to target. You will be provided with a local anesthetic to numb the pain and a protective sheet so that the surgical area is free of saliva during the procedure.
During the root canal, the endodontist will make an opening on the tooth’s surface in order to remove any infected pulp. Once the pulp has been extracted, the opening is shaped, cleaned and fitted with either a crown or filling. In certain cases, a substance known as gutta-percha may be applied to the tooth opening that seals it off.
In subsequent dental visits, a permanent restoration or crown will be placed over the removed tooth portion, thereby providing you with total functionality. It’ll be as if the tooth is good as new!
For additional questions about endodontic procedures, contact your local Houston endodontics office today.