As long as you take proper care of them, your teeth should last a lifetime. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Things can happen that can damage your teeth, allowing bacteria to get inside the tooth. This can cause inflammation and infection of the inner portion of the tooth.
When this happens, many people believe their only option is to have the tooth extracted- but the truth is, there is another option: root canal therapy. Here is what you need to know about root canal therapy in Pearland, TX.
Root canal therapy is necessary when the tooth pulp becomes inflamed or infected due to decay, cracks/chips in the tooth, or trauma. If left untreated, the inflammation or infection can escalate into an abscess.
Some signs that you may need a root canal include:
While there are several clinical reasons you may need root canal therapy, there are also many practical benefits. This procedure will allow you to save the structure of your natural tooth, allowing you to maintain your smile, continue eating your favorite foods, and remove the need for additional dental work on that tooth.
Some of the other benefits of root canal therapy include:
The procedure itself usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour. However, you can expect to spend up to an hour and a half in the office. The length of time depends significantly on the location of the tooth. A molar, which is in the back of the mouth, typically takes longer than a front tooth.
Thanks to the many advancements in dental technology including anesthesia, root canal therapy does not hurt. Patients are given local anesthesia to numb the area prior to the procedure. Some patients report minor discomfort as the anesthesia wears off but there should not be any significant pain. Patients who do experience uncontrollable pain should contact the office as soon as possible to allow the dentist to determine the cause of the problem and treat it.
The three stages of root canal therapy can usually be completed in 1 to 2 appointments. Here’s what you can expect:
The first step in the process to examine the affected tooth, including taking x-rays and other necessary imaging. This will help the dentist to see the shape of the tooth roots and determine the extent of the inflammation or infection.
Next, local anesthesia will be administered to help the patient relax. Then, a hole is drilled in the affected tooth, which will allow the pulp to be removed. Once all the pulp has been removed, the tooth will be disinfected to ensure that the infection is gone.
After the tooth is clean, the dentist will fill it back in with a substance called gutta-percha, which is a rubbery material. Then, the access hole will be sealed with a dental filling. If the tooth is significantly damaged, a dental crown may be placed to protect the remaining structure of the tooth.
For the first few days, patients may experience tenderness, so a soft foods diet is recommended. Patients can brush and floss as usual and visit the clinic every 6 months for an exam and cleaning. Root canal therapy has a 95%+ success rate, with most restorations lasting a lifetime.
The cost of root canal treatment depends on several factors, including the location of the tooth. On average, a front tooth costs around $1,000, a bicuspid costs around $1,100, and a molar costs around $1,300. This does not include any additional procedures required.
Many dental insurance providers will cover a portion of the procedure. Our office staff will work with your provider to determine coverage. If you do not have insurance or your insurance plan does not cover root canal treatment, we do offer financing through CareCredit.
Root canal therapy requires the services of a dentist trained in endodontics. Dr. Afroz Burges has been practicing in Pearland for more than 20 years. She has established herself as one of the top general and cosmetic dentists in the area. She has the experience and expertise to perform root canal therapy, as well as many other dental procedures.
If you think you may need root canal therapy, schedule your consultation with Dr. Burges and the team today. We are located on Shadow Creek Parkway in Pearland. Our office hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Friday from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM.