Get root canal procedures in Plano, TX from Dr. Wilhite in order to help protect your dental and overall health.
Root canal therapy can help save badly decayed teeth and relieve severe tooth pain. Root canals are used when the pulp of the teeth have become infected and inflamed due to dental decay, an injury to the tooth, or broken, cracked teeth.
If the infection is allowed to persist it can lead to an abscess. The abscess collects pus and can infect the face, mouth, jaw, or throat. The infection from an abscess can cause serious health complications as it spreads throughout the body.
In many situations, a root canal is the only alternative to extracting a tooth, an option that should be avoided if possible.
Call for an appointment: (972) 964-3774
Are Root Canals painful?
Though some wrongly think that root canals are painful, root canals actually remove the infection that causes severe pain.
Local anesthetics are applied before the procedure, which means the entire root canal process is painless. D
r. Wilhite and his team ensure your complete comfort before, during, and after any dental procedure, including a root canal therapy.
What happens during a Root Canal?
During a root canal, the infected tooth pulp is removed from the tooth. The pulp is the soft tissue in the center of the tooth. After the pulp is removed, the inside of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected, to prevent any further infection from spreading or developing.
Then the tooth is filled with a rubbery material called gutta-percha. The gutta-percha is heated and compressed into the walls of the root canals, which seals them.
Finally, the tooth is topped with a dental crown or cap. This ensures the tooth will remain strong and infection-free.
Root Canal Treatment Process
Dr. David Wilhite DDS or a member of his team will take an x-ray of the infected tooth before beginning the dental procedure. This is done to determine the extent of the damage in the natural tooth. It’s also to make sure that you actually need a root canal. These are the usual steps involved in root canal procedures:
- Local anesthesia: Local anesthetic is given for numbing the infected tooth and gums. Most general dentists offer medications, such as oral sedatives or nitrous oxide to help patients relax during root canal treatments. Sedation may be recommended if you struggle with anxiety during dental procedures.
- Dental dam: A small protective sheet made of rubber-like material called a dental dam will be placed over the area before starting the procedure. This isolates the infected tooth and ensures it remains dry during the procedure.
- Access hole: Your dentist will make a small opening in the crown to access the pulp.
- Removal of pulp: Dental instruments will be used to remove the pulp, blood vessels, nerves, and tissues within the tooth.
- Canal shaping: Root canals and the pulp chamber is cleaned, shaped, and disinfected once the pulp inflammation is removed.
- Filling: The next step is to use a rubbery material called gutta percha to fill the canals.
- Sealing: Sealing paste is used as a temporary filling to prevent reinfection.
- Permanent crown: It may take 2 – 3 weeks for the final crown to be ready. This is required to restore the bite and protect the treated tooth. Tooth crowns are custom-made. They are placed after removing the temporary filling as you cannot just use a permanent filling to protect your teeth. You may be able to receive a permanent crown in the same appointment as well.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Wilhite DDS will explain the entire procedure along with root canal safety tips. He will also inform you about any root canal complications in your case and whether any alternative or additional treatments may be necessary.
Time Taken for Root Canal
There are several factors that determine the length of time taken for root canal as per the American Dental Association. The extent of infection and the number of roots affected in the tooth are the two primary factors. Generally, most patients have their root canal procedure performed in 1 – 2 visits. A visit may take anywhere from 30 – 90 minutes depending on the type of tooth.
This is an average rundown of time taken for each type of tooth:
- Molars: Molars have up to 4 roots each and are located at the back of the mouth. These take 90 minutes or more in each sitting.
- Premolars: Fully developed tooth has 2 roots. They sit between the molars and anterior teeth. An appointment may take 60 minutes.
- Incisor and canines: There is only one root in these teeth. An appointment may take between 45 – 60 minutes.
Teeth with dental crowns usually require more time. You may need an additional appointment to remove the crown and ensure the tooth has healed before performing another procedure.
Symptoms Indicating the Need for Root Canal Treatment
There are cases where you may be unaware of an infected tooth. For the most part, people notice the following symptoms of an inflamed or infected tooth requiring a root canal procedure:
- Persistent and significant pain: Tooth pain can be the result of several dental problems. Moreover, significant pain in the affected tooth can indicate infected tissue. You may require dental work, such as a root canal treatment. The pain may radiate to your other teeth, jaw, and face as well.
- Sensitive teeth: You may need endodontic treatment if your tooth hurts when you eat ice cream or drink hot coffee. You should visit a general dentist immediately if the pain doesn’t go away after a few seconds.
- Swollen gums: An infection in the teeth can cause pus to collect, resulting in swollen, puffy, or tender gums.
- Boil on the gums: Most dentists recommend scheduling a consultation if you develop a boil or pimple on the gums. This can be because of an infected tooth draining pus into the gums. It may cause an unpleasant smell or taste as well.
- Swollen jaw: Pus doesn’t always drain from the site, causing the jaw to visibly swell.
- Tooth discoloration: When the tooth pulp becomes infected, it can make your tooth look darker. This is because of poor blood circulation.
- Severe pain on pressure: You may have damaged tooth nerves if there is pain when you touch your teeth or eat with normal biting force.
- Cracked or chipped tooth: Natural teeth can crack while playing sports or in an accident. Bacteria can reach all the way to the pulp inside, damaging the tooth.
- Loose tooth: A diseased tooth can feel looser because an infected pulp chamber may soften the bone supporting the tooth.
Advantages of Root Canal Treatments
There are several benefits of root canal therapy, such as:
- It helps prevent deep decay from spreading to other teeth
- It eliminates or minimizes the need for repeated dental procedures
- It resolves the pain and discomfort associated with the infected tooth
- It helps fight jawbone damage
- It preserves the tooth structure and prevents tooth extraction
How much does Root Canal cost?
We can discuss your goals and options for a root canal. Plus, we’ll talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the dental care you need.