Non-Surgical Root Canal
Root Canal Specialist Near Houston Galleria
Root canal treatment has long had the reputation of being a painful or risky procedure, but today’s advancements in dental technology and techniques make root canal therapy a safe, painless, and effective method for saving your natural teeth.
What is a root canal?
The pulp is a collection of blood vessels and nerves in the center of your tooth. If the pulp is damaged by decay, chips, or cracks in your teeth, you may experience pain, swelling, or temperature sensitivity. The pain can be profound when the pulp in your tooth is infected or damaged. A root canal removes the inflamed pulp and preserves the tooth.
How is a root canal performed?
During root canal treatment, the inflamed pulp is removed from the tooth, and the area is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. After the canal is clean, we fill the empty cavity with an inert dental medium known as gutta-percha. The gutta-percha stabilizes the tooth and prevents reinfection of the root canals. A crown or cap is then placed on the tooth to protect it and prevent future contamination.
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is given to patients undergoing a root canal to relax them and keep them comfortable during treatment. In most cases, this quickly wears off, and patients can return to their regular routine the same day. A temporary crown protects the tooth until a permanent crown or restoration is completed and put in place. At P+E Dental, we strive to place the permanent restoration within a few weeks.
Non-Surgical vs. Surgical Root Canal
A non-surgical root canal is preferred when possible. It is a less invasive treatment and often corrects the problem, removing infection and saving the tooth. However, if the infection is severe or the root canals are difficult to clean thoroughly, a surgical root canal may be needed.
During a non-surgical root canal, the dentist uses a small drill to reach the infected pulp and extract it. The empty canal is then cleaned and disinfected using sodium hypochlorite. Once the area is free of infection, gutta-percha is used to fill the channel, and a crown or cap is placed over the opening to seal the tooth closed.
Root canal surgery, or apicoectomy, may be needed if the infection is widespread or the dentist cannot find the source of the pain or the fracture point. A root canal specialist performs surgery by making an incision in the gum line to access the tooth’s root from the side. From here, the dentist can clearly see the source of the infection and more easily extract the damaged pulp. The tip of the tooth root is also removed to prevent reinfection. A surgical root canal may be recommended if the infection is deep in the base of the tooth’s root or has spread to the surrounding bone.
How Long Does It Take for a Root Canal to Heal?
Most patients fully recover from a non-surgical root canal within a week. They can usually return to work or school the day after their procedure. There may be some swelling and mild discomfort for the first few days, but this is manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers. A surgical root canal may take a few more days to heal due to the incisions.
How Much Does a Root Canal Treatment Cost?
At P+E Dental, we always provide an individualized cost breakdown for procedures such as root canal treatment based on many factors. The cost varies depending on the severity of the infection or damage, the location of the tooth, and whether a non-surgical or surgical treatment is needed. At your initial root canal consultation, we review the cost of the procedure with you so that there are no surprises.
We ask our patients to keep in mind that a root canal is far less expensive than having a tooth extracted and replaced with an artificial tooth. Saving a tooth is always preferable to simply pulling it, as missing teeth lead to more expensive complications down the road.
P+E Dental offers an innovative dental savings plan to all our patients. The dental savings plan provides substantial discounts for procedures such as root canals and oral health procedures such as routine cleanings. Alternatively, low or no-interest financing is available through Lending Point or CareCredit.
If you are experiencing dental pain, swelling, or drainage, scheduling an appointment is essential to determine whether a root canal could save your tooth. The dentists at P+E Dental are experienced root canal specialists. Call our office at Houston Office Phone Number (713) 961-0088 and we will schedule an appointment for a complete evaluation of your dental pain.