What Is a Root Canal?
Root canal treatment involves the removal of the pulp of the tooth that is inflamed, infected, or decayed. The dental pulp is the tissue inside the tooth that consists of the nerve and blood vessels. The pulp chamber continues down the root canals that extend into the jaw bone. Some teeth have more than one root canal, but all have at least one canal.
Endodontics is a specialized field of dentistry that deals with the tooth pulp and tissues surrounding the root of the tooth between the gums. Our general dentist is qualified to perform root canals but may refer a patient to an endodontist if the tooth is particularly unhealthy.
During a root canal, the dental pulp is removed from the pulp chamber of the tooth and then filled and sealed to prevent any more decay.
When is a root canal needed?
A root canal is performed when the pulp of a tooth is injured, inflamed, or infected.
The crown of the tooth is what is visible from the gums up. The crown can remain intact even if the pulp is severely decayed. Removing all decayed pulp will preserve the structure of the tooth.
Common causes of damage to the pulp include:
- severe decay from cavity
- chipped or cracked tooth
- injury or trauma to the teeth
- multiple dental procedures to teeth
Usually, pain in your tooth, swelling, and fever are signs of a decayed or infected tooth pulp. Our dentist will thoroughly examine the tooth with X-rays to confirm the root canal treatment.
Preparing for a Root Canal in El Paso, TX
Preparing for a root canal is important. Below are some helpful tips that will make your root canal experience as stress-free as possible.
- Dress comfortably. The procedure can take some time, so your comfort is important.
- Before the procedure, talk with our dentist about the prescription medications you are taking.
- If you choose to be sedated, make sure to plan your ride home because you will not be able to drive.
- Avoid alcohol 12 hours before your root canal (and for 48 hours after your procedure).
- Do not smoke 12 hours before your root canal (and for 72 hours afterwards).
- Stock up on soft foods you’ll be able to eat after the procedure, such as mashed potatoes and applesauce, as your affected tooth may be sensitive from the procedure and crown.
- Discuss any concerns or questions with your dentist prior to the day of the root canal.
Our root canal dentists in El Paso are experienced, friendly, and willing to answer any questions you may have and put your mind at ease about your procedure.
Things to Remember About Root Canals
- #1 Sensitivity is Normal: After your root canal treatment, your body will begin to heal. However, experiencing some sensitivity for a few days after treatment is normal. Once the infection has been removed, your body’s immune system will be working overtime to heal. You should feel back to normal within a week.
- #2 Avoid the Tooth Until a Permanent Crown is Placed: Many times, a temporary filling will be placed in your root canal until we can place a dental crown for the best protection and longevity of the tooth. Remember to avoid chewing on that tooth until you have your new crown in place. This will help to prevent discomfort and to prevent fracturing the tooth.
- #3 Brush and Floss As Usual: Brush your teeth and floss daily as is usually recommended. Developing periodontal or gum disease is the last thing you need after a root canal procedure.
- #4 Rinse with Warm Water: Avoid extremely hot and cold liquids until your tooth has completely healed. Rinsing with lukewarm water and a little sea salt can feel quite soothing.
- #5 Schedule Your Follow-Up Exam: We will need to check the healing n your tooth to make sure all is well. Be sure to keep that appointment because it is an integral part of your care. We will also place your permanent crown to reinforce the tooth.
Schedule a Root Canal Consultation Today!
Tooth infection? Tired of suffering from tooth pain? Schedule an appointment in the menu above today or call Dentist Near Me at (915) 213-5480 to discuss root canal therapy or other treatment options for tooth pain and decay.