Root Canal Therapy Can Restore an Infected Tooth’s Health and Function

Dentist in Irving, TX

Also referred to as endodontic therapy, root canal therapy is a dental procedurethat can save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of having to extract it. Dr. J. Joshua Lee and Dr. John Leeknow that it is better to preserve a natural tooth whenever possible. Saving the tooth helps preserve jaw bone integrity, as well as the need for more extensive dental work. With a root canal therapy at their dental practice in Irving, TX, your tooth will be cleared of the infected tissue and sterilized. Then it will be filled with a substitute material and stabilized with a dental crown, sealing it off from future microbial invasion. With our gentle techniques and modern dental methods, you can be assured that your root canal treatment will proceed comfortably and efficiently.

“With our gentle techniques and modern dental methods, you can be assured that your root canal treatment will proceed comfortably and efficiently.”

Why Root Canal Therapy Can Be Necessary

Inside each tooth, beneath the enamel and dentin, is a soft tissue called dental pulp. Made up of living connective tissues and cells, it helps to grow the tooth while it is being developed. After that, the tooth can survive without the pulp because it draws its nourishment from surrounding tissues. The dental pulp can become infected or inflamed when the tooth experiences severe tooth decay or trauma, which causes a microbial invasion of the root canal. This can occur for a several different reasons, such as a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, trauma to the tooth, or repeated dental procedures.

Because there are nerve tissues, blood vessels, and cellular structures within the tooth and its roots, the patient usually experiences significant pain and discomfort when the pulp becomes infected. However, some patients may experience different symptoms, or no symptoms at all. If you are experiencing tooth pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat and cold, swelling around a tooth, discoloration, or tenderness in the area, you may have a tooth infection. If you do not get effective treatment, the infection can develop into an abscess. Root canal therapy clears  the tooth of infection and strengthens it to restore its health and function.

The Root Canal Therapy Procedure

Depending on the individual case, a root canal takes between a half hour and an hour and a half to complete. When you come in for  your appointment, Dr. J. Joshua Lee will use a local anesthetic to completely numb the treatment area. He can also administer sedation if necessary to ensure your relaxation and comfort. Once you are ready, Dr. Lee will drill an access hole in the tooth to reach the pulp chamber. He will then use special tools called endodontic files to remove the diseased pulp and clean and shape the root canals. He will also irrigate the tooth to flush out debris and disinfect the chamber and canals. Next, the tooth’s chamber and root canals will be filled with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. When this is complete, the tooth will be sealed will a filling. Sometimes a filling is sufficient to complete treatment. Typically, however, you will come back for a second appointment so that Dr. Lee can place a custom dental crown on your tooth to strengthen and protect it. Some cases will also require the placement of a dental post or a post and core to anchor the core to the tooth.

Root Canal Therapy Benefits

Root canal therapy:

  • Is actually a simple, relatively conservative treatment that is similar to getting a dental filling
  • Will eliminate pain and other symptoms of a tooth infection so you can bite and chew normally
  • Can help you avoid more extensive treatment, such as tooth extraction and replacement with a dental implant or dental bridge
  • Helps preserve oral health
  • Has a better than 95% success rate