Endodontics/Root Canal Therapy

Root Canal & Endodontics in Lake Jackson, TX

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A root canal is a dental procedure that involves removing the soft inner tissue of your tooth, usually due to infection or trauma. When this tissue becomes infected, we must remove it to stop the infection and prevent it from spreading or causing you additional pain.

Root canal therapy requires one and sometimes more office visits to complete. Either a general dentist or an endodontist can perform a root canal treatment. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the causes, diagnoses, prevention, and treatment of injuries and diseases that affect a tooth’s root pulp. While a general dentist can perform a root canal procedure, a specially trained endodontist is uniquely qualified to handle complex and difficult procedures and situations.

As a dedicated endodontic practice, you can count on us to provide the best that modern dentistry has to offer when you need a root canal or any other endodontic treatment.

We would be happy to answer any questions you may have about root canals and help you with your endodontic treatment needs. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment!


How Do I Know a Root Canal is Necessary?

Several symptoms can indicate that you need a root canal procedure, including:

  • Severe tooth pain when chewing or putting pressure on the tooth
  • Extended sensitivity to heat or cold that continues after the heat or cold is no longer present (especially heat)
  • Discoloration of the tooth
  • A persistent or recurring pimple on your gums
  • Swelling and tenderness in the surrounding gums
  • Sensitivity to tapping on the tooth

In certain cases, you may need a root canal but experience no symptoms at all. This is typically the result of previous trauma to the tooth, even 15-20 years after the event. The tooth may sometimes turn black or grey and will still need treatment to prevent further deterioration of the tooth structure.

What is Dental Pulp?

Healthy white tooth, gums and bone illustration, detailed anatomy

Inside your tooth, there is a soft area that contains the tooth’s blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerve. This nerve extends down into the gum and continues into the surrounding bone. The root canals are hollow cavities which run up from the base of the tooth and up into the pulp chamber.

A tooth’s nerve serves an important function while it is growing, and the pulp provides nourishment and moisture to the surrounding gum tissue and bone. A tooth that has had the pulp removed is still functional and provides essential support to the surrounding teeth, and also promotes optimal jawbone health.

Why Do You Need to Remove the Tooth Pulp?

When the pulp inside one of your teeth becomes damaged by trauma or decay, it can become infected, and the bacteria start multiplying within the canal chamber. The bacteria and the remnants of the pulp material can trigger an infection or an abscess. Because the blood vessels in your tooth are connected to your circulatory system, this can expose the rest of your body to the bacteria and increase your risk of other serious health problems.

An abscess is a pocket of puss that develops at the tip of your tooth’s root. It forms because your body is trying to fight the infection and is producing fluids in the process. An abscess is a serious issue that you must address promptly. However, the abscess is not the only thing that can occur with an infected root canal. An abscess can also cause:

  • Bone loss around the tip of the root
  • Drainage issues around the root, such as through a hole in the tooth into the gums, cheek, or skin
  • Swelling that can spread into your face, neck, or head

If you have developed a tooth abscess or infection, it is imperative that you address the situation as soon as possible to minimize your risks of further adverse health effects. An untreated root canal, tooth abscess, or infection is a serious matter.

What Should I Expect During the Root Canal Procedure?

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We begin the process by taking a dental X-ray, so we can examine the shape of your root canals and determine if there are signs of infection in your surrounding bone tissue. We will use a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area to minimize discomfort. To protect the treatment area from saliva, we apply a rubber dam, which is a sheet of rubber that goes around your tooth.

With the work area protected and dry, an access point is created to reach the interior of your tooth. Using special root canal files, each canal is thoroughly cleaned with a series of progressively larger files. To accomplish this, we place the file into the access hole and work our way down the entire length of your tooth, cleaning the sides of the root canals.

3D render of dental tooth anatomy

We use water or sodium hypochlorite to flush out debris and keep the area clean. Every tooth has at least one root but can have three or more. Each person and each tooth is unique, allowing for unlimited variations like one root with two canals. This makes diagnoses and treatment planning a very important factor in root canal therapy because any portion that is overlooked can result in treatment failure.

After we have cleaned out the entire tooth, we will need to seal it. If you have an infection in the tooth, we may use medication to treat the infection before sealing it up permanently. If your procedure requires multiple office visits, we will seal the access hole in the tooth using a temporary filling and then reopen it to complete the procedure at your next visit.

We fill the interior of your tooth’s root canal using a specially-made paste called gutta percha before placing a filling to seal the access hole. We may need to provide further restoration of your tooth by placing a crown or other restoration. This is because a tooth receiving a root canal treatment typically has extensive decay, a large filling, or other weakness. If we believe you need any further restorative work, we will discuss your options with you in detail before you leave our office. Finally, we provide you with detailed care instructions, so you know how to care for your newly treated tooth properly.

What Should I Expect After Root Canal Therapy?

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If you had been experiencing pain before the root canal treatment, root canal therapy is designed to eliminate that pain by treating its cause, providing you with effective relief.

Most root canal procedures require only a single visit. The exceptions are when a tooth features very small canals, multiple roots, or severe infection. In these cases, you may need to come in for multiple visits to complete the procedure.

If your procedure requires more than one appointment, you should avoid chewing with that particular tooth until the permanent filling and crown (if needed) are in place. Doing so could risk re-contaminating the interior of your tooth or causing damage while it is vulnerable, so extra caution is vital for ensuring better health and results.

You may experience some added sensitivity during the first few days after the procedure. This is due to the natural tissue inflammation that occurs, especially if you already had pain or swelling before the root canal. Fortunately, you can usually control this sensitivity using over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen.

You should be able to return to your normal activities the following day. To take care of your newly treated tooth, keep up your daily brushing and flossing regimen, brushing twice and flossing once every day.

Here are some useful tips to help you care properly for your newly treated tooth:

  • Avoid hard foods, especially right after the root canal treatment.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice daily, using a circular motion, and taking care around the treated tooth.
  • Keep your routine dental cleanings and checkups so your dentist can keep an eye on things and to help prevent future dental problems from developing.
  • Cut back on the number of sugary foods and drinks you consume.

Thanks to the composite filling or porcelain crown placed after the root canal treatment, no one will be able to tell that you had the procedure done. In general, root canal treatments work extremely well, featuring over a 95-percent rate of success. It is very common for teeth restored with root canal therapy to last for the rest of your life.

We Can Help You with Your Root Canal Treatment Needs

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No matter the complexity or severity of your root canal problem, our team is ready to help. The team at Lake Jackson Endodontics has extensive experience and are extremely qualified and skilled to handle whatever endodontic treatments you may need.

If you live in Brazoria County, Lake Jackson, Clute, Angleton, or Montgomery County, and have been experiencing symptoms that indicate you may need a root canal or other endodontic treatment, contact our office today to schedule an appointment!


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We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.