You probably cringe when you hear the words root canal. Root canals are often associated with pain, illness, and infection. In reality, root canal therapy is often a pain-free and quick procedure. With this being such a common procedure with over 14 million being performed each year, we thought we would debunk a few common myths surrounding this common procedure. If you are in in need of a root canal in Houston, call us at 713-497-1499.
1. A root canal is painful
Years ago, that may have been the case but now with our state of the art technology, expert dentists and anesthetics, you won’t experience any more pain than you would with having a cavity filled. The purpose of root canals is to relieve pain while saving the tooth, not cause it! An alternative treatment would be extracting the tooth which is definitely painful and you lose the tooth for good.
Your Houston dentist will make sure you are comfortably numb and relaxed and will remove the infected pulp from your tooth. After the tooth is clean, he will fill in the hole to seal out any further bacteria and repair the tooth with a filling or crown for protection. Most of the time, the pain you feel before a root canal is much greater than the discomfort of a corrective procedure. Recovery times for a root canal and usually last no more than a few days.
2. It is better to just have the tooth removed
Saving your natural teeth, if possible, is often better than extracting it. While it may be cheaper to have the tooth extracted, removing teeth without a plan to remove them may lead to malocclusion and even more expensive treatments in the future. Having missing teeth and replacing them even with a bridge or implant, while both good treatment options, requires more treatment time and may result in further procedures to neighboring teeth and supporting tissues. Endodontic treatment has a very high success rate and many root canal treatments last for many years. It is important to speak with your Houston dentist for the best treatment plan for you.
3. You only need a root canal if your tooth hurts
Don’t have any tooth pain? This doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t need a root canal. Sometimes a tooth’s root infection has become so severe that the tooth actually dies and you no longer feel pain. While this may sound like a huge relief if you are currently experiencing tooth pain, the infection is still present and damaging the underlying bone structure. Having a root canal procedure may still be able to save the tooth structure itself. For this reason, it is important to have routine dental exams to detect early signs of tooth infection and deal with it before it becomes painful and damaging.
4. Root canals take many visits to complete
There are many factors to consider when discussing a root canal treatment plan with your dentist in Houston. Most root canals can be completed in one visit, while some cases may require two due to excessive infection and inflammation. In fact, most root canal procedures can be completed in just a couple of hours.
5. Infections are common after a root canal
While re-infections of the tooth root are possible, it is not common. New dental technology and materials used to pack a tooth have been specifically designed to reduce the likelihood of infection. If an infection does return, further treatment will be needed. For this reason, it is important to follow up with your Houston dentist after root canal treatment.
6. Root canals cause illness
Some people say that root canal treatments put you at a higher risk for diseases such as kidney disease or heart disease. This is not true. This rumor was started back in 1910 by a dentist whose research has since been proven to be flawed. There is no valid, scientific evidence linking root canal treatment to disease elsewhere in the body. During the root canal procedure, the dentist uses a combination of instruments and techniques to ensure that the tooth and surrounding areas are safely disinfected to minimize any risk of related illness.
7. If I have tooth pain, I need a root canal
Tooth pain or toothaches can be caused by a variety of reasons: tooth decay, cracked or impacted teeth, gum disease and even non-dental causes such as sinus pressure. Root canal treatments are only needed if the pulp of a tooth becomes infected or inflamed for a variety of reasons such as deep decay, trauma. While you may not need a root canal procedure for every toothache, make sure you consult with a Houston dentist near you to ensure your oral health is taken care of.
FACTS: Root canals are nothing to fear!
Hopefully, knowing the truths about these root canal myths will make you feel more confident the next time someone says “root canal”. A root canal can save your tooth and help prevent future issues with the bone and surrounding structures. These issues may occur if you have the tooth pulled or extracted.
How are root canals in Houston performed?
- The Houston dentist examines and takes X-rays of the infected tooth.
- After local anesthetic is administered and the tooth is numb, the dentist places a small protective sheet or “dental dam” over the area to isolate it and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.
- A small opening is created in the crown of the tooth and very small instruments are used to remove the pulp from the root canals.
- After the space is cleaned and shaped, your dentist will fill the canal with a biocompatible material and then covered with a filling or crown.
- This will help remove the infection, pain and restore your tooth to full function.
How much is a root canal in Houston?
The cost of a root canal procedure varies depending on how complex the problem is and which tooth is affected. Molars are usually more difficult to treat and therefore the fee is usually more. In Houston, a root canal performed on a bicuspid or molar in the mid region can range from $400-$1000. For a molar in the back of the mouth, the range is normally from $700-$1400. At Antoine Dental, the price for our root canal treatments start at $800, excluding final restoration. Most dental insurance policies provide some coverage for endodontic treatments like root canals.
Chew Good. Look Good. Feel Good.
It can be easy to lose sight of a few important things. One thing which often gets overlooked is the importance of your oral health. At Antoine Dental Center in Houston, TX, we’re proud to offer the convenience of same-day dental cleanings and exams and quality procedures for everything from braces to dental implants. Schedule an appointment and see why our patients love us.
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