Ouch! If you have a toothache that is persistent, whether it’s throbbing, aching or piercing, don’t play the “wait and see” game. That pain may be trying to warn you about a serious tooth infection. Inside your tooth is a soft tissue area. When this is exposed to bacteria, an infection can set in. To remove the infection and prevent the tooth from needing to be extracted, Energy Corridor dentist Dr. Gray can perform root canal therapy in Houston, TX.
Despite what you may have heard, a root canal is not painful, and it is not time-consuming. On the contrary, root canal therapy is designed to eliminate the pain of an infected tooth by removing the infection and the innermost contents of your tooth. How does a tooth become infected? Let’s consider the basic structure of a tooth to find out…
Every tooth in your mouth is comprised of three layers. The outermost layer is enamel, which is extremely hard and provides your tooth with its attractive shine. The middle layer is called dentin and is filled with microscopic tubules that conduct sensation. At the core of each tooth is the pulp chamber, where blood, lymph, and nerve tissue live. When infected by bacteria, this tissue begins to die. The body’s natural response causes inflammation inside your tooth and that’s why you feel pain.
Other symptoms of an infected tooth include:
An infected tooth should not be ignored. Like elsewhere in the body, infection inside a tooth can also spread. Because of the mouth’s proximity to the brain, an extreme infection can actually be life threatening.
The first step during a root canal is the delivery of a local anesthetic so you don’t feel any discomfort during the procedure. The pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned, disinfected, and filled with a biocompatible substance that hardens to support the remaining tooth structure and prevent recontamination. Then, Dr. Gray places a temporary filling to seal and protect the tooth.
Eventually, the tooth will be covered with a dental crown that will once again make it fully functional.
Contact the Houston, TX dental office of Dr. Mark Gray today if you have a toothache. We also serve the areas of Jacinto City, Galena Park, Pearland, Bellaire, and beyond.
Dental treatment of any kind can be costly. Depending on whether you have dental insurance or require help from a third-party source, the price can be more or less than what you expect. When it comes to determining the cost of a root canal in Houston, it’s important that you understand every patient is different. No two cases are the same, so the price will vary. When meeting with our team, you can expect that we will go over the various factors to better explain how much you can expect to pay when taking proper care of your smile.
There are several factors Dr. Gray must consider when formulating a cost estimate for your root canal therapy. Because your situation is likely to be very different than someone else, these will give him a better idea of what is going on inside your mouth as well as what will be required to minimize pain and improve the state of your oral health:
You might think that undergoing a tooth extraction is cheaper and less difficult, but the truth is that you could end up spending a lot more in the long run. If you suggest this to your emergency dentist in Houston, you’ll learn it is much better to keep your natural tooth as long as possible than have it removed. The reason is that artificial teeth do not function the same way as natural tooth enamel. Also, the cost associated with a tooth extraction continues to build depending on the type of replacement tooth you receive. Without one, you run the risk of jawbone and additional tooth loss.
However, if you choose to replace your tooth with a dental bridge, partial denture, or dental implant, there will be maintenance required throughout your life.
Root canals are commonly viewed as restorative services that are covered by dental insurance companies. Depending on how each insurer chooses to categorize this type of procedure, you may be eligible for 50-80% total coverage. This means that you’ll pay significantly less when undergoing a root canal. This can be a major relief if the cost is a considerable factor in your decision to seek treatment. Our team will work to maximize your benefits and file any necessary paperwork so that you can spend less on necessary care.
If dental insurance is not something you can afford, there are other ways to undergo a root canal and not empty your wallet. Dr. Gray is pleased to partner with CareCredit financing, which is a third-party company that offers low-to-no-interest payment plans and no surprise fees. By enrolling in one of their plans, you can break up the cost of your care into manageable monthly payments instead of paying the total amount upfront.
Has your dentist recommended that you get a root canal in Houston? Although this procedure can save a severely decayed or compromised tooth, it’s natural to want to know as much as you can about it before committing to it. For this reason, our team at Mark Gray DDS Cosmetic & Family Dentistry is more than happy to compile and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about this treatment. Read on or give us a call today if you wish to learn more or want to schedule a consultation for a root canal in Houston!
The majority of patients will not require taking any antibiotics before or after undergoing root canal therapy. The only reason you will need to be prescribed antibiotics ahead of this treatment is if you already have an existing health issue that can increase your risk of infection after an extensive dental procedure. During your initial consultation, your dentist will review your medical history before starting any work on your smile, this way they can determine if prescribing antibiotics is an ideal step for you.
While moderate to severe tooth pain is a common indication that a root canal is necessary, it isn’t the only sign that something is wrong with your smile. Even if you aren’t experiencing any discomfort, or if any pain has suddenly vanished, it does not mean that your pearly whites are healthy again. In most cases, a tooth that no longer signals any sensations can have heavily damaged nerves due to trauma or infection. Though this might not seem like an urgent situation, you’ll still need to schedule a root canal as quickly as possible to avoid further damage or prevent the spread of bacteria.
We highly recommend that you eat a healthy meal before your root canal procedure, as this will be difficult to do after your treatment is completed. However, if you opt for sedation dentistry, then you may have to fast for a certain amount of hours prior to your visit to avoid issues with nausea. You should also avoid alcohol and tobacco products before your appointment, as these can interfere with your recovery process. Many dentists will typically suggest taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, immediately before arriving at the dental office to minimize discomfort. Be sure to also get a good night’s rest the day before and after your appointment, which will help lower your nerves and boost your immune system.
The root canal treatment itself should not hurt, but you’re likely to experience mild soreness for several days afterward. Once the numbness fades away, you may also feel some sensitivity, but this is typically short-lived. You can easily manage these sensations with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen. Try not to chew hard foods on that side of your mouth, especially right after your appointment, as this can exacerbate any discomfort. After three days, any pain should start to go away. If it doesn’t, be sure to give us a call!