Root Canal Therapy in Houston
Ouch! If you have a toothache that is persistent, whether 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, infection can set in. To remove the infection and prevent the tooth from needing to be extracted, Energy Corridor dentist Dr. Gray will perform a procedure known as a root canal.
What is a Root Canal?
Despite what you may have heard, a root canal is not painful and it is not time consuming. To 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.
How Each Tooth is Built
Each 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 that migrate to the chamber and its attached root canals, 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:
- Red and swollen gum tissue around the painful tooth
- A pimple-like sore on your gums
- A tooth that is sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, as well as the pressure of normal chewing and biting
- Facial swelling
An infected tooth should not be ignored. Like elsewhere in the body, infection inside a tooth can also spread. Because of the mouth’s close proximity to the brain, extreme infection can be life threatening.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
The first step during a root canal by Energy Corridor dentist Dr. Gray is the delivery of a local anesthetic so you don’t feel any discomfort during the procedure. The pulp chamber and roots canals are cleaned, disinfected and filled with a biocompatible substance that hardens to support the remaining tooth structure and to 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 the tooth fully functional.
Contact the Houston, TX office of Dr. Mark Gray, DDS today if you have a toothache. We also serve the areas of Jacinto City, Galena Park, Pearland, Bellaire, and beyond.