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Root Canal Therapy in Richardson

We admit that a root canal may not be a favorite pastime, but we’ll also bet that it’s not as bad as you have heard. The truth of the matter is that root canal therapy in Richardson is a fairly common procedure that is not uncomfortable or painful. In fact, a root canal eliminates the pain of an infected tooth, stops the spread of infection and could prevent the need to have a tooth removed.

How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?

Unfortunately, the leading indicator that you have an infected tooth that needs a root canal is pain. As the bacterial infection inside your tooth grows, the trapped inflammation can cause pain that is excruciating.

Man with healthy smile after root canal therapy

Other signs that a root canal may be needed include:

Some people do not experience any pain or other outward signs of needing a root canal. However, the infection will show up on an X-ray. That’s why regular dental checkups are so important. Your dentist may not only be able to spot infection, but may even be able to prevent this and other dental problems with professional cleanings and scheduled examinations to detect a cavity sooner rather than later.

How Does Root Canal Therapy Work?

Animated inside of a tooth after root canal therapy

The procedure is really rather straightforward. After administering a local anesthetic to the infected tooth and surrounding soft tissue, your Richardson dentist creates an access hole through the biting surface. Then, using special hand instruments, the infected tissue and debris are removed from the tooth’s pulp chamber and root canals.

The interior of the tooth is disinfected and filled with an inert substance called gutta-percha, which expands in the hollow space to support the remaining tooth structure and prevent recontamination. Finally, the tooth is sealed.

What Happens After a Root Canal?

Woman smiling after root canal therapyAfter root canal therapy, your dentist will likely give you a prescription for an antibiotic to ensure that the infection is completely eradicated. For a few days after therapy, the tooth may be sensitive. Try chewing on the other side of your mouth. For discomfort, an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen should suffice.

A couple of weeks after having a root canal, you will need to return to the office to have dental crown placed over the tooth. This crown protects the remaining tooth structure and gives you the ability to chew and bite normally.

Root Canal FAQs

Model of root canal in Richardson

Have you been told that you’re in need of root canal therapy? You may have some unanswered questions about the procedure, so we’re here to help! Here are the answers to some of the most common queries we receive about root canals in Richardson. If you don’t see the information that you’re looking for below, just give us a call. We’d be happy to explain more about the procedure so you know what you can expect.

How Much Pain Is Normal After a Root Canal?

While the root canal procedure itself shouldn’t hurt, you may experience some soreness for the next few days. After the local anesthetic wears off, you’ll probably experience some sensitivity, but this is all temporary. Over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen, can help to manage this. Avoid hard foods, as this can worsen discomfort. Soreness should subside after three days. If it doesn’t, give us a call so we can help.

Can I Eat Before a Root Canal?

If you’re being sedated for your root canal, you may be asked to fast for a few hours beforehand in order to reduce the risk of nausea caused by the sedative. If you won’t be undergoing sedation, it’s recommended that you eat a healthy meal at least a couple hours before the procedure. Your mouth will be numb for a little while afterwards, making it difficult to eat. Avoid alcohol for 24 hours before the procedure, as it can interact negatively with the local anesthetic used to numb your mouth.

Do I Need Antibiotics Before or After My Root Canal?

Most patients don’t need to take antibiotics before or after getting a root canal. You will probably only be prescribed antibiotics before a root canal if you have a health condition that increases your risk of infection after a major dental procedure. We will go over your medical history beforehand to determine whether prescribing antibiotics for you is a good idea.

 Are Root Canals Covered by Insurance?

Dental insurance primarily covers routine care, like checkups and cleanings, that could have prevented the need for a root canal. However, most dental insurance plans will cover a portion of the cost after you have paid your deductible and before you have reached your annual maximum. Root canal therapy is typically considered to be a major restorative procedure, so the cost is often covered at up to 50%.

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