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Is a Root Canal All that Can Save Your Tooth?

Posted on 2/23/2017 by Sergio Ortegon
An elderly woman receiving a root canal.
A root canal is a treatment option used by dentists that repairs a badly damaged tooth and saves it, allowing it to stay in its place. In many instances, there are several procedures from which your dentist can choose that would save a damaged tooth, but in others, a root canal is the only option.

Root Canal Procedure

During the procedure, your dentist will drill into the tooth and remove the pulp as well as the nerve.

The canals are cleaned and disinfected to kill any bacteria that may be lurking within and then they are filled in. Finally, a crown is placed over the top of the tooth to increase its strength and restore its function.

Pain is the most common reason for a root canal. Pain is a rather generic symptom, however. What makes a root canal necessary is the type of pain. It can range in intensity throughout the day or get worse only when you bite down. You may also experience sensitivity to heat and cold.

Usually when you remove the offender - stop chewing, or swallow the hot/cold food - the pain stops. In some instances, however, the pain lingers. This is a sign that the nerve is dead or dying and the only way to ease the pain is to remove it.

Dental Abscess

A dental abscess forms from an infection that is either in the root of the tooth or just outside of it. The abscess itself is a pus-filled sac that contains infection causing bacteria. Abscesses are dangerous, even lethal, as they can spread the bacteria throughout your body. Antibiotics can kill the infection, but they are not enough. Abscesses need to be drained, the root of the tooth removed and the inside cleaned to take care of lingering bacteria that might still be hiding inside of the spaces.

Deep Cavities

If tooth decay has caused a deep cavity in your tooth, one that extended past the enamel and into the pulp, a root canal will be needed. The pulp has become infested with bacteria, which then lead to an infection. The only way to completely clear out the infection is with a root canal. The same reasoning applies if you have a break or a crack that extends into the pulp of the tooth.

If you think that you might be in need of a root canal, contact our office right away to schedule an appointment.

Meet the Dentist

•  Board Certified Prosthodontist
•  Maxillofacial Prosthodontist
•  Assistant Clinical Professor
•  17 Years of Clinical Experience

> Read more about Dr. Ortegon


dedicated to aesthetic, reconstructive, and dental implant dentistry. It is one of only nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). Different from a Periodontist, of ~150,000 dentists nationwide, only 2%, are Prosthodontists. > Read more

Dr. Ortegon is a proud member of:
American Dental Association
Texas Dental Association
Greater Houston Dental Society
American College of Prosthodontists
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"Best dentist ever, by far! Board Certified Maxillofacial Prosthodontist. Faculty at UTSD; Clinical Consultant for Texas Children's Hospital Dept of Plastic Surgery; and he still has time to do General Dentistry. Wow!" - Renee P.

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Ortegon Prosthodontics, 4747 Bellaire Blvd, Bellaire, TX, 77401 - Tags: Dental Implants Bellaire TX - Prosthodontist Houston - Dental Implants Bellaire TX - (832) 968-9108 - - 11/18/2018