Root Canals in Arlington TX

Serving the Arlington, TX community

Does hearing the phrase, "root canal therapy" make you cringe? Like many patients, you may believe that the procedure is difficult and painful; however, this is not the case! With proper anesthetics and sedation dentistry as needed, patients at Rush Creek Dentistry can expect a virtually painless procedure.

The thing to remember about a root canal is that it doesn’t cause pain; it relieves it. With all the advances and improvements in technology and techniques available today there’s nothing at all to fear about having a root canal. At our office, we believe in providing painless dentistry in a comfortable environment, even during a root canal treatment.

If you are dealing with a painful toothache or other concern regarding a tooth, we urge you to call our Arlington, TX dentist right away at (817) 962-2323. We will get to the source of the problem and, in some cases, the healthiest solution may be state-of-the-art root canal therapy.

Is a root canal necessary treatment?

Most people would probably prefer not to have a root canal procedure, even if they knew it would be comfortable. The simple way to avoid the need for treatment is to take care of your teeth! Severe decay is the number one cause of damage to the dental pulp (vessels, nerves, and other soft tissue) inside your tooth. Occasionally it is damaged by unavoidable circumstances such as trauma.

Whether the cause is injury or decay, once the pulp is damaged it will not heal. There are only two options for ending your toothaches, sensitivity, infections, and other symptoms – a root canal procedure or extraction.

Root canal therapy, also known as endodontic therapy, is performed by our Arlington, TX dentist to remove the damaged or infected dental pulp from the inside of a tooth. Removing the pulp deadens the tooth and relieves the pain you are experiencing. 

What are signs that I need a root canal?

The most common indication that the pulp in your tooth is damaged or infected is pain that worsens over time until it becomes unbearable. However, there are cases where no symptoms are present, which is why we so strongly recommend routine preventive exams and cleanings so we can help you maintain excellent oral health.

Aside from pain, other symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold
  • A darkened tooth
  • A raised bump on the gums

What happens during a root canal?

A root canal procedure (endodontic therapy), is very similar to filling a tooth. Before placing a filling, we remove all damaged or decayed tooth material. When the damage has reached the pulp in the middle of the tooth, it also needs to be removed.

We will make sure you are completely numb before we begin, and sedation is also available. Dr. Sater gently cleans infected and damaged tissue from inside of the tooth and roots. When this is done, he places a filling material in the space and seals the root canal.

We often recommend a crown to protect your tooth that is now brittle after root canal therapy and prone to fracture. Also, to ensure the long-term success of the procedure, we should cover the tooth with a crown to seal it from bacteria in the oral cavity. 

Why do I need a root canal? Can’t you just remove the tooth?

There are many reasons root canal therapy may recommend root canal treatment in Arlington, TX. Typically, we perform the procedure to address:

  • Large areas of decay reaching the dental pulp
  • Infection of the dental pulp
  • A dental abscess
  • Trauma that affects the dental pulp

Our goal is to preserve the integrity of all your natural teeth for as long as possible, and root canal therapy is often more desirable than extracting a natural tooth. As soon as you start to lose the function of even a tooth, many changes can occur that negatively impact your oral health over the long term.

Another factor to think about is that, if you choose extraction, you will need to go through the process of restoring your smile with restorations such as dentures, dental implants, or dental bridges. Instead, root canal therapy can help save a tooth and allow you to keep the structure of the tooth in place while addressing the immediate issue.

Is it true that getting a root canal doesn’t hurt?

There is one thing you need to know about root canals: They don't hurt. Today’s root canal procedures are comfortable and efficient, especially when you visit Rush Creek Dentistry, the home of gentle dentistry in Arlington.

When severe decay reaches the pulp, or you have experienced an injury, and the pulp becomes infected, you will feel quite a bit of pain. We need to remove the material to stop the pain and preserve remaining healthy tooth structure. Unfortunately, it is this pain before treatment that many people remember about the process, but the procedure itself is not painful.

Before we begin, we numb the area around the tooth so you won’t feel anything. At our Arlington, TX dental office, we also offer nitrous oxide or oral sedation if you are feeling anxious about treatment. Once you are entirely comfortable, and at ease, Dr. Sater will clean out the tooth to remove any decay or infected material. The root canals are then filled and sealed, and he will most likely suggest placing a crown on the tooth to protect it.

Why do I need a dental crown after a root canal?

In many cases, Dr. Sater recommends placing a dental crown over the top of the treated tooth for strength and protection. The reason is that removing the dental pulp inside your tooth deadens it and can result in a brittle structure that’s prone to damage.

We make a natural-looking dental crown using impressions we take of your natural after preparing it for the crown. We send the impressions to an experienced dental lab that fabricates your custom crown. When it’s ready, the laboratory sends the final restoration back to our office, where we will place your crown on the tooth to restore its structure and add protection. 

I’m nervous about root canal treatment. How can you help me?

If you are in pain but are nervous about the procedure, it might help you to know that it’s not the process that’s painful; it’s the infected or inflamed pulp in your tooth that is the source of your pain. The moment the local anesthetic numbs the area, you will experience a welcome flood of relief!

Even so, we understand that you may still be apprehensive, and we are pleased to offer you safe and comfortable sedation options. Nitrous oxide is a gas that you inhale through a small nasal mask during the procedure. Sit back, relax, and breathe normally, and in a few minutes, you will feel dreamy, slightly euphoric, and detached from the activity around you. However, it is mild enough that you will still be alert enough to answer questions from our team and able to drive yourself home after your appointment.

We also offer oral conscious sedation, where Dr. Sater prescribes a sedative for you to take an hour before your appointment. You will need someone to drive you safely to and from our dental office, but the medication will help you feel calm and relaxed when you arrive for your procedure. In many cases, we combine oral sedation with nitrous oxide to provide the best of both worlds and a completely stress-free, comfortable experience.

Do you perform emergency root canal procedures?

At Rush Creek Dentistry, we understand that when you are in pain, you need immediate relief. We always allow time in our schedule for our patients who need us urgently, and we often perform the root canal procedure on an emergency basis.

If you are in pain or experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, please call our Arlington, TX dental office right away. Our team will listen to your concerns, arrange an emergency appointment, and give you instructions for handling the problem until you get to our office.

Putting off root canal treatment will allow the situation to worsen to the point that our only option may be to remove the tooth.

What can I expect after root canal treatment?

If you have chosen oral sedation, you will need a friend to drive you to and from your appointment. Because the sedative stays in your body for several hours, we recommend you go home and relax for the remainder of the day.

After your procedure, your tooth may feel sensitive for a few days, especially if you experienced pain before your procedure. This sensation is completely normal, and you can usually relieve any lingering discomfort with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen. An ice pack on and off your face for 20-minute intervals can also provide relief.

If your tooth was infected, we might prescribe an antibiotic, so please take these as prescribed until you’ve taken all the pills. Always call us if you have a question or concerns after your procedure, but In a few days, your tooth should feel fine.