Sometimes, tooth decay reaches the advanced stages – eating through the tooth’s enamel and dentin, and right on through to the pulp chamber (root canal) of the tooth. Once tooth decay becomes this deep, it causes extreme pain. The only feasible options are tooth extraction or root canal therapy. Other reasons for root canal therapy include any injury or trauma to the tooth that reaches the tooth’s nerve, or a tooth abscess or infection that affects the nerve.
What to Expect
If Dr. Smith determines that you need root canal therapy, he’ll talk to you about the procedure in advance. Often, the treatment takes more than one visit. Sometimes (if you have an infection or abscess), he will prescribe you a course of antibiotics to complete before the root canal treatment.
When you come in, Dr. Smith will numb the area surrounding the tooth in question and probably have you breathe nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to calm your nerves. He will place a plastic dam in your mouth to isolate and help keep dry the area where he’ll be working. Meticulously, he will then begin to remove the infected or compromised pulp.
Once Dr. Smith is confident that he has removed all of the infected material, he will gently disinfect and dry the chamber and then apply a rubbery material to seal it. Finally, he’ll apply a filling or cap to protect the tooth.
Why it’s Worth It
Getting root canal therapy is one of the most time-consuming dental procedures, but in the long run it is better than the alternative – tooth extraction. A root canal saves the tooth as a “place holder” in your mouth. This eliminates the need to be fitted with a dental implant, and saves you the embarrassment of a missing tooth.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Grand Prairie Dentist
Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced general, restorative, and family dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Pecan Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you and your family are new or returning patients, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111. We proudly welcome patients from Grand Prairie, as well as surrounding areas including Arlington, South Dallas, Cedar Hill, and Duncanville.