If you are experiencing pain when chewing, sensitivity to hot and cold, and swollen gums, you may be suffering from an infected tooth. At 38th Street Dental in Austin, TX, Drs. C. Mike Meek and David J. Tasch can provide effective relief through gentle, precise root canal therapy. Once infection has been removed, our team can provide a lifelike dental crown to fully repair your tooth and restore natural aesthetics and function.
Understanding when You Need Treatment
Decay and trauma can cause the soft tissue within your tooth to become infected and inflamed. When this damaged pulp is left untreated, it can lead to significant discomfort as well as other serious health concerns. Symptoms you may notice can include:
- Extreme Discomfort: When infection develops, you may notice a rapid onset of acute pain. While a toothache does not directly indicate root canal therapy is necessary, it is important to have an evaluation immediately.
- Swollen Gums: As the tissues become more irritated, your gums may appear red and swollen.
- Drainage or Pus: The appearance of pus around the gum line can occur when there is an abscess present. Some patients develop a fistula, or “gum boil” that will allow the infection to drain.
- Bad Taste or Odor: If there is active discharge of pus, bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth is common.
When you are suffering from an infected tooth, it is vital to seek treatment early for your comfort and lasting health. The bacteria can spread and extend beyond the end of the roots, affecting the jawbone and possibly reaching the blood stream.
The Root Canal Therapy Process
Many patients are under the impression that root canal therapy is a painful procedure. However, it is typically a straightforward process that causes no more discomfort than a filling. To numb your teeth and gums, we will provide local anesthesia to make sure you are comfortable. Drs. Meek and Tasch are dedicated to your comfort and can provide further sedation to ensure you are comfortable and relaxed throughout the entire procedure. Once you are comfortable, you dentist will gently alter the affected tooth to allow access to the pulp chamber and remove the infected tissues within.
After the infected tissues have been removed, Dr. Meek or Dr. Tasch will sterilize and carefully widen canals of the tooth with specialized dental instruments. This process allows us to fill the roots with a flexible, rubber-like dental material called gutta-percha that will maintain the internal structure. To rebuild the outside of the tooth, you will need a customized dental crown. We will provide a temporary while you heal from your procedure and wait for your final restoration to be created. Once your crown is complete, we can securely place it to restore your full oral function and aesthetics.
Our team can provide the timely, thorough care you need to protect your oral health and prevent the need for extraction.
Recovering from Root Canal Therapy
It is important to closely follow your post-operative instructions after root canal therapy for a successful recovery. You will probably notice slight tenderness or temperature sensitivity in the days following treatment. This is to be expected, and will diminish over time. Take any prescribed antibiotics and pain medications exactly as directed. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories are also useful in reducing swelling and discomfort.
Relieve Dental Pain
If you are experiencing symptoms of dental infection, schedule a visit with one of our doctors. Contact us online anytime, or call our office at (512) 458-6222. Our team can provide the timely, thorough care you need to protect your oral health and prevent the need for extraction.