If you have toothache in McAllen, you may have an infected tooth, which is a serious oral health issue. If you don’t get help, such as root canal therapy at North Park Dental, your condition will only get worse, and you may end up losing your tooth. Get more details below, or contact us now to schedule a same-day appointment for root canal therapy in McAllen.
If you have an infected tooth, you will need a root canal. A tooth infection occurs when the outer layers of your tooth are destroyed, exposing the tooth “pulp,” which becomes infected by oral bacteria.
There are two primary causes of tooth infections. The first, and the most common, is untreated, extensive tooth decay. If you have a very large cavity that eats through the entire outer layer of your tooth and reaches the pulp, this will result in a tooth infection.
The second cause of tooth infections is dental trauma. If you crack a tooth biting a piece of ice or popcorn, or if you slip and fall and you break a tooth, this can expose the pulp to bacteria and result in an infection.
The process of root canal therapy is totally pain-free. Your mouth will be numbed, and we also offer sedation dentistry to keep you comfortable. You may experience some minor tenderness or a few days after your treatment, but this will go away quickly.
In fact, a root canal is the best way to get relief from the pain of a toothache, which is a common symptom of an infected tooth. Toothaches can be debilitating, and interfere with your ability to live your day-to-day life.
At North Park Dental, we use the latest technology and advanced techniques to eliminate infections from your teeth, but there is always a chance that the root canal treatment won’t fully eliminate the infection.
If this happens, you may need to come back for root canal “retreatment.” This process is similar to the original root canal process. Your crown or filling will be removed, and then your tooth will be opened up and cleaned again to make sure the infection has been removed.
Dr. Munoz may also take more x-rays to look for hidden issues that may have been missed the first time around. You may also need an “apicoectomy,” which is an endodontic surgery where the tips of the tooth root are removed to eliminate bacteria.
The root canal process is much simpler than you may think. We use the latest minimally-invasive tools and techniques at North Park Dental, and your mouth will be completely numb during the process. We also offer sedation dentistry to keep you comfortable.
To begin, Dr. Munoz will clean the treatment area and numb it to ensure your comfort. Once your mouth is numb, he will drill away some of your enamel to clean and prepare the tooth, and then he will make an opening in the tooth.
Through this opening, he will use a variety of special tools to clean and remove damaged pulp from the tooth’s interior. Once this is done, the tooth will be filled up with a rubbery material that strengthens it and replaces the pulp.
As the final step, a filling or temporary crown will be placed on the tooth. If you need a permanent crown, you will come back for a follow-up in a few weeks at North Park Dental.
Then, you’ll be sent home to recover. You don’t need to do anything special. Just keep brushing and flossing normally. Your tooth may ache slightly for a day or two, but this will go away quickly.
If you have an infected tooth and you don’t get a root canal, the tooth will die. Not only is this bad for your oral health, but it causes serious pain. As the nerves in the tooth continue to decay and die, you’ll experience tremendous discomfort.
Once the tooth dies, it may either fall out naturally, or it will require extraction. In rare cases, the infection could also spread from the tooth into the rest of your body, causing a serious and life-threatening condition called “sepsis.”
Because of this, it’s extremely important to get a root canal if Dr. Munoz recommends the treatment. If you don’t, your condition will only get worse. It’s simply not possible for an infected tooth to “go away” on its own. Eventually, it will die.
For adult teeth, the only common alternative to a root canal is a tooth extraction. Pulling the damaged and decayed tooth will provide you with relief from your pain and discomfort, and it will prevent further symptoms and complications.
However, Dr. Munoz will never recommend an extraction as an alternative to root canal therapy unless you have no other option. Pulling a tooth is a much more invasive procedure than a root canal. And while the extraction itself is an affordable procedure, you will also need to restore your now-missing tooth with a denture, dental implant, or dental bridge. These treatments are all much more costly than a root canal and a dental crown.
So, whenever possible, a root canal is simply the best way to treat your infected tooth. Dr. Munoz will only recommend an extraction if your tooth is too damaged to be saved, or if he thinks you’re at risk of further complications due to a very severe infection.
"I love being able to make a positive impact on my patients’ mood and self image."
– Dr. Muñoz