Your Expert Root Canal Dentist - Plano, TX
Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canal & Endodontic Treatment
- Who performs endodontic treatment?
Dr. Joseph does not perform root canals, or endodontic treatment, but as your emergency dentist, will evaluate the need for a referral.
General Dentists, more frequently specialists (Endodontists) who have specialized training and equipment in tooth nerve treatment and emergency dentistry perform root canals and surgeries.
General dentists are trained in root canal therapy, but most prefer to send their patients to specialists who have specialty training and equipment for the best outcome.
There are numerous Plano Dentists who specialize in root canal therapy. Dr. Joseph will recommend a trusted root canal specialist to you if it is determined to be the best treatment.
Feel free to contact us for additional information about local endodontists with whom we work and recommend.
- What are the signs of needing endodontic treatment?
You may consider using Dr. Joseph as your emergency dentist in Plano if
You experience any of the following symptoms:
- Hot/cold sensitivity
- “Pimple” on gum near tooth
- Severe biting/chewing pain
He will assess your need for an endodontic specialist through some brief, painless tests, an x-ray, and a thorough history of symptoms. If the nerve of the tooth is infected, the name of a qualified board-certified specialist in root canals will be provided to you. Any information will be sent to the specialist along with a letter or phone call of explanation to the Endodontist you choose. The specialist’s office will then communicate back to Dr Joseph regarding your treatment.
Sometimes teeth that are infected do not have any symptoms or outward signs. The infection can be seen on an x-ray, though.
Symptoms may begin as a sensitivity to a thermal stimulus such as hot/cold especially if the pain lingers after the stimulus is removed.
Many people may see a lesion or “pimple” on the gum around the tooth involved. This is the infection draining into the bone around your tooth. This infection is very destructive to the other jaw structures.
Usually, in an emergency, an antibiotic is prescribed to start immediately. This may depend on the amount of infection present and severity of symptoms.
People often ask why they just can’t take the antibiotic to get rid of the infection and not have the root canal treatment. The medicine will start to treat the infection itself but will do nothing to get rid of the cause of infection, so it will recur.
- What is a root canal?
Your cosmetic and family dentist in Plano, Dr. Joseph will determine if a root canal is the right treatment for you and offer you names of qualified endodontic specialists who perform them.
Root canal treatment is aimed at eliminating bacteria from the infected root, preventing reinfection of the tooth, and saving the natural tooth.
The specialist will remove any inflamed or infected nerve. The inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed.
The thought of a root canal may make you fearful or uneasy if you aren’t familiar with the procedure. There are common misconceptions that endodontic treatments such as root c,anals, cause pain or illness and should be avoided. The exact opposite is true.
The longer you postpone treatment the more you risk the chance to save your tooth, and the worse the infection will be.
- What is Endodontic Surgery?
Dr Joseph relies on some of the best root canal specialists in Plano to take excellent care of our patients who need endodontic care.
There are surgical procedures that can be performed to save a tooth other than a root canal.
The most common is called an apicoectomy, or root-end surgery which may be needed when inflammation or infection persists in the area around the end of your tooth after a root canal procedure.
There’s no need to worry about surgery if the specialist recommends it. Advanced technologies they use such as digital imaging and operating microscopes allow these procedures to be performed quickly, comfortably, successfully, and with a more predictable outcome.
- Will I feel pain during or after the procedure?
With modern technology and anesthetics, you won’t experience any more pain than if you were to have a cavity filled.
Most of the discomfort associated with needing a root canal is experienced before the root canal is performed when the infection is present. Removing the nerve will clear the infection.
For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, Over-the-counter medications are usually enough to manage this sensitivity. In some cases, prescription medications may be necessary and are available from your endodontist. Most cases can be treated quickly and comfortably.
Contact us for any additional questions or explanations or for any emergency dental needs. We are here to help!
- How can the tooth hurt if the nerve is gone?
Should you experience any emergency pain after treatment, please contact Dr. Joseph in Plano, or the specialist if you saw one. Some people wonder why they may still experience pain if the nerve is removed.
The inner, damaged tissue of your tooth has been removed during the root canal treatment. However, your tooth is still alive on the outside. Your pain comes from having had an infection and/or inflammation in the bone along the outside of the tooth. Even though the dentist has removed the main nerve from the tooth, there are still small nerves in the ligaments and tissue surrounding the tooth. When this area is inflamed, such as after a dental procedure, these nerve endings can also register discomfort.
- How much will the procedure cost?
The specialist’s office staff will be happy to go over all fees and insurance considerations. In general, root canal therapy costs will vary depending on the tooth being treated. Multiple rooted teeth are usually more costly due to multiple nerves being treated, and increased time and complexity.
- Will the tooth need any special care or additional treatment?
Usually, some type of final restoration is needed after a root canal. Dr Joseph specializes in cosmetic and restorative dentistry and will place the final restoration after consulting with the endodontist.
After root canal treatment, a natural tooth will become brittle and will need to be restored with a crown to strengthen and cover it to prevent chipping/breaking. If the tooth already has a crown on it, the root canal can be performed through the crown and a small filling placed to seal it. The endodontic specialist does not do any restorative work. After treatment is complete and the tooth is ready for restoration, the endodontist will inform Dr. Joseph and restorative work can start.
- What can I eat and when?
You should avoid eating until numbness from the anesthetic has completely disappeared so that you don’t accidentally bite an area that hasn’t yet regained feeling.
Soft foods are generally recommended after your procedure to avoid irritation and let your mouth recover for a day or two. You should be cautious about biting on anything hard with the treated tooth until the final restoration is complete.
- What should I do in the case of a dental emergency?
We are always able to accommodate true dental emergencies! Contact us at the listed numbers for emergency dentistry.
If you are experiencing pain, feel frees to contact us at: to arrange for an emergency dental visit to our office. You will be seen promptly and examined. When referred to a specialist, one of our business office team members will give you pertinent information, assist you in making an appointment and send any information we have gathered to the specialist for his use.