Treating patients in Carrollton, North Dallas, Plano and Farmers Branch, Texas.
North Dallas / Plano dentist Dr. Hampton knows that when people hear the term “root canal,” they often associate it with the painful root canal treatments of the past. However, with recent innovations in dentistry, as well as local anesthetics, Dr. Hampton can perform root canal treatment without causing much — if any — pain or discomfort to the patient. Actually, living with severe tooth decay instead of treating it with root canal therapy is usually more painful than the treatment itself.
Dr. Hampton performs root canal treatment at The Hampton's Family & Cosmetic Dentistry to repair a tooth that has been severely damaged due to decay or infection. By providing root canal treatment, the dentist can often save the problematic tooth instead of having to extract it. The term “root canal” refers to the technique of cleaning the canals found inside a tooth’s root.
As an alternative to root canal therapy, Dr. Hampton can extract the problematic tooth and replace it with a dental implant, partial denture or bridge. However, restoring full function to the tooth with root canal treatment is often the more beneficial option.
Inside the tooth is a soft center section, referred to as dental pulp. Dental pulp extends from the tooth’s crown (the visible part of the tooth) to the very top of the root, located in the jaw bone. Enclosed in the dental pulp are blood vessels, nerves and tissue. Bacteria can infiltrate dental pulp if a tooth is cracked or develops a large cavity.
Bacteria in the dental pulp can cause severe infection or swelling of the tooth and surrounding tissue. This can eventually lead to the loss of the tooth if left untreated. Toothache, gum swelling, swelling in the face and neck area, and tooth sensitivity to temperature are all signs that bacteria may have infiltrated the pulp.
When infection or decay starts to affect the tooth’s inner nerve (which can be a very painful condition), Dr. Hampton may recommend root canal treatment to save the tooth instead of extracting it. Advanced stages of infection and decay may cause pimple-like bumps to form on the gums.
Root canal treatment will restore the tooth so that it functions normally again. With proper care and maintenance, the tooth restoration provided by root canal therapy should last a lifetime.
Dr. Hampton typically requires one to three office visits for complete root canal therapy. He first takes X-rays of your teeth so he can assess the extent of decay or damage. Before beginning the procedure, he administers a local anesthetic so that you are comfortable throughout the entire process. Dr. Hampton then places a dental dam (a rubber-like sheet) inside your mouth to keep the infected tooth clean and saliva free. He next removes any decay before creating an opening in the crown of the damaged tooth. Through this opening, Dr. Hampton accesses the chamber that holds the dental pulp. Finally, he uses small dental instruments to remove the infected dental pulp.