Root Canals

Brad Barker, DDS, LVIF -  - General Dentistry

Houston Dental Smiles

Brad Barker, DDS, LVIF

General Dentistry located in Houston, TX

Root canals have become something of a punchline to denote a painful procedure, when they actually relieve you of a great deal of pain and save you from having to get a tooth extraction. At Houston Dental Smiles, Brad Barker, DDS, LVIF, and his team of dental experts administer gentle and effective root canals to restore your oral health and make your mouth pain-free again. To learn more, call the Houston office or book an appointment online today.

Root Canals Q & A

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a procedure that treats a damaged or infected tooth by removing its pulp. It enables Dr. Barker to treat your damaged or infected tooth while still keeping its essential structures intact. 

Many people think that root canals are a scary or painful procedure, but in reality, they’re no more painful than a simple dental filling. In fact, root canals alleviate the severe pain that’s caused by damaged or infected tooth pulp.

When would I need a root canal?

You need a root canal if your tooth pulp is infected or damaged. Your pulp is the soft tissue inside of your tooth. It’s composed of connective tissues, blood vessels, and nerve fibers. 

When it’s infected or damaged, it swells, which pinches the nerve fibers and causes a great deal of pain. Some of the common signs of damaged or infected tooth pulp include:

  • Severe pain in your tooth
  • A darkened or discolored tooth
  • Swelling or tenderness in your gums
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
  • A small, pus-filled pimple around your tooth’s root

If you’re experiencing any of these conditions, schedule a visit with Houston Dental Smiles immediately. If left untreated, an infected or damaged tooth can lead to serious conditions like tooth loss, infection of nearby teeth or your jawbone, or sepsis. 

What happens during a root canal procedure?

Houston Dental Smiles is equipped to perform root canals in-house, and they can even offer same-day treatment when needed.

Dr. Barker first takes an X-ray of your mouth to assess the extent of your tooth’s damage and to use as a road map during the procedure. He then anesthetizes your tooth and protects the rest of your smile with a rubber dental dam.

Next, he drills a small access hole in the top of your tooth and uses a series of small files to scrape out all of your decayed tooth pulp. 

Once your tooth is free of dead pulp, he sterilizes the inside of your tooth and fills it with a rubbery compound called gutta-percha. He fills the hole in the top of your tooth with a dental filling, then fits you with a crown to restore your tooth’s strength and structure.

If you have a damaged or infected tooth, don’t wait around any longer — it’s only going to get worse. Schedule your root canal with Houston Dental Smiles by calling the office or booking an appointment online today.