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Root Canal Therapy
Austin, TX

Many times a person complaining of tooth pain will assume it is "just a cavity" and come to the dentist to have it filled, only to discover that a root canal is needed! Usually, when decay enters a tooth structure, as in a cavity, pain is not felt until the decay reaches all the way to the root of the tooth. At that point, the only way to save the tooth is to perform a root canal, effectively removing the nerve structure from that tooth. When decay destroys tooth structure deep enough into the tooth, bacteria from the decay reaches the nerve chamber and infects the nerve of the tooth. Once the nerve becomes infected, the tooth will begin to HURT!

Procedure for a root canal

Cross section of an incisor, pre-root canal showing damage and post-root canal showing the repaired tooth. Once the patient's tooth is thoroughly anesthetized, the infected nerve is removed with specialized instruments called files. The files may be used by hand or by a dental handpiece. Once the nerve is removed, the nerve canals are disinfected and filled with a special filling that seals the canal. This material seals the tooth from further bacterial infection. It is much like removing the lead from a pencil and replacing it with plastic. After having a root canal done on a tooth, it is recommended that the tooth have a crown (cap) placed on it. This will help stabilize the structure of the tooth to protect it from fracturing or breaking.

Success Rate

Root canals are usually very successful at alleviating the pain felt by the patient. On average, they are successful 95% of the time. A successful root canal is defined by the patient's tooth remaining asymptomatic, or without pain, indefinitely after the procedure. However, for reasons that are mostly unknown, sometimes the root canal fails and must be retreated. Re-treatment may include re-performing the root canal to attempt to remove any remaining nerve, or having oral surgery performed to seal the canal at the tip of the root. At that point, a referral to an oral surgeon or root canal specialist would be in order.

B.J. Myers, D.D.S & Associates

Northwest Austin Location
8430 Spicewood Springs Rd
Austin, TX 78759
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B.J. Myers DDS & Associates | | (512) 506-9889
8430 Spicewood Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78759



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B.J. Myers DDS & Associates, 8430 Spicewood Springs Rd, Austin, TX, 78759-6051 - Associated Words: dentist Austin TX• dentist Austin TX• (512) 506-9889•• 5/21/2018