How can we help you?
At our Acadiana dental office, we believe strongly in educating and empowering our patients to take charge of their own dental care. We encourage and welcome all your questions about our practice, dental procedures, and your treatment.
Please take a moment to browse through this selection of questions we are often asked. If your question isn’t answered here or if you’d like more information, don’t hesitate to give us a call or contact us online!
Root Canal Therapy
When people ask about root canals, they are actually referring to root canal therapy. Root canal therapy involves treating a tooth by eliminating an internal infection in order to save your tooth.
How We Diagnose Tooth Decay
Many people who need a root canal experience pain, but not everyone. Sometimes, your root canal may be diagnosed from your routine exam and x-rays. Often, if you need a root canal, your tooth may feel sensitive to things like hot coffee or you may experience a throbbing sensation. An exam will allow us to determine the cause of your symptoms. If you need a root canal, we will get to work quickly before the infection has a chance to progress.
After you are completely numb, comfortable and relaxed, your root canal begins by our skilled dentist making a small hole in order to access your tooth’s root. Our dentist will gently remove any infection inside your tooth and fill it with an inert material and medication to assist in healing.
Root Canals in Lafayette
You may experience some sensitivity following your procedure, but after a few days you should be feeling completely normal. Drs. Smith and Domingue may recommend a crown to protect your tooth after a root canal because root canal therapy can cause your tooth to become brittle and structurally compromised.
A root canal may be necessary when you have an infection in your tooth. Having an infection can pose a serious risk to your health. In addition to the risk of sudden pain and missed time, you could experience systemic repercussions to an infected tooth.
A serious infection can spread to your vital organs like your lung, hearts, or your brain. Scientists linked infections in the mouth to heart attacks and strokes.
When you leave any infection untreated, you run a number of risks. In your mouth, the risks are particularly unpleasant. If your infection progresses and you have an abscess, you may experience severe facial swelling or a pustule on your cheek or gums that leaks pus.
Root Canal Therapy in Lafayette
Ultimately, if your body is unable to fight off the infection, your will lose your tooth. A root canal eliminates and prevents the recurrence of future infections by removing the pulpy material inside the tooth as well as the active infection. Drs. Smith and Domingue could recommend that you have a crown on your root canal tooth to protect it since teeth with root canal procedures become brittle and more susceptible to damage.
Keeping your natural teeth is important to your overall health and that of your remaining teeth.
Drs. Smith and Domingue are experts when it comes to root canal therapy and have performed hundreds of successful root canals for their patients.
When Root Canals Are Necessary
When patients consider the cost of a root canal combined with a crown, which is sometimes necessary after root canal therapy, they sometimes consider having an extraction instead. An extraction is really a last resort because the consequences of tooth loss are dramatic.
When you lose a tooth, it leaves a gap in your smile. Because nothing is there, your remaining teeth could begin to tip, tilt, or shift, creating problems with your bite. Additionally, your teeth act like anchors in your jawbone. Your teeth and jawbone work together to provide stability. When you lose a tooth, your bone may begin to reabsorb in that area. That means the opposing and adjacent teeth could be put at risk because their foundation becomes unstable.
Tooth Replacement in Lafayette After Extraction
If you do have a tooth extracted to save money, you will likely find out that tooth replacement is often more expensive than saving a tooth. It is almost always better and more affordable to save your natural tooth, when possible.
If you do require an extraction, we offer reliable tooth replacement options including dental implants. Dental implants provide aesthetic and functional advantages over other tooth replacement options.
Because each patient’s case is different, we cannot determine what will work best for you before a complete exam. However, we do know that after a root canal procedure, your tooth may become brittle and more susceptible to breaking.
About Root Canals in Lafayette
People who come to us in need of a root canal are often in pain. Once we do an exam, we can determine the cause of your pain, such as an infection that requires a root canal. A root canal is often a last effort to save a troubled tooth. When we do a root canal procedure, we essentially clean out the contents of your tooth in order to eliminate your infection. Because the pulp and nerve are completely gone, you will no longer have pain and that is a big plus!
But because your tooth is no longer vital, it can become quite brittle and more breakable than a healthy tooth. A crown works because it places a protective cover over your entire tooth like a helmet. Your crown will absorb the shock from chewing and protect your delicate tooth underneath.
Once we perform your root canal procedure, we can determine if a crown is necessary to protect you from tooth breakage or loss.
Usually, the pain associated with a root canal is due to the trauma or infection that is being treated and not from the procedure itself. Typically when patients have a root canal procedure, they report great relief from their pain.
What To Expect
You may feel some soreness or discomfort after the procedure as a result of your body's own natural healing process, but you are unlikely to feel a thing during the procedure itself. We will make sure you are completely numb and comfortable for your root canal procedure.
Once your root canal is complete, our doctors may decide to prescribe additional medication to assist with healing, but only if they think it is necessary. You will receive any special care instructions, as well. We will also schedule a follow-up exam to make sure you are healing properly and that everything looks good after your treatment.
Gentle Root Canals in Lafayette
Drs. Smith and Domingue may also recommend a crown on your tooth once your root canal has completely healed. Because the root canal procedure removes the nerve from your tooth, it may become brittle after treatment. A crown can help to stabilize your tooth and protect it.
Our dentists are skilled in sedation dentistry, so if you are nervous about your root canal, please let us know so that we can help to put you at ease.