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Posts for tag: root canal

April 24, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

A root canal is a common dental procedure with an unfortunate reputation. Though often thought to be painful, a root canal is actually a root canalway for your dentist to save your tooth and remove the infection. Find out more about root canals, signs you may need one, and how they can benefit your smile with Dr. Thomas English in Conroe, TX.

Signs You May Need a Root Canal
Your dentist may suggest a root canal in various situations. From a cavity to a broken molar, your damaged teeth can probably benefit from a root canal. The most common reason for a root canal is advanced tooth decay. Some of the most common symptoms of this condition include:

  • Unexplained bad breath
  • A toothache
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold food or drinks
  • Brown or black mark on the tooth
  • A visible hole in the tooth
  • Unexplained bad taste in the mouth

The Root Canal Procedure

During a root canal, your dentist will:

  • Administer a local anesthetic to ensure that you do not feel any discomfort during your treatment.
  • Create a small access hole in the crown of the tooth.
  • Clean and scrub the inside of the tooth to ensure no diseased tissue remains behind.
  • Refill the tooth using composite resin materials.

In most cases, your dentist will suggest a dental crown to cover the tooth and help protect it from everyday use.

Root Canal Therapy in Conroe, TX
For more information on root canals or why they may be necessary for you, please contact Dr. Thomas English at his practice in Conroe, TX. Call (936) 756-3611 to schedule your appointment!


It’s often best health-wise to preserve even the most troubled tooth—including a child’s primary (“baby”) tooth. If that sounds like too much effort for a tooth that lasts only a few years, there’s a big reason why—if it’s lost prematurely, the incoming permanent tooth above it could erupt out of position.

Preserving a decayed primary tooth could include procedures similar to a root canal treatment, commonly used in adult permanent teeth with inner decay. However, we may need to modify this approach to protect the primary tooth’s pulp. This innermost layer plays a critical role in early dental development.

Because an adult tooth has reached maturity, removing diseased pulp tissue has little effect on its permanent health. But the pulp contributes to dentin growth (the layer between it and the outer enamel) in primary and young permanent teeth, so removing it could ultimately compromise the tooth’s long-term health.

Our goal then with a child’s tooth is to remove as much diseased tissue as possible while involving the pulp as little as possible. What techniques we use will depend on how much of the pulp has become infected.

For example, if decay has advanced to but hasn’t yet penetrated the pulp, we may remove all but a small amount of the decayed structure just next to the pulp to avoid its exposure. We may then apply an antibacterial agent to this remaining portion and seal the tooth to curb further infection.

If on the other hand the pulp has become infected, we may try to remove only the infected portion and leave the remaining pulp intact. We’ll only be able to do this, however, if we deem the remaining pulp healthy enough to remain infection-free after the procedure. If not, we may need to remove the entire pulp as with a traditional root canal. This option, though, is a last resort due to the possible effect on dentin growth and the tooth’s long-term health.

As you can see attempts to preserve a primary tooth can be quite involved. But if we can help it reach its full life span, it could mean better dental health for a lifetime.

If you would like more information on caring for primary teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Canal Treatment for Children’s Teeth.”