About Root Canal Therapy
"Having a root canal" has a bad rap. It doesn't cause pain - it actually makes the agony you're experiencing go away! In fact, as soon as you are anesthetized the painful agony of an infected nerve is gone - so the longer you wait, fearing a root canal, the more unnecessary pain you will experience. At Houston Heights Dentistry, Dr. Neela Patel performs root canal therapy when the nerve in the tooth becomes infected and begins to die, causing pain to the patient. If the infected area is not removed, it may spread, eat through the surrounding bone, and affect other teeth, even entering the bloodstream and traveling to other parts of the body. During root canal therapy, the infected nerve in the tooth is removed, allowing the tooth to be saved, and then filled with an inert material that is injected into the now empty and cleaned nerve canal in the tooth. A crown is then created and placed over the tooth. This procedure is important in order to preserve good oral and physical health.
"Dr. Neela Patel and staff are wonderful. I've been going here for 20 years and even though it is out of the way from my work and home it's worth the drive."- D.A. / Google / Sep 18, 2018
"Great overall experience. Dr. Patel and her staff really take amazing care of their patients and make you feel welcome and at ease the minute you step into the office. Today she squeezed me into her already busy schedule to fix me up with a new veneer that broke off my tooth just hours before. They did an excellent job! In the two plus years I’ve been going to HHD, I’ve never been disappointed. Here are a few more highlights: none of her shots ever hurt, she always calls you in the evening to check that everything is ok, competitive prices."- J.S. / Google / Oct 03, 2019
"Great doctor and hygienist! Probably the best, most knowledgeable dentist I’ve been to!"- N.D. / Google / Sep 30, 2019
"Great office!"- S.R. / Google / Sep 26, 2019
"Dr. Patel and her staff are very friendly and professional. I have never had such an informative and thorough comprehensive exam. I will definitely be back."- M.M. / Google / Sep 26, 2019
What to Expect
A root canal is performed with local anesthesia to numb the tooth — sedation may be used if needed. Dr. Patel will remove the nerve from the infected tooth, then she will place a crown after injecting a filling material. Some patients are at a higher risk of developing an infection (usually patients with heart problems like congenital defects and artificial heart valves), so antibiotics may be prescribed before and after the root canal treatment.
If only local sedation is used, you will be able to drive and recover at home, but some sedation options may require you to have a responsible adult pick you up. Patients will have temporary numbness and some may have minor discomfort that can usually be treated with an over-the-counter pain medicine. If a temporary crown was placed over the tooth, the permanent crown will be placed and fitted at a separate appointment. After a root canal, oral care including brushing and flossing at home plus visits to our office as recommended are important to maintain the health of the treated tooth.
A root canal procedure is usually covered in part by dental insurance, but it may not cover additional expenses for emergency care. Our office accepts many forms of payment and we can help patients with financing plans, if needed.
Plan Your Procedure
Saving Your Tooth
To relieve your pain and prevent more serious health problems, don't delay talking to us or visiting Houston Heights Dentistry regarding a root canal. With modern dental equipment and techniques as well as sedation options, saving an infected tooth and getting you out of severe pain doesn't have to be painful or time consuming.