Root Canal

Your teeth are made up of four layers: enamel, dentin, pulp, and cementum. When your tooth is damaged, bacteria can get into the pulp, causing infection. This can be very painful. The good news is, the team at Glow Up Dentistry in Richmond, TX can help.

Many patients believe that once tooth pulp is infected, the only answer is to have it removed with extraction. However, most dentists will do everything they can to preserve the structure of the tooth. One of the first procedures we consider is root canal therapy.

In this article, we’ll explain more about root canal therapy, including the signs and symptoms you may need one, when it’s an emergency, the steps to the procedure, and more. If you think you may need a root canal, contact us right away.

What is a Root Canal?

According to the American Association of Endodontics, root canal treatment is one of the most common restorative dental procedures. Research indicates that over 15 million are done annually, which equates to approximately 41,000 per day.

Root canal treatment involves drilling a hole in the affected tooth and removing the damaged pulp. Then, the tooth is either capped with a dental crown or the hole is filled with a dental filling. This removes the infection while saving the structure of the tooth.

How do I know I need a root canal?

There are several indicators that you may need root canal treatment, including:

Persisting Chronic Toothaches

Toothaches are one of the most common reasons that people visit the dentist. However, a deep, persistent ache may indicate that you need root canal treatment.


An abscess is one of the biggest indicators that you may need a root canal. An abscess is a pus-filled boil or pimple along the gumline near the affected tooth. If the pus drains out, you may experience an unpleasant taste or smell.

Swelling Around Teeth

When you have an infection, pus usually collects in the area, which often results in tenderness and/or swelling. In some cases, the pus will drain, causing an unpleasant taste or smell. However, sometimes, the pus doesn’t drain, which usually results in swelling of the entire jaw.

Severe Sensitivity

Sensitivity to extreme temps is common. However, if you have extreme sensitivity that lasts more than a few seconds, you may need root canal treatment.

Cracked tooth

A crack in a tooth opens it up for bacteria to get into the pulp. If you seek treatment right away for your cracked tooth, you may be able to avoid root canal treatment. On the other hand, the longer you leave it, the more likely bacteria will settle and cause an infection.

When do you need an emergency root canal?

Root canal treatment is always considered emergency treatment because the longer you wait, the more the infection can spread. In fact, more than 400,000 hospital visits are due to root canals.

Steps to Root Canal Treatment

There are several steps involved in root canal treatment:
  • Prep: anesthesia administered
  • Opening tooth: small hole drilled in tooth
  • Pulp removal: tools used to scrape infected pulp out of tooth
  • Disinfect tooth: tooth chamber cleaned out and disinfected to remove infection
  • Fill tooth: gutta percha used to fill tooth chamber
  • Cap tooth: hole closed with a dental filling or dental crown

How long does root canal treatment take?

In most cases, the procedure itself takes less than one hour. However, you’ll need to be prepared to spend at least 90 minutes in the chair. If the tooth is especially complex, you may need 2 appointments. On average, root canal treatment takes:

Do root canals hurt?

The most common concern that patients have when it comes to root canal treatment is the pain factor. In the past, root canals were considered painful. However, due to advancements in dental technology and pain management, this procedure is no more painful that extracting a tooth. In fact, many people go right back to work after having it done.

Benefits of Root Canal Treatment

There are several benefits of root canal treatment:

Root Canal Treatment Cost

The cost of root canal treatment depends on several factors:
On average, root canal treatment costs about $1,000 for a front tooth, $1,100 for a bicuspid, and $1,300 to $1,600 for molars.

Your insurance may cover a portion of treatment costs. Our office staff will contact your provider to find out. If your plan does not cover any of the cost or if you do not have insurance, we will explain our financing options.

See the Root Canal Experts at Glow Up Dentistry in Richmond, TX

If you have a tooth that is causing problems and you think you may need root canal therapy, schedule your consultation with the root canal experts at Glow Up Dentistry. Our team is trained to determine the problem and treat it quickly to get you feeling back to normal in no time at all.

Our office is located at 10310 Grand Parkway Suite 202 in Richmond. We work with a variety of insurance providers. If you do not have insurance or your insurance provider doesn’t cover a procedure, we will be happy to explain our financing options. We believe that everyone should be able to access quality dental care and will strive to help you in any way that we can.

Root Canal FAQs

The team at Glow Up Dentistry in Richmond understands that root canal treatment can be concerning. You may have many questions. We will be happy to address those with you. Below are some of the most common questions that we hear when it comes to this procedure:
While you may feel fine and want to eat something, it’s important to wait until the anesthesia wears off. If you try to eat while your mouth is still numb, you may injure your tongue or the inside of your lips or cheeks. Plus, you may damage the restoration if you try to eat too soon.
There are no specific rules regarding smoking after root canal treatment. However, it is important to note that smoking can delay healing and increase your risk of developing a variety of complications and ultimately, cause the procedure to be ineffective, which means you’ll need to have an extraction.
Most patients are fine to drive after undergoing root canal therapy because we typically only use local anesthesia. However, for patients who have dental anxiety, we do offer sedation options. If you need a sedative, you will not be able to drive following the procedure. You’ll need to have someone with you that can drive you home and ideally sit with you until the anesthesia wears off.
Once the anesthesia wears off, you are free to eat something. However, it’s important to stick to a liquid or soft foods diet to start with. If you try to eat something that is too tough, chewy, hard, or crunchy, you may damage your restoration.
We typically administer local anesthesia. This allows patients to remain conscious throughout the procedure, but not feel any pain. However, we do offer sedation dentistry for patients who have dental anxiety. If you are given a sedative, you will need to have someone with you that can drive you back home.
Proper oral hygiene following root canal treatment is critical to ensure that the procedure is effective. However, you should not brush and floss immediately following the procedure. It’s important to allow time for the anesthesia to wear off before returning to your normal routine.
Typically, after root canal treatment, a crown is placed on the tooth. This will help strengthen and preserve the tooth. However, it is possible to do a root canal without a crown. The tooth can last a lifetime with proper care, depending on the condition of the tooth. The more damaged the tooth is, the more likely the dentist will recommend a crown.
Skip to content