Endodontics Houston

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ACE Endodontics

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Most commonly asked questions:

If you are suffering from "dental phobia," an unreasonable apprehension of dentistry, that has prohibited you from seeking dental care in the past, you may want to consider conscious sedation.

—  ACE Endodontics of Houston
  • Saving your natural tooth!

    • Nothing is as good as your natural tooth

      Saving your natural tooth should always be your first choice when dental care is needed. Nothing, not even the most advanced bridges and implants, can truly replace your natural tooth.
      • If your dentist recommends extracting your tooth, ask if an endodontist can help save it with a root canal. This endodontic treatment removes the injured pulp (soft inner tissue) of your tooth and fills and seals the space.
      • Your tooth is then restored and can function just like any other tooth for the rest of your life, ensuring comfortable chewing and a natural appearance. Endodontists can often save the most severely injured teeth.
      • Endodontists can often save the most severely injured teeth.
      • If your tooth cannot be saved — and some cannot — you may consider replacements such as a bridge or dental implant. Your options may depend upon the condition of surrounding teeth and bone structure.
      • Dental implant procedures can be complex, costly and they often require several visits and several month’s healing time before the procedure can be completed.
      • Do everything possible to save your teeth before considering tooth extraction. Nothing is as good as your natural tooth!
    • A look Inside Your Tooth

      From the outside, a tooth looks like a hard, solid substance, but this cut-away illustration reveals that a tooth is really a complex system of specialized tissues.

  • Tooth Pain

    • Symptom: Momentary sensitivity to hot or cold foods.

      Possible problem: If this discomfort lasts only moments, sensitivity to hot and cold foods generally does not signal a serious problem. The sensitivity may be caused by a small decay, a loose filling or by minimal gum recession that exposes small areas of the root surface.

      What to do: Try using toothpastes made for sensitive teeth. Brush up and down with a soft brush; brushing sideways wears away exposed root surfaces. If this is unsuccessful, see your general dentist. If the sensitivity is coming from a decay you should see your general dentist.

    • Symptom: Sensitivity to hot or cold foods after dental treatment

      Possible problem: Dental work may inflame the pulp inside the tooth causing temporary sensitivity. .

      What to do: Wait two to four weeks. If the pain persists or worsens, see your general dentist..

    • Symptom: Sharp pain when biting down on food.

      Possible problem: There are several possible causes of this type of pain: decay, a loose filling or crack in the tooth. There may also be damage to the pulp tissue inside the tooth.

      What to do: See a dentist for evaluation. If the problem is pulp tissue damage, your dentist may send you to an endodontist. Endodontists are dentists who specialize in pulp-related procedures. Your endodontist will perform a procedure that cleans out the damaged pulp and fills and seals the remaining space. This procedure is commonly called a “root canal.”.

    • Symptom: Lingering pain after eating hot or cold foods.

      Possible problem: This probably means the pulp has been damaged by deep decay or physical trauma.

      What to do: See your dentist or endodontist to save the tooth with root canal treatment.

    • Symptom: Constant and severe pain and pressure, swelling of gum and sensitivity to touch.

      Possible problem: A tooth may have become abscessed, causing an infection in the surrounding gingival tissue and bone.

      What to do: See your endodontist for evaluation and treatment to relieve the pain and save the tooth.

    • Symptom: Dull ache and pressure in upper teeth and jaw.

      Possible problem: The pain of a sinus headache is often felt in the face and teeth. Grinding of teeth, a condition known as bruxism, can also cause this type of ache.

      What to do: For sinus headache, see your physician. For bruxism, consult your dentist. If pain is severe and chronic, see your endodontist for evaluation.

  • Treatment Options for the Diseased Tooth

    • What's happening to your tooth?

      Endodontic treatment – also known as a root canal – treats the inside of the tooth. Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, faulty crowns, or a crack or chip in the tooth.

      In addition, trauma to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
    • How does endodontics treatment save the tooth?

      During root canal treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called “gutta-percha.” Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection.

      After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.
    • What is a re treatment?

      As occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after initial endodontic treatment for a variety of reasons. These could include complicated canal anatomy that was undetected in the first root canal procedure, the delay in placement of a crown or other restoration, or an insufficient restoration.

      During endodontic re treatment, the endodontist will regain access to the root canal filling material. After removing the canal filling, the endodontist can clean the canals and carefully examine the inside of the tooth, searching for any hidden canals or unusual anatomy that requires treatment.
    • What is endodontics surgery?

      There are many surgical procedures that can be performed to save a tooth. The most common is called an Apicoectomies, or root-end resection, which is occasionally needed when inflammation or infection persists in the bony area around the end of your tooth after a root canal procedure. In this microsurgical procedure, the endodontist opens the gum tissue near the tooth to see the underlying bone and to remove any inflamed or infected tissue. The very end of the root is also removed.

      A small filling may be placed to seal the end of the root canal and few stitches or sutures are placed to help the tissue heal. Over a period of months, the bone heals around the end of the root. Local anesthetics make the procedure comfortable, and most patients return to their normal activities the next day. Post surgical discomfort is generally mild.
    • What are the alternatives to endodontic treatment?

      Though endodontic procedures are intended to help save your tooth, this is not always possible. Often, the only alternative to endodontic treatment is extraction of the tooth. Missing teeth can make you self-conscious, affect your ability to bite and chew, cause other healthy teeth to shift and have a negative impact on your overall health. For these reasons, the extracted tooth should be replaced with an artificial one.
  • Traumatic Dental Injuries

    • What is endodontic treatment?

      "Endo” is the Greek word for “inside” and “odont” is Greek for “tooth.” Endodontic treatment (involves) the inside of the tooth.

      To understand endodontic treatment, it helps to know something about the anatomy of the tooth. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, and creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development.
    • Who performs endodontic treatment?

      Endodontists are dentists with special training in endodontic procedures. They provide only endodontic services in their practices because they are specialists. To become specialists, they complete dental school and an additional two or more years of advanced training in endodontics. They perform routine as well as difficult and very complex endodontic procedures, including endodontic surgery. Endodontists are also experienced at finding the cause of oral and facial pain that has been difficult to diagnose.
    • How will my injury be treated?

      Chipped teeth account for the majority of all dental injuries. Dislodged or knocked-out teeth are examples of less frequent, but more severe injuries. Treatment depends on the type, location and severity of each injury. Any dental injury, even if apparently mild, requires examination by a dentist or an endodontist immediately. Sometimes, neighboring teeth suffer an additional, unnoticed injury that will only be detected by a thorough dental exam.
    • Will the tooth need any special care or additional treatment?

      Endodontists are dentists with special training in endodontic procedures. They provide only endodontic services in their practices because they are specialists. To become specialists, they complete dental school and an additional two or more years of advanced training in endodontics. They perform routine as well as difficult and very complex endodontic procedures, including endodontic surgery. Endodontists are also experienced at finding the cause of oral and facial pain that has been difficult to diagnose.

How can one overcome dental anxiety

Dental anxiety and fear can become completely overwhelming. It is estimated that as many as 35 million people do not visit the dental office at all because they are too afraid. Receiving regular dental check ups and cleanings is incredibly important. Having regular routine check ups is the easiest way to maintain excellent oral hygiene and reduce the need for more complex treatments.

Here are some tips to help reduce dental fear and anxiety

  • Talk to the dentist- The dentist is not a mind reader. Though it can be hard to talk about irrational fears with a stranger, the dentist can take extra precautions during visits if fears and anxiety are communicated.
    • Bring a portable music player– Music acts as a relaxant and also drowns out any fear-producing noises. Listening to calming music throughout the appointment will help to reduce anxiety.
      • Agree on a signal– Many people are afraid that the dentist will not know they are in significant pain during the appointment, and will carry on the procedure regardless. The best way to solve this problem is to agree on a “stop” hand signal with the dentist. Both parties can easily understand signals like raising the hand or tapping on the chair.
      • Spray the throat– Throat sprays (for example, Vicks® Chloraseptic® Throat Spray) can actually control the gag reflex. Two or three sprays will usually keep the reflex under control for about an hour.
      • Take a mirror– Not being able to see what is happening can increase anxiety and make the imagination run wild. Watching the procedure can help keep reality at the forefront of the mind.
      • Sedation– If there is no other way to cope, sedation offers an excellent option for many people. There are several types of sedation, but the general premise behind them is the same: the patient regains their faculties after treatment is complete.
      • Ask about alternatives– Advances in technology mean that dental microsurgery is now an option. Lasers can be used to prepare teeth for fillings, whiten teeth and remove staining. Discuss all the options with the dentist and decide on one that is effective and produces minimal anxiety.

        If you have questions or concerns about how the dentist can help you overcome anxiety and fear, please contact the office.

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  • At ACE Endodontics we see patients the same day

    We will do our best to accommodate your emergencies the same day you call us.