Drs. Rick Davis and Rick Schwartz of Endodontic Consultants of San Antonio are trained and experienced in helping patients find relief from tooth infections. They work with your regular dentist and other specialists to develop a customised treatment plan that addresses each patient’s individual needs and concerns. Here, Drs. Davis and Schwartz answer some of the most common questions about tooth infections and treatment options.
A. Most patients believe that if your tooth is infected, you will experience pain. While some patients do experience pain, others may have an infected tooth and not feel a thing. Some chronic tooth infections remain “quiescent” and go for years without causing pain and are only discovered on an x-ray. One of the jobs of your immune system is to keep infections under control, sometimes for years without symptoms. Unfortunately most infected teeth eventually cause pain and/or swelling, and at an inconvenient time, such as when you are travelling or your daughter is getting married.
A. Your treatment plan will depend on several factors such as the amount of decay, the amount of healthy tooth structure remaining, the status of the pulp (nerve), the presence of cracks and the location of the damage. Some teeth can be treated with a filling or crown, some can be saved by performing root canal treatment, some need to be extracted. Dr. Davis or Dr. Schwartz will perform diagnostic tests to make that determination and help you decide how best to proceed.
A. The short answer is no. Our primary concern is that you are comfortable during treatment. We will numb the area completely prior to beginning the procedure. Teeth with root canal problems are generally harder to numb than the average tooth, so it may require extra anesthetic. Patients who are apprehensive can elect to have the treatment performed with conscious sedation. We offer the full range of sedation from nitrous oxide (laughing gas) which relaxes you and relieves anxiety, to IV sedation, which puts you completely to sleep.
A. You will receive detailed instructions following your procedure. In most cases, you will want to avoid chewing on the tooth for a few days. Some patients take Advil or Tylenol for a day or two afterwards. The doctors will provide you with their cell phone numbers should you have any issues after treatment is complete.