Root canal therapy can save an infected tooth, preventing the need for extraction. Drs. K.B. Parkes, Gary Waltemath, and Karen S. Keenan at Iroquois Family Dentistry in Nashville, TN, can provide nitrous oxide sedation and local anesthesia to help you remain relaxed and comfortable throughout this treatment. We also offer same-day dental crowns, making it possible to complete your root canal in a single office visit.
About Root Canals
A root canal is the total removal of the pulp, or inner tissue, of a tooth. It is usually recommended when a cavity reaches the pulp, infecting the tissue. This procedure alleviates pain, eliminates infection, and saves the exterior tooth structure. Many people are intimidated by the thought of having a root canal. However, because of modern techniques and anesthesia options, a root canal causes no more discomfort than receiving a filling. In fact, one study found that 54 percent of patients reported experiencing no pain during a root canal.
Using root canal therapy, the dentists at Iroquois Family Dentistry can ease your discomfort and avoid the need for tooth extraction.
After removing infected tissue, the healthy exterior is usually restored with a crown. Although extraction is an option for alleviating uncomfortable symptoms and stopping further tooth decay and gum disease, it will ultimately result in bone atrophy at the site where the tooth was extracted. Although bone atrophy after extraction can be avoided with dental implants, this solution is much more expensive and invasive than a root canal.
Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?
Several symptoms can indicate the need for a root canal:
- Tooth pain
- Sensitivity to heat or cold when eating or drinking
- Swelling in the gums or face
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A sudden, strange taste in the mouth
Dental infection can sometimes occur without symptoms. It is important to schedule regular six-month checkups so your dentist can detect dental infections in the earliest stages. If you require root canal treatment, you are not alone. Dentists use this treatment to save millions of teeth each year.
A root canal is a fairly simple process. First, our dentists administer local anesthesia to make patients feel more at ease and alleviate any discomfort. An entry point is then created in the exterior of the tooth. Next, our dentists will remove all tissue from the pulp chamber and root canals, sterilizing the interior of the tooth and filling it with a rubbery substance. A support post is then placed into one of the root canals (the center of the tooth root). Finally, our doctors seal the tooth and place a crown to restore strength, appearance, and function.
For a couple of days after a root canal, patients may experience sensitivity. This pain can be controlled with over-the-counter or prescription medications.
Contact Us to Learn More
Our doctors at Iroquois Family Dentistry can ease your discomfort and help you avoid the need for tooth extraction. If you are experiencing symptoms of dental infection, or simply need to schedule a six-month exam, call us today at (615) 298-2040 or contact us online anytime.