Dr. Hawkins can mend routine cavities by drilling away the decayed enamel and filling in the empty space. However, when the decay has expanded to the root of a tooth, a root canal treatment may be the only way to save the tooth and prevent extraction. Most root canal treatments are very successful, and contrary to popular belief, they are painless with the use of local anesthesia.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
There are certain symptoms to look out for which may indicate that you need a root canal. These are:
- Temperature Sensitivity: If you eat or drink something that is extremely hot or cold, and you experience discomfort, a root canal may be necessary
- Severe pain or throbbing
- An abscess forms
Situations that Require a Root Canal
- If your tooth incurs an injury or severe trauma, a root canal may save your tooth
- When an infection has developed in your tooth’s interior or at the root
- If decay has become severe and has penetrated deep within the tooth
What is a Root Canal?
During root canal therapy, the damaged part of a tooth is removed. The inside portion of the tooth, called the pulp, is eliminated, and the space is cleaned and disinfected. The tooth is filled and sealed.
What is the Process of Root Canal Therapy?
The first step of a root canal is an x-ray. This helps to pinpoint the decay to know where to treat the tooth. When Dr. Hawkins feels he has enough information from the x-rays to begin, a patient receives local anesthesia. Although most people cringe at the thought of a root canal, this procedure can be as painless as a routine filling. Once Dr. Hawkins is inside of the tooth, he will remove all of the infected pulp inside. Once all of the infection is removed and cleaned, he will fill the tooth. In a few weeks, a custom-made, permanent crown will be placed over the tooth.
Following the procedure, we ask that you adopt an excellent at-home oral care routine. You should brush and floss regularly to prevent further cavities and decay. We also suggest that you try to avoid chewing hard foods that may damage the crown. Be sure to maintain semi-annual dental hygiene check-ups as well.
If you are experiencing a severe toothache, or you suspect another problem, Hawkins Dentistry is here to help. If we find that you do need a root canal, you can take comfort in knowing that Dr. Hawkins is very skilled and experienced, and it will not be painful. To schedule an appointment, call our office today!