About Root Canals
If ever a reputation preceded a procedure in dentistry, it would be that of root canal therapy. Unfortunately, the myth that root canal therapy, also known as endodontic treatment, is painful has prevented many people from saving teeth from unnecessary extractions. Our dentists strive to make all procedures painless. We welcome the opportunity to surprise you with how painless, and even enjoyable, a root canal can be. One tooth at a time, our dentists hope to dispel the myth that root canals are painful and help you to save your teeth for a lifetime.
Why Do I Need A Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. When bacteria (from decay, fracture, trauma, etc.) first invade the nerve of the tooth, they will elicit an inflammatory response from the nerve; if this inflammatory process occurs slowly, it may be completely painless and without any symptoms. If this process occurs quickly, the inflammation will cause swelling within the tooth which is rigid and does not expand to accommodate the increased pressure resulting in severe pain. Once the nerve tissue is completely infected, bacteria may escape into the surrounding bone, resulting in an infection that can be quite severe, causing pain, destruction of the surrounding bone, and spread of the infection to adjacent teeth.
If the diseased nerve tissue is not removed from the tooth via a root canal treatment, the tooth will eventually have to be removed. By completing the root canal and removing the diseased nerve, we are removing the source of the bacteria, preventing the spread of the infection, and allowing the opportunity for the patient’s natural immunity to clear any lingering infection in the surrounding bone. In the past, teeth with diseased nerves (pulps) were routinely extracted. Unfortunately, this is still true today, partially because root canal therapy is viewed by patients to be expensive and painful. Our dentists and staff urge all patients considering extraction rather than root canal therapy to discuss the options thoroughly. Often times removing the tooth may be the most costly option. Root canal therapy is the treatment of choice to save an otherwise healthy tooth. Our staff will help you make an educated treatment decision and work to dispel the myth of the painful root canal.
Signs and symptoms that you may need a root canal include:
- An abscess (or bump) on the gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold, particularly to hot and especially if the pain lingers
- Severe toothache
- Swelling or tenderness to touch
- Fractured or broken teeth with not symptoms at all
- Pain that wakes you at night or worsens when lying down
Root Canals Reviews
"I am so very thankful for Dr Dodd! I was dealing with a very painful infection and complicated root canal issues. He partnered with my endodontist before and during the course of my work. They had a solid plan and I felt at ease being in their care. I went into my appointments looking for pain relief and when I left was so excited about my new smile that the months of pain were almost forgotten. I am so thankful for everyone on Dr Dodds team! You are all excellent! "- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Mar 11, 2021
"If your looking for a dentist Dr. Franklin is your man, very professional. I needed a root canal and they got me in very quick. Very reasonable and fair, the whole staff was very polite and outgoing!"- J.C. / Google / Jul 24, 2020
"I came to this dentist because I had had a bad experience with the one I was going to. I'm not the best Dental patient ever, because I hate the noise and stuff, but they were awesome and patient with me. Shannon helped find me an office which suited my home/work balance. She and all the staff were extremely pleasant and friendly, and it would even appear to be a good place to work. They quickly identified the problem, and found a few more which they visually pointed out to me with pictures. They got me in quick after I called, and it appears that their appointments and their office hours are also conducive to a work/home balance. I will have to go back and have additional work done, but they already calculated an approximate amount that I would owe on my next visit after my insurance. I didn't feel rushed and nobody dismissed me as being silly.... I guess i've found a new dentist. 😁 update-So, I broke a tooth, which was on the schedule to get filled with a possible crown. I delayed. It wasn't painful at first, but i kept catching my tongue in the hole and it would slice my tongue-which was painful. I called the office, and my new favorite dentist-Dr. Ruckert wasn't in, so I had to see Dr. Selgado. Dr. S as he asked to be called. I wasn't too impressed. He seemed to be caring, but totally wrote my tooth off as a root canal and crown. He said there's no way he'd be able to clean it up and drill for a filling without it needing a root canal and crown, to do anything otherwise would cause me pain and discomfort. When I asked him if he could give me any idea how long my tooth could hold out while I decided its fate (because I currently am not in a financial position to do this kind of work) he said, the letters after my name are DDS no GOD. Dude, you have the xrays, and your expertise that allegedly go with that DDS at the end of your name. I explained I wasn't looking for an exact date, but I can't see it. I can't tell how bad it is, so telling me a week or so, would've even made me happy, but that DDS/GOD thing made me think his letters should be EGO after his name. Even the assistant urged me to see my regular dentist(which I already planned to). Today, I saw Dr Ruckert, and right now I feel like HE should accept the GOD at the end of his name....So far so good. I have a filling, and he filled another one-and so far, it feels fine. No pain like was suggested by Dr S. My gums are a bit sore, but otherwise I am doing fine. no hot/cold sensitivity. Thanks Dr. Ruckert..... you did an excellent job. I realize it may not hold, because of the damage that was there, but this certainly buys me some time and is so far....pain free. My tongue thanks you too!!! :)"- K.H. / Google / Mar 24, 2020
"Today I had a root canal by Dr. Walsh and it went great. The staff was great."- W.C. / Facebook / Sep 30, 2015
"Brand new client to this office. They were so great, got me in and get a root canal the same day that I called them. All of the staff is extremely nice, professional and make you feel comfortable."- C.F. / Facebook / Sep 21, 2018
What Does Root Canal Therapy Involve?
The first, most important point to remember is – it’s not painful. The second, most important point to remember is – it’s not painful! In fact, the top 10, most important points to remember regarding root canal therapy are all – it’s not painful.
A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments, depending on the number of canals present, the degree of difficulty, and the size of the infection present. The procedure can be performed by a general dentist or an endodontist (a root canal specialist). Depending on the findings of your general dentist, you may be referred to the specialist for treatment if the dentist feels that the success of the procedure will be improved with an endodontist. If you are referred to a specialist, do not be concerned that the procedure will be more difficult. In fact, on the contrary, most referrals are made in the attempt of keeping the patient comfortable and improving the overall outcome.
Prior to initiating the endodontic therapy, our staff and dentists will thoroughly explain the proposed procedure, review all risks and answer all your questions. Once the tooth is profoundly numb, the tooth will be isolated with a rubber dam, thus keeping the tooth dry and free from saliva contamination. A conservative access is made through the tooth and all the decay is removed and dead tissue cleared. A series of root canal files are placed into the tooth, one at a time effectively removing the nerve tissue and bacteria.
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleansed, it will be dried, and either a medicine will be placed within the tooth or a permanent filling will be placed within the canals. A temporary filling is typically placed over the access following completion of the root canal.
It is essential to remember that all teeth that have had root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed to ensure a favorable long-term prognosis. A crown helps to prevent leakage into the root canal, protect the tooth from fracturing, and restores the tooth to its full function.
After treatment, the tooth may be sensitive, particularly during biting. This sensation will resolve as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.