Root Canals
Gallatin, TN

endodontic therapy

A root canal is a very common dental procedure performed in order to help save your natural teeth and prevent the need for dental implants and bridges.

At the center of each of your teeth is the dental pulp (tooth nerve).  Infection of the dental pulp can be very painful and is caused by a variety of factors including: trauma, deep cavities, cracks in the tooth, or repeated dental procedures.

If you do find yourself with a painful toothache, we encourage you to call our dental office right away. An infected tooth that is not treated can only result in bigger problems. Contact 386 Dental Studio at (615) 675-0555 for prompt and comfortable emergency care.

woman with root canal pain

Root Canal Symptoms

Symptoms of a root canal infection or inflammation can vary from person to person. Here are some common symptoms:

  • Severe toothache | The most common symptom is a persistent, throbbing toothache. The pain may be particularly intense when you bite down on the affected tooth or apply pressure to it.
  • Sensitivity to temperature changes | You may experience heightened sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages. The tooth may feel sharp, shooting pain when exposed to extreme temperatures.
  • Gum swelling and tenderness | Inflammation and swelling of the gum surrounding the affected tooth are common symptoms. The gum may become tender to touch or may develop a pimple-like bump near the tooth.
  • Discoloration | The tooth affected by the root canal problem may appear darker or have a grayish tint compared to the surrounding teeth. This discoloration is a result of damage to the tooth’s nerve and blood vessels.
  • Prolonged sensitivity to touch | The tooth may become more sensitive to pressure or touch, indicating a problem with the tooth’s pulp (the soft tissue within the tooth).
  • Bad taste or odor | An infected tooth can produce a foul taste in your mouth or cause bad breath due to the presence of bacteria and decay.

It’s important to note that not all root canal cases exhibit obvious symptoms. Sometimes, an infection or inflammation may develop without causing noticeable discomfort. Regular dental check-ups and X-rays are essential for early detection and treatment of potential root canal problems. If you suspect you may need a root canal, give us a call or schedule an appointment online today!

root canal purpose

The purpose of a root canal procedure is to save a tooth that is severely infected or inflamed. When the pulp, which is the soft tissue inside the tooth containing nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, becomes infected or damaged, a root canal is performed to remove the infected pulp and alleviate pain or discomfort.

The root canal procedure eliminates the source of infection or inflammation, saves the natural tooth, and relieves pain or discomfort. It also helps prevent the spread of infection to neighboring teeth and protects your overall oral health. With proper care and maintenance, a tooth that has undergone a successful root canal procedure can last for many years.

diagram of a root canal procedure

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic therapy, is a dental procedure performed to save a tooth that is severely infected or decayed. Here’s a step-by-step description of the process:

  1. Examination and X-Rays | Our dentist will examine the affected tooth and may take X-rays to assess the extent of the damage or infection. This helps determine if a root canal is necessary and provides guidance during the procedure.
  2. Local anesthesia | The area around the affected tooth is numbed using a local anesthetic to ensure the patient’s comfort throughout the procedure. In some cases, sedation options may be available for individuals who experience dental anxiety.
  3. Access | Our dentist creates a small access opening in the tooth. This is typically done through the crown of the tooth, but in some cases, it may be necessary to access the tooth from the back or the chewing surface.
  4. Pulp removal | Using specialized dental instruments, our dentist will carefully remove the infected or inflamed pulp tissue from the root canals and the pulp chamber. The canals are cleaned and shaped to prepare them for filling.
  5. Irrigation | The canals are flushed with a disinfectant solution to remove any remaining debris, bacteria, or infected tissue. This helps ensure thorough cleaning and disinfection of the root canals.
  6. Filling | After the canals are cleaned and shaped, they are filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. The gutta-percha, along with a dental adhesive called sealer, seals off the canals to prevent reinfection.
  7. Restoration | Since a root canal-treated tooth is often weakened, a dental restoration is usually placed to restore its strength and protect it from further damage. This can involve placing a dental crown, which covers the entire tooth, or a filling, depending on the extent of the tooth structure remaining.
  8. Follow-up | After the root canal procedure, our dentist may schedule a follow-up visit to evaluate the healing process and ensure that the tooth is functioning properly. In some cases, additional treatment or restoration may be needed.

It’s important to note that the exact steps and techniques involved in a root canal procedure may vary depending on your individual case.

Frequently Asked Questions

Root Canals Gallatin, TN

How do you know if you need a root canal?

There are several signs that may indicate you need a root canal, including:

  • Persistent pain | If you experience a severe and persistent toothache that doesn’t go away, it may be a sign of a tooth infection that requires a root canal.
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold | If you experience sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures that lingers even after the source of the temperature change is removed, it may be a sign of nerve damage or infection that requires a root canal.
  • Swelling and tenderness | Swelling, tenderness, or even a small bump on your gums near the affected tooth may be a sign of a dental abscess, which requires immediate attention and likely a root canal.
  • Discoloration | If you notice that a tooth has become discolored or darkened, it may be a sign of nerve damage that requires a root canal.
  • Loose tooth | If a tooth becomes loose, it may be a sign of advanced decay or infection that has weakened the tooth’s roots, which can often be treated with a root canal.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to give 386 Dental Studio a call as soon as possible. Dr. Morton will examine your tooth and determine if a root canal is necessary to save the tooth and prevent further complications.

If you’re looking for a root canal dentist near you, you’re in the right place! Dr. Morton specializes in root canals and is conveniently located right here in Gallatin. We reserve space on our schedule for emergency dental appointments, so if you need an emergency root canal near you, we’ll make sure to get you in ASAP!

After an emergency root canal procedure, it is normal to experience some pain and discomfort for a few days. However, there are several things you can do to manage your symptoms and promote healing:

  • Apply ice packs | Applying an ice pack to your cheek for 10-15 minutes at a time can help reduce swelling and numb the area. Do not apply ice directly to your skin; wrap it in a cloth or towel first.
  • Rest and avoid strenuous activity | Resting and avoiding strenuous activity can help your body heal faster and reduce pain.
  • Eat soft foods | Eating soft foods like soup, mashed potatoes, and scrambled eggs can help you avoid putting pressure on the affected tooth while it heals.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene | Brush and floss gently around the affected tooth to keep the area clean and promote healing.
  • Take any prescribed medications | If Dr. Morton prescribed antibiotics or other medications, be sure to take them as directed.

If you experience severe pain, swelling, or bleeding after a root canal procedure, or if your symptoms do not improve after a few days, please contact 386 Dental Studio and we will address your concerns right away.

Root canal recovery time can vary depending on the severity of the infection, the complexity of the procedure, and the individual’s overall health. In general, it’s common to experience some pain and discomfort for a few days after the procedure.

Most people are able to return to their normal activities, including work or school, within a day or two after the procedure. However, it is recommended to avoid strenuous physical activity for a few days and to eat soft foods to avoid putting pressure on the affected tooth.

Common symptoms of root canal recovery include:

  • Swelling and tenderness around the affected tooth or in the jaw area
  • Mild to moderate pain or discomfort, which can usually be managed with over-the-counter medications
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, which may persist for a few days or weeks

In most cases, the tooth will feel completely normal within a few days to a week after the root canal procedure. It’s important to attend follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing and to address any concerns or issues that may arise.

A root canal crown, also known as a dental crown, looks like a natural tooth and is typically made of ceramic, porcelain, or a combination of materials such as porcelain fused to metal. The crown is placed over the remaining portion of the natural tooth after a root canal procedure to protect the tooth and restore its shape and function.

The crown is custom-made to match the shape, size, and color of your natural teeth and is designed to blend in seamlessly with your smile. Dr. Morton will take impressions of your teeth to ensure that the crown fits perfectly and looks natural.

Root canal crowns typically cover the entire tooth, from the gum line to the top of the tooth. They are often used to restore damaged or decayed teeth or to protect weak or cracked teeth from further damage.

Once the crown is placed, it is cemented onto the remaining portion of the natural tooth and becomes a permanent part of your smile. With proper care, a root canal crown can last for many years and provide a natural-looking and durable solution for restoring your smile.

Avoiding a root canal involves maintaining good oral hygiene and taking care of your teeth and gums. Here are some hygiene tips that can help you avoid a root canal:

  • Brush twice a day | Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. This helps to remove plaque and prevent tooth decay.
  • Floss daily | Flossing helps to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth and along the gum line. This can help prevent cavities and gum disease.
  • Use mouthwash | Mouthwash helps to kill bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash after brushing and flossing.
  • Avoid sugary and acidic foods | Sugary and acidic foods can erode the enamel on your teeth, leading to decay and the need for a root canal. Limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods, and brush your teeth after eating them.
  • Wear a mouth guard | If you play sports or grind your teeth at night, wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth from damage.
  • See your dentist regularly | Visit a dentist for regular checkups and cleanings every six months. Dr. Morton can detect early signs of decay or gum disease and treat them before they become more serious problems.

By following these hygiene tips, you can help prevent the need for a root canal and maintain a healthy smile.

While root canal procedures are often the best option for saving a severely damaged or infected tooth, there are a few alternatives to root canals that may be considered depending on the individual case. These alternatives include:

  • Antibiotics | If the infection is caught early enough, antibiotics may be prescribed to help fight the infection and delay the need for a root canal. However, antibiotics alone cannot treat an infected root canal, so this is not a long-term solution.
  • Pulp capping | In some cases, if the decay has not reached the pulp or nerve of the tooth, Dr. Morton may be able to perform a pulp capping procedure. This involves placing a medicated filling over the exposed area of the pulp to help it heal and protect it from further damage.
  • Extraction | If the damage or infection is too severe, the tooth may need to be extracted. This is typically considered a last resort option as losing a tooth can cause other dental problems, such as shifting of neighboring teeth or bone loss.

It’s important to note that while these alternatives may be considered in some cases, a root canal is often the most effective way to save a damaged or infected tooth and prevent the need for an extraction. If you’re experiencing dental pain or other symptoms, please call 386 Dental Studio right away and Dr. Morton will be able to determine the best course of treatment for your individual case.

Many people ask if root canals are painful. The answer is that while the procedure itself is not painful, some patients may experience some discomfort or sensitivity during or after the procedure.

During a root canal procedure, Dr. Morton will numb the area around the affected tooth with a local anesthetic. This helps to prevent pain during the procedure. Some patients may feel a slight pressure or vibration during the procedure, but it should not be painful.

After the procedure, it is common to experience some discomfort or sensitivity in the treated tooth for a few days. This can usually be managed with over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Dr. Morton may also prescribe medication if necessary.

Overall, while a root canal procedure may be uncomfortable or cause some sensitivity, it should not be painful. The benefits of saving a damaged or infected tooth through a root canal procedure far outweigh any temporary discomfort.

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