Encased in the hard exterior of your tooth is a soft, sensitive center called pulp. A large cavity, cracked tooth, or forceful blow to the tooth can damage the pulp and cause inflammation or infection. Root canal therapy is a procedure to eliminate pressure inside the tooth and removed damaged or dead pulp. Kingsland Family Dentistry in Kingsland, GA is your dental home for single-visit root canals for all ages.
While many people think getting a root canal is painful, in reality it is a relatively pain-free and generally quick procedure. It is best, whenever possible to preserve the natural tooth and avoid an extraction. Root canal therapy is often the best way to preserve a natural tooth and prevent future damage to your smile.
Root Canal Treatment in Kingsland, GA
The root canal is part of the tooth anatomy. Each tooth has one, some may have 3 or more. Nerves enter through the tooth’s root and run through the center of the tooth in a small, root chamber. The tiny pathways meet up in the pulp chamber, which contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. A root canal infection can spread down the pulp and into the root canals of your teeth where the tooth is embedded in your gums.
Commonly, the term “root canal” is used to describe “root canal therapy,” which is the actual procedure that is performed to eliminate infection in the pulp chamber and root canals. In some cases, Dr. James Lassiter will perform root canal therapy in our Kingsland, Georgia dental office. For more advanced treatments that may require oral surgery, he may refer you to a local endodontist (root canal specialist). After the root canal procedure, Dr. Lassiter will restore the tooth with a tooth-colored filling or dental crown.
Root Canal Signs & Symptoms
Common signs that root canals are infected include sensitivity of the tooth to hot and cold, sensitivity to touch or while chewing, and inflamed and sensitive gums around your tooth. If you have any of these symptoms, schedule an exam with your dentist. Most patients don’t realize they have a problem until they experience pain or swelling. Here are a few signs that may indicate the need for root canal therapy:
- Pain or pressure when you bite down, chew or press on the tooth
- Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold foods/drinks
- Swelling near or around the tooth
- Discolored tooth
- Broken tooth
Alternatives to Root Canal Therapy
A tooth extraction is the only alternative to root canal therapy for an infected tooth. The best option is to keep your original teeth whenever possible. The root canal procedure will eliminate pain and allow you to retain your tooth.
If Dr. Lassiter decides that root canal treatment is not indicated and that a tooth extraction is the best option, he will also help you choose the best tooth replacement treatment. Dr. Lassiter can restore the missing tooth with a dental bridge or dental implant.
To learn more about root canal therapy and determine if it’s the best option for you, contact our Kingsland, Georgia dental office to schedule a visit with Dr. James Lassiter.