If we could, we would love to help every one of our patients avoid the need for root canal therapy. This is not to say that the procedure is bad, as most people imagine. Our reason for wanting to avoid the procedure is simply that it is much preferable to save a tooth from infection at its core, and the patient from stress and discomfort.
Why we perform endodontic therapy
The root canal procedure is a form of endodontic therapy that gets rid of pain caused by infection. Though disease may develop in the center of a tooth because of physical injury to that tooth or from access through an exposed root, the most common factor in this condition is the common cavity.
A cavity first develops in the outer shell of enamel. This substance is several times harder than bone and quite difficult to damage! Oral bacteria that accumulate on the surface gradually wear down enamel by depositing acidic byproducts onto the tooth. Over time, this breaks through the enamel. Beneath enamel is dentin. This part of the tooth is about as hard as bone. Because it is softer than enamel, it is possible for bacteria to move through dentin quickly. Once the center of the tooth is reached, soft pulp tissue easily becomes infected.
Many people who require root canal visit the dentist for emergency care due to intense pain in the affected tooth. There are instances, however, when we can catch it early, while discomfort is still minimal. In any situation when the pulp tissue of a tooth has been affected by oral bacteria or other damage, root canal therapy provides an optimal way to save the tooth and it restores comfort.
Root canal therapy does not hurt!
One of the biggest misperceptions about the root canal procedure is that it is painful. The process of removing infection from deeper in the tooth is not much more than what is done to repair a cavity. Like most dental procedures, the root canal is performed under local anesthesia. Numbing medication is strategically applied to ensure that you do not feel discomfort as we repair your tooth.
After your tooth and gums feel numb, damaged enamel and dentin are removed so no disease remains on the surface. Access to the root canals is then made. Here, soft pulp tissue, nerves, and the vessels are removed using tiny files and precise techniques. When the canals have been emptied, they are sterilized to eliminate infection. Finally, we fill canals with a special filling material and place a temporary crown over the tooth.
The treated tooth will be protected by a final crown, which is placed in a follow up visit after the initial root canal.
We can help you regain comfort with expert endodontic care and help you avoid the need for root canal therapy with our focused preventative dental treatments. Call Athens TLC Dental to schedule your visit with Dr. Anita Mathew.
"I have always been very nervous about dental appointments, but Dr. Mathew and her team were so gentle and caring, that by the end of my appointment I was laughing and having fun. I told my friends, I never had so much fun at a Dental appointment before and they wanted to see who this Dentist is. So I brought my friend with me on my next visit and he got to see how Dr. Mathew and her team go the extra mile to make it a caring and fun filled atmosphere. "