Root Canal Treatment in Cleveland, TN
Root canal treatment is among the most common dental procedures, with about 15 million performed in the U.S. annually. Yet, they have a bad reputation thanks to some outdated stereotypes. Outside the world of dentistry, the term “root canal” is associated with something unwanted, scary, or painful. However, modern dental techniques and technologies have transformed root canals into procedures that are far less daunting than their reputation would have us believe.
What Is Root Canal Treatment?
When the inner tooth becomes infected due to cracks or cavities, root canal treatment becomes necessary. Treatment targets the tooth’s pulp: the innermost layer containing nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. The pulp is crucial for a tooth’s development, but once the tooth has fully matured, it can sustain itself without the pulp. The root canal process involves removing the infected pulp. We also clean and disinfect the canals that extend into the root. Finally, we fill the empty space with a dental filling to save the tooth and prevent further infection. We often recommend capping the tooth with a dental crown as an added safeguard.
A root canal aims to eliminate bacteria, prevent further infection, and save the tooth. If a root canal infection is left untreated, you may require a tooth extraction and replacement tooth. Additionally, the bacteria can spread, ultimately infecting other areas of the body.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
Tooth pulp infection won’t resolve without intervention. Here are some signs you might need a root canal treatment:
- Persistent tooth pain: This type of pain can be particularly intense and may worsen when lying down or during nighttime. If the pain spreads to your other teeth, face, or jaw, that could be a sign of infection.
- Pain when pressure is applied: This sensitivity can often be triggered by biting, chewing, or even brushing.
- Swelling in the gums or jaw: Swelling can be painful and cause a noticeable change in the appearance of your gums or jawline.
- A pimple on your gums that may ooze pus: The bacteria from an infection can form a pimple that may ooze pus. Known as a dental abscess, this pimple is a clear sign of infection and can sometimes lead to a bad taste in the mouth or bad breath.
- Discolored or loose tooth: An infected tooth may darken compared to surrounding teeth, and the infection can weaken the bone around the tooth, causing it to feel loose.
The Process Explained
Before proceeding with a root canal, our team will conduct a thorough examination and take X-rays to determine if your tooth is infected. The root canal procedure is as follows:
- We will apply a local anesthetic, ensuring you remain comfortable and pain-free throughout the procedure.
- Before proceeding, we’ll place a thin rubber dam over your infected tooth. This keeps it isolated and dry during treatment.
- Next, one of our experienced dentists will create a small opening in the tooth to access the infected pulp.
- We’ll use specialized dental tools to remove the blood vessels, nerves, and tissues, leaving behind an empty pulp chamber. We will thoroughly clean and disinfect the empty space.
- To seal and stabilize the tooth, we fill it with a dental material known as gutta-percha.
- After closing the hole with a filling, we will cap the tooth with a crown to protect it from further harm.
Root canal therapy provides immediate pain relief, allowing you to resume your day. Post-treatment, you can expect the anesthesia to wear off within an hour or two. We recommend waiting to eat until you are no longer numb.
Schedule Your Root Canal Treatment Today
As a family-oriented practice with three generations of dentists, we understand how dental pain doesn’t just affect the individual—it can cause distress that impacts the entire family. That’s why we’re committed to addressing these issues with empathy and expertise. If you’re experiencing persistent tooth pain or another symptom of an oral infection, please contact The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry in Cleveland, TN, to schedule a consultation. Our dedicated team, steeped in a tradition of compassionate care, will guide you and your family through the root canal process.
Frequently Asked Questions
A root canal is generally more cost-effective than a tooth extraction and replacement, which may be needed if the infection worsens. At our practice, we prioritize affordable, quality dental care and recommend procedures that prevent costly procedures in the future.
Your dental insurance may cover some of the treatment costs. We will help you maximize your plan’s coverage and explain the financing options we provide if you need assistance managing out-of-pocket expenses.
When cared for properly, a root canal with both a filling and a crown can last 20 years or more. However, if only one—either a filling or a crown—is done, the results last approximately 11 years. Without any restorative work, root canal treatment has a lifespan of about 6.5 years. For long-term oral health, we suggest a combination of a filling and a crown. This approach aims to restore your tooth’s structure and shield it from further damage.