When an infection reaches the inside of your tooth, it can cause serious pain and discomfort. Left untreated, an infection can lead to irreparable damage to the tooth and continue to spread throughout your mouth. Root canal therapy can address infection and restore the health and comfort of your tooth.
Dr. Shaun Bivens performs root canals at his Mt. Juliet, TN, practice. Using advanced tools and sedation dentistry, he can provide virtually painless treatment and help you avoid a tooth extraction.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is necessary when the inner parts of the tooth, known as the pulp, become infected or inflamed. Infection can stem from deep dental decay or trauma to the tooth.
Common signs of a tooth infection include:
- Chronic sensitivity to heat or cold
- Tenderness when chewing
- Changes in the color of your tooth
- Pus or drainage
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bivens right away. However, it is important to note that an infection may not present any obvious signs. The best way to ensure your tooth is healthy is to attend regular cleanings and exams at our office.
What to Expect during Treatment
Modern root canal therapy is a virtually painless procedure. For most patients, the level of discomfort is similar to a routine dental filling. Before beginning treatment, we will numb your tooth and the surrounding area. If you are nervous about your procedure, we also offer nitrous oxide and oral sedatives to ensure you feel calm and comfortable.
When you are ready, Dr. Bivens will:
- Make an opening in the crown of the tooth
- Remove damaged and infected tissue
- Clean the pulp from inside the tooth
- Shape the space
- Fill the root canals with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha
- Place a filling
A typical root canal treatment at our office takes between 45 and 90 minutes.
Many patients need an additional restoration after their root canal procedure is complete. If you need a dental crown, we will take an impression of your tooth after the therapy and send the information to a dental lab. About two weeks later, you will return to our office. Dr. Bivens will check the fit and appearance of your crown and bond it to your restored tooth for a stronger, healthier smile.
After Root Canal Therapy
Undergoing a root canal should relieve any tooth pain. However, for the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive or mildly uncomfortable. Most patients can return to their normal activities the day after treatment and manage any discomfort with over-the-counter medications.
Root canal therapy at Bivens Dentistry can remove infection and restore the health and comfort of your tooth so you can avoid an extraction.
To help prevent infection from recurring, make sure to brush and floss your teeth every day and attend cleanings and exams at our office. We can advise you on products and techniques to help keep your newly restored tooth healthy for years to come.
Keeping Your Natural Teeth
While a range of tooth replacement options exists, there is no substitute for your own healthy, natural teeth. Root canal therapy at Bivens Dentistry can remove infection and restore the health and comfort of your tooth so you can avoid an extraction. Find out more by contacting us online or calling (615) 773-8882 today.