Need a Root Canal?

Need a Root Canal
February 1, 2016 Dr. Samantha Leatherwood

The square around the Denton Courthouse has been a favorite haunt of yours since college. You can see all manners of people either playing music or running around with their dogs on the lawn. Live music and food are only a few steps away. At least, that’s what you would be experiencing if you were able to make it out tonight. Your tooth has been killing you for the past few days. You’re afraid you might need a root canal, but you’re not sure. Can it possibly hurt worse than this? We tell you why there is no need to fear a root canal in Denton.

Why You Might Need a Root Canal

Enamel is the strongest substance in your body, and that is because your teeth are constantly required to exert a lot of force. Chewing food is a strenuous activity…try squeezing a piece of steak and see how much effort it takes to break it down. Teeth are constantly breaking foods down so we can digest them, so they need to be strong. Sometimes the buildup of plaque and bacteria from the food we eat can start to decay this enamel. If it is left unchecked, it can start to eat into and through the inner layer which is made of dentin. Eventually it will reach the dental pulp, which is where the nerve of the tooth resides. This is how you are able to feel your teeth despite them being rigid, bone-line structures. It can be very painful when the decay reaches the pulp, and this would call for a root canal. Other typical signs are:

  • Pain or swelling in the cheek and gum near the tooth
  • Extended sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  • Pain when biting down on the tooth
  • A small bump on the gum beneath the tooth

Eventually the decay can infect the jaw and spread on from there. This process can be easily stopped, however, with a root canal.

How Does A Root Canal Work?

When decay has reached the dental pulp, it needs to be removed, and this procedure is called a root canal. It involves 3 basic steps:

  • Dr. Leatherwood will first create a hole in your tooth in order to access the pulp
  • The pulp will be removed and the tooth will be cleaned and disinfected
  • The tooth will be filled with a naturally-colored resin

If too much of the tooth’s structure has been removed, it may be necessary to place a dental crown to help restore it.

Will It Hurt?

Root canals have garnered a dubious reputation as a painful procedure over the years. The truth is that due to the experience of Dr. Leatherwood and the use local anesthesia, you will barely feel anything at all during the procedure, pain or otherwise. The procedure is meant to help relieve your discomfort, not cause it. If you are experiencing a large amount of tooth pain and want relief, please make an appointment with us today.