You. Need. A. Root. Canal. There are perhaps no words that are so effective at striking fear into even the most stoic dental patient’s heart.
Indeed, of all the dental procedures available, for whatever reason, root canals have a particularly unpleasant reputation.
Let’s be clear: as persistent and pervasive as this reputation remains in the societal lore, it is entirely undeserved. Most root canal patients report that the experience is no more uncomfortable than getting a tooth filled.
In fact, if you are a candidate for a root canal, you may well be in pain already from your infected tooth. A root canal will not only not cause pain, but it will remove the diseased pulp and stop your tooth pain.
That’s right, a root canal will bring you relief — and save your tooth.
Dr. Walter Hadley of Marineland Dental Care has four decades of experience performing root canals while always keeping up with the latest techniques and technologies. To book an appointment at our Kennewick, WA office, call 509-591-0515.
What Is a Root Canal and Do I Need One?
A root canal is a common dental procedure that’s called for when the pulp of blood vessels and nerves inside a tooth becomes infected, or an abscess (pocket of pus) forms at the root of the tooth. When this occurs, the pulp or abscess must be removed, or the patient will risk a more widespread infection and tooth loss (not to mention be in excruciating pain).
Such infections are commonly caused by severe decay, though they may also be the result of cracks or chips that enable bacteria to breach the tooth enamel, or a traumatic injury to the mouth.
How do you know whether you need a root canal to save your tooth? Only a dentist will be able to give you a definitive answer. But if you experience any of the following symptoms, we urge you to call Marineland Dental Care to schedule an examination with Dr. Hadley.
- Intense pain when you eat or bite down on the tooth.
- Sensitivity or pain when the tooth is exposed to extreme temperatures (hot or cold). The discomfort remains when the source of the heat or cold is removed.
- Your tooth has become noticeably dark or discolored.
- The gum tissue in the vicinity of the tooth has become swollen, painful, or tender.
- A persistent pus-filled pimple in the gums. This may be pus from an abscess coming to the surface.
The Root Canal Procedure
If Dr. Hadley determines you need a root canal, the first step of the procedure will be to X-ray the area. This enables us to visualize your root canals and see how widespread the infection has become.
We will then administer local anesthesia to the area around the infected tooth. This will ensure you don’t feel a thing and remain completely comfortable through the procedure.
A dental dam is a thin sheet of rubber that we will place around the tooth. This keeps the area free of saliva so we are better able to work.
Dr. Hadley will drill a hole into the tooth. Because he uses modern rotary tools, this process is much faster and less uncomfortable than it may have been in the past. The infected pulp, bacteria, and debris inside the tooth are meticulously removed using root canal files. The chamber is then thoroughly rinsed to ensure it’s totally clean before being filled and closed up.
Once the tooth chamber is clean, Dr. Hadley will fill it with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. He will then seal the hole in the tooth with a filling, crown, or other restoration (depending on the extent of the damage to the tooth).
Dr. Hadley is generally able to perform the entire root canal procedure in just one dental visit!
A Comfortable Experience
At Marineland Dental Care, we strive to make your dental experience a stress-free and comfortable one. Whether you need a root canal or other dental therapy, we have the amenities and features to keep your anxiety to a minimum.
- An experienced, compassionate staff. Our people know how to talk to you, put you at ease, and explain procedures thoroughly and reassuringly.
- Modern technology makes treatments faster, less invasive, and more comfortable.
- In addition to local anesthesia, we offer two forms of dental sedation to take the edge off: nitrous oxide or oral (pill) sedation.
- Want to keep your mind off your mouth? You can watch a movie during your procedure!