If you've ever heard the phrase "I'd rather have a root canal," you understand that for many people, root canal therapy evokes images and fears of pain or discomfort. Root canal therapy, however, is a procedure that provides relief for patients who are dealing with an infected tooth root or damaged pulp.
Dr. Charles Martin and our professional team at Richmond Smile Center are dedicated to providing effective, pain-free, and gentle advanced dental care. With Dr. Martin's extensive training and 30 years of experience, and the latest technologies, we are able to perform root canal treatment in a single visit.
Root canal therapy can repair and salvage a tooth that has become infected or is seriously decayed. During treatment, the pulp and the nerve of the tooth are removed and the interior of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and then sealed. The root canal of a tooth extends from the tip of the root into the pulp chamber, where tissues and blood vessels provide nourishment for the tooth. With the root canal lies the nerve, which serves no major function in developed teeth other than sensitivity to temperature.
If pulp or the nerve are damaged, bacteria gathers within the pulp chamber, which may cause an abscessed tooth or an infection, both painful conditions. An abscess is a pocket that develops at the end of the root and fills with pus. Infection or an abscess can cause:
- Bone loss in the area surrounding the root tip
- Localized swelling which can spread to the head, neck, or face
- Drainage from the root and potentially through a hole in the side of the tooth, which can then drain into the gums or cheeks
While symptoms do not always present, there are signs that indicate that root canal therapy may be needed, such as:
- Swelling or sensitivity in surrounding gums
- Extreme sensitivity or discomfort to temperatures that remains after the heat or cold has been removed
- Tooth pain upon pressure or chewing
- Tooth discoloration
- Continued presence or recurrence of a pimple on the gums
Root canal treatment has traditionally required several visits to the dentist. Dr. Martin, a board-certified Doctor of Dental Surgery and a senior diagnostician, uses advanced diagnostic equipment, precision laser technology, effective anesthesia, and drill-free dentistry to quickly identify and treat a patient in just one visit.
For more information about root canal therapy, contact Richmond Smile Center today at 804.417.7203.
Last Updated - August 2015
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