Root Canals

Healthy Tooth.At the dental office of Tracy T. Windham, we provide our patients with only the best in general and cosmetic dental care, so they can have healthy, beautiful smiles that last a lifetime. In our local dental office here in Little Rock, we use state-of-the-art technology and procedures that are proven to give our patients the best results possible. With our root canal treatment, we focus on providing our patients with relief from the pain caused by infection, while focusing on preserving their natural tooth to ensure that they can keep their smile the way that it is.

When Is A Root Canal Necessary?

While our teeth may seem hard and sturdy on the outside, on the inside, there is a collection of soft and sensitive nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue that we call the “pulp.” The pulp is located in the center of the tooth, continuing down into the root of tooth that lies beneath our gums. It’s this “pulp” that connects our teeth to the rest of our body, delivering nutrients to our teeth so they can stay healthy. 

The pulp in normally protected by the two outside layers of the dentin and enamel, dental issues like tooth decay can expose this sensitive tissue, causing the pulp to become inflamed or infected and cause intense pain. Trauma to the tooth can also damage the pulp, such as a hard impact against the tooth while playing sports or from a car accident. Even extensive dental work such as getting a filling or restorations on a tooth can be enough to damage the pulp and expose it to infection. The pain from this infection may go away in time, but the infection itself will not, so a root canal is necessary to clear away the infected pulp.

Signs That You Need A Root Canal

Decayed tooth with infection needing root canal treatment.

Below are some of the signs and symptoms that you may notice if you have an infection and need a root canal.

  • Constant pain or pressure in your mouth

  • Noticeable swelling in the gums

  • Increased sensitivity of the gums

  • Sharp pain when biting down

  • Lingering pain after eating something hot or cold

If you have experienced any of the symptoms above, schedule an appointment with Dr. Windham as soon as possible to get you the relief you need.

Relieving Pain & Saving Your Teeth

Other than the intense pain, an infection can spell disaster for your smile if left untreated. Once the infections takes over the pulp, it can spread to other parts of your mouth, and even increase your risk developing other infections or disease through the rest of your body. If the infection gets to these more serious stages, it’s highly likely that you will lose one or several teeth. 

We use root canals to clear away the infection to provide our patients relief from that excruciating pain, and prevent that infection from spreading and putting their health at risk. Also, performing root canals are essential for preserving your natural teeth, since we can prevent the infection from getting to the point that would cause tooth loss. By helping you keep these teeth, you avoid having to deal with bite issues, bone loss, or tooth movement that is common when you have a missing tooth. 

What Happens During A Root Canal?

One of the biggest misconceptions about root canals is that it’s a painful procedure, but the procedure itself is fairly painless and smooth. The pain is due to the infection, which the root canal is designed to treat. The process is also very quick, being completed in just one visit so you get back to your daily life pain free! 

To start off the procedure, Dr. Windham will apply an anesthetic to numb your tooth and the surrounding area, keeping any pain or discomfort during the treatment in the range of minimal to nonexistent. We then create a small opening in the tooth and use special instruments to remove the dead and infected pulp tissue from the tooth. Once the pulp is completely cleared out, we clean and disinfect the canals to prepare it for a special filling made from a biocompatible material that will help preserve the structure of your tooth. To finish it off, we seal the opening with dental cement to prevent any future infection. 

Tooth after root canal treatment.

What To Expect After A Root Canal

Following root canal treatment, your tooth may feel some sensitivity or tenderness for a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen are generally effective in relieving discomfort, but  for cases of more severe discomfort, we may prescribe medications if needed. Due to the heightened sensitivity we also recommend avoiding biting down on the treated tooth, as it could be painful to do so until it is fully healed. 

If the tooth structure or function has been damaged due the infection before the root canal, after the procedure is completed, we may also perform a restoration such as a crown to further strengthen the tooth.

*Some root canal procedures may need to be seen by an endodontic specialist.

Schedule An Appointment With Us Today!

If you’re in pain and think that you may be suffering from an infection, contact us at the dental office of Dr. Tracy T. Windham to schedule an appointment for a consultation. We’ll work with you to determine if a root canal is the best solution, while also outlining a more long term dental treatment plan to ensure that you have the healthiest smile possible. If you have any questions about root canal treatment, or any of the other general and cosmetic dental services that we offer, just reach out to us and a member of our staff will be happy to provide you with all of the information you need. We look forward to welcoming you into our family of smiling patients, and helping you achieve a healthier, more radiant smile! 

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