diagram of root canal therapy

Do I Need A Root Canal?

Also known as an endodontic surgery because it treats an infection on the inside of your tooth, the pulp, sometimes described as the nerve because it includes sensitive nerves. The symptoms of an infected tooth include:

  • Lasting sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Painful chewing
  • Spontaneous tooth pain that interrupts your concentration and even your sleep
  • Pain that starts in a tooth and goes to other teeth or even other parts of the body
  • A pimple on your gums

These symptoms generally indicate an infection, and if you experience them, you may should contact Dr. Adam Hahn.

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a procedure to remove the infected tooth material and protect the tooth against further infection. First, we will drill into the infected tooth, including the canals in the tooth’s roots, where the procedure gets it common name. Some teeth have one root, others have two or three. Once the infected material has been removed, the tooth root is filled with a combination of a rubbery substance (gutta percha). The tooth is then closed either with composite filling or with a dental crown, depending on how much tooth material had to be removed.

Although people think a root canal is painful, it is actually not. During the procedure, anesthesia will prevent you from feeling discomfort. After the procedure, you may experience some soreness and inflammation, but this is controllable with over-the-counter pain medication. If you are worried about the procedure, we can use sedation dentistry to help you feel relaxed but awake during your root canal.

To talk to one of our dentists about a root canal, please call (803) 781-9090 or contact Smile Columbia Dentistry in Columbia, South Carolina today.