Posts for tag: root canal

By Jennifer L. McCoy, DDS, Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
December 22, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Find out when a root canal might be necessary to maintain the health of your smile.

There has been a throbbing in your tooth and you’re not sure what’s going on. It looks fine, so you want to just ignore it and hope it goes away, but this would be a bad idea. A toothache can be a sign that you need a root canal. When this problem arises, our Lawrenceville, GA, dentists Dr. Jennifer McCoy and Dr. Katherine Copeland are here to provide the immediate treatment you need to feel better fast.

Why is a root canal performed?

The tooth is made up of a harder outer layer known as enamel, which is designed to protect the rest of the tooth from damage; however, sometimes bacteria can get in through a crack or decay in the outer layers of the tooth, which can then infect the dental pulp. Once the pulp has been damaged, the only way to stop it from getting worse is for our Lawrenceville, GA, dental team to perform a root canal as soon as possible to remove the pulp and to disinfect the inside of the tooth.

What can infect or inflame the dental pulp?

One of the most common causes of an inflamed or infected pulp is a cavity. Other causes of pulpitis include,

  • Direct impact or injury to the tooth
  • A cracked or fractured tooth that exposes the pulp chamber
  • Repeat trauma to the tooth often caused by teeth grinding

What are the warning signs of an infected dental pulp?

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of an infected dental pulp is important so that you know when to seek proper dental care from our Lawrenceville, GA, dentists. Here are just some of the common signs that you may need to undergo root canal therapy,

  • An intense, throbbing toothache
  • A toothache that gets worse when putting pressure on the tooth
  • Localized swelling of the gums around the tooth
  • Sudden tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
  • The development of an abscess (a bump on the gums that is a sign of infection)
  • Darkening or graying of the tooth

Is there any alternative to root canal treatment?

We know that the idea of getting a root canal or any dental procedure isn’t appealing, but it’s important to have this procedure performed to maintain the health of your tooth and your oral health. A root canal is often the most conservative approach, as it allows us to remove the source of the problem while still preserving the natural tooth.

While some people may choose to extract the tooth, this alternative is often more time-consuming and expensive in the long run since they will then need to replace the missing tooth with a bridge or implant after its extracted. A root canal is a simple procedure that can be completed in just a couple of hours and it will save your natural tooth.

It’s important that you never ignore dental pain, especially since it could mean that you need a root canal. Our Lawrenceville and Suwanee, GA, dental team is here to provide you with the same-day care you require when toothaches and other serious issues happen. Call us right away at (770) 963-2424 and (678) 269-4910.

By Jennifer L. McCoy, DDS, Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
October 08, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Do you need to repair a broken tooth? Root canal therapy performed by your Suwanee and Lawrenceville, GA, dentists, Dr. Jennifer McCoy and Dr. Katherine Copeland, will help you protect and restore your damaged tooth.

When teeth break

No one ever plans to have a broken tooth. Your smile may be perfectly healthy one day, then completely changed by a broken tooth the next. Teeth can break due to a blow to the face or biting into hard food. Grinding your teeth at night or opening a package with your teeth can also cause breaks. If you have a crack in your tooth, or the tooth has become weak, you're more likely to develop a break.

Broken teeth detract from your appearance, make biting difficult, and can be very painful. Fortunately, root canal therapy performed at the Suwanee or Lawrenceville, GA, dental office, can improve the appearance and function of your broken tooth.

How a root canal can help your tooth

Adding a crown to your broken tooth will restore its normal height and width. Crowns, restorations that cover the tops of teeth, are made from a mold of your mouth to ensure that your tooth repair looks completely natural.

Normally, your tooth supports the crown. If you've broken your tooth, you may lack the healthy tooth structure needed for adequate support. If that's the case, you'll need a root canal.

Root canal therapy involves removing the soft pulp at the center of your tooth and replacing it with a rubber-based filling. During the procedure, a small post is added to the tooth to strengthen and stabilize the tooth and your new crown. Your dentist places a material called composite resin around the core to build up the tooth. Hardening the resin with a curing light provides a secure, stable foundation for your crown. After the post and core process, your crown will be cemented onto your tooth. You'll notice a significant improvement when you look in the mirror and will be to bite and chew normally once again.

Could a root canal improve your oral health? Schedule an appointment with your dentists in Suwanee and Lawrenceville, GA, Dr. McCoy, and Dr. Copeland. Call (770) 963-2424 for the Lawrenceville office or (678) 269-4910 for the Lawrenceville office.

By Jennifer L. McCoy, DDS, Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
July 24, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Here's the bad news: One of your teeth has tooth decay. But here's even worse news: The decay has entered the pulp and root canals in the heart of the tooth. You're well on your way to losing that tooth.

But cheer up—root canal therapy might save your decayed tooth. We use root canal therapy to remove the infection from within a tooth and then fill the resulting empty spaces to prevent further infection. This routine procedure has saved millions of teeth.

But alas, along the way root canals somehow became a cultural symbol for unpleasantness. In reality, there's nothing further from the truth—the procedure itself is painless, and may even stop any pain caused by tooth decay.

So, let's take the mystery out of root canal therapy—the more you know, the less wary you'll feel. Here's what to expect if you undergo this tooth-saving procedure.

Preparation. We start by numbing the tooth and surrounding gums with local anesthesia. While we're waiting for the anesthesia to take full effect, we isolate the tooth with a dental dam to prevent cross-contamination to other teeth.

Access. Next, we drill a small opening into the tooth to access the pulp and root canals. If it's one of the large back teeth, we drill the hole in the tooth's biting surface; in a narrower front tooth, we make the access opening in the rear surface.

Removal. We remove tissue from the pulp and root canals using special instruments. Afterward, we thoroughly disinfect the pulp and canal interiors with an antibacterial solution to ensure we've stopped the infection.

Filling. After re-shaping the root canals, we fill them and the pulp chamber with gutta percha, a rubber-like material ideal for this type of dental situation. We then fill and seal the access hole. In a few weeks, you'll return to have a permanent crown installed to further protect the tooth.

You may have some minor discomfort that's usually manageable with mild pain relievers, and should dissipate over a few days. The good news, though, is that we've more than likely saved a tooth that might have otherwise been lost.

If you would like more information on treating a decayed tooth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment.”

By Jennifer L. McCoy, DDS, Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
October 26, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Endodontic ProcedureKnow what to expect from your upcoming endodontic procedure.

Are you about to visit our Lawrenceville, GA, dentists Dr. Jennifer Coy and Dr. Katherine Copeland for root canal treatment? If so, chances are that you may have questions about the procedure or want to know more about what’s involved in this treatment. If so, you’ve come to the right place. After all, there is a lot of misinformation out there regarding this treatment, so turn to the dental experts to get the most accurate information about root canal therapy.

What is root canal therapy?

This procedure is performed when the soft-tissue structure inside the tooth known as the dental pulp becomes inflamed or infected. This can happen as the result of severe decay, traumatic injury to the tooth (e.g. crack or fracture) or an infection. Not only will we remove the pulp but we will also remove bacteria from inside the tooth, seal up the root canals to prevent another infection and then rebuild the tooth so it’s healthy again.

But doesn’t it hurt?

This is one myth about root canals that has certainly not gone away, much to our behest. A root canal is not meant to cause pain, and it doesn’t. In fact, the purpose of this endodontic procedure is to actually remove the source of the pain (aka: the dental pulp).

In fact, once the pulp has been removed many people feel immediate relief. And if that just isn’t enough to ease your worries, know that we will apply a local anesthesia to the area to numb it before we even treat the tooth. Our goal is to make sure that you feel comfortable whenever you are in our dental chair.

What happens if I don’t get root canal treatment?

A root canal is not an elective treatment. This is because an infection or damage to a tooth will not clear up on its own, it will always require immediate care from our Lawrenceville, GA, general dentist to make sure the problem doesn’t continue to get worse.

So, if you choose to forgo that root canal treatment this can lead to bacteria spreading to surrounding teeth and your jawbone, which will cause further damage. Plus, it will eventually require you to have the tooth extracted.

If you are living in Lawrenceville or Suwanee, GA, and are dealing with a toothache it’s important that you come in as soon as possible for an evaluation. One of the most obvious signs that you might need a root canal is dental pain. Call our office today.

By Jennifer L. McCoy, DDS, Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
January 17, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Don’t let dental problems linger. Find out when you should come into our office for treatment.root canal

Sure, we get it; the idea of a root canal sends shivers down your spine, but honestly, it’s really nothing to fear. Root canals are one of the most common procedures our Suwanee and Lawrenceville, GA, dentists, Dr. Jennifer McCoy and Dr. Katherine Copeland, perform and it could just end up saving you from needing to have a tooth extracted in the future.

“Why would someone need a root canal?” you might be wondering. A root canal is required if decay, infection or even direct trauma to a tooth has become so severe that it has affected the health of the dental pulp. The dental pulp is a soft-tissue structure that is found within all teeth. It contains blood vessels and nerves, which is why you experience a toothache when the dental pulp is inflamed or infected.

Besides a toothache, you may also notice that the tooth is suddenly sensitive to hot or cold foods or drinks. It may sting or throb when eating soup or drinking an ice-cold beverage. Over time, the untreated tooth may darken or become discolored. This is a sign that the roots have started to decay. Additionally, the gums surrounding the tooth may also swell, turn red or become tender to the touch.

Experiencing any of these symptoms? Then it’s time to make a beeline for one of our Suwanee and Lawrenceville emergency dentists for treatment. While not all toothaches mean that a root canal is imminent, it’s a sign that something is brewing and needs to be addressed right away to prevent irreparable damage to the tooth.

Of course, we understand that a lot of people are hesitant about getting root canal therapy. You’ve heard the horror stories. You fear the needles. We definitely understand your anxieties; however, it’s important to keep in mind that a root canal is designed to take the pain away, not cause it. Plus, we also apply a numbing anesthesia to the area before we ever get started. Still nervous? Don’t worry; ask us if sedation dentistry can ease your nerves before your root canal.

If you are dealing with any changes to your oral health don’t hesitate to turn to our dental experts who are ready to provide you with urgent care when you need it most. Call our Lawrenceville or Suwanee, GA, office to schedule an immediate dental appointment today.