What is a root canal?
If detected early, tooth decay can be addressed with a filling or a similar procedure to remove the decay and close off the area. But when the decay expands beyond the outer tooth and affects the inner pulp of the tooth, you will likely need a root canal or endodontic treatment. Our general and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Kevin Boulard, performs root canals at Something To Smile About by removing the damaged pulp from the tooth, sanitizing the cavity, and then filling and sealing the tooth. Dr. Boulard may recommend a root canal to patients because it not only treats the infected tooth, but it prevents the decay from spreading to other teeth which can create a larger issue.
If you suspect you could benefit from a root canal, we understand if you might have reservations about the procedure. Though root canals are a common dental treatment, patients often shy away from going to the dentist to address tooth pain because of dental anxiety. Dr. Boulard and his team will do their very best to make sure you are at ease and relaxed during the treatment. We can also provide several methods of sedation and local numbing injections for the duration of the procedure. Contact Something To Smile About to schedule a consultation with Dr. Boulard for more information on root canals and sedation dentistry.
Who needs a root canal?
An infection that reaches the pulp of your tooth can be the result of a deep crack or cavity in the tooth or physical trauma. Common signs that you could have an infection are:
- A discolored (gray) tooth
- Tooth or jaw pain
- Swelling in the gums or area of the face where the tooth is located
- A damaged tooth that will need a fixed restoration for repair
If the infected pulp is not removed, the infection will spread, causing increased pain. If you have reservations or fears about going to the dentist, don't hesitate to ask us about sedation dentistry to help you remain calm and at ease during your dental treatments.
Dr. Boulard's root canal techniques
Before your scheduled root canal, your anesthetic/sedation options will be discussed with Dr. Boulard. We do not want you to feel fearful, anxious or on edge during your treatment in our office. Many patients ask for nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or some form of sedation to get them through a root canal. Dr. Boulard is very sympathetic about dental anxieties, and he will try to help you make the appropriate decision about your sedation needs.
During an endodontic procedure, Dr. Boulard will examine the innermost part of your tooth and extract the decayed pulp. From there, the inner chamber will be thoroughly cleaned to eliminate any leftover debris. To conclude the procedure, the tooth is filled with a special material and sealed to protect the tooth.
Caring for your teeth after a root canal
Based on the method of sedation that was used, you may need to have a responsible adult take you home after your root canal. Your mouth may feel tender or swollen, but these symptoms are minor and can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers. We ask that you set up a follow-up appointment for about six months post-procedure. Dr. Boulard will examine the area to make sure the infection is gone and that there is no cause for concern. Afterward, you should continue to schedule annual dental exams and twice-yearly cleanings to maintain your dental health.
Let's get to the bottom of your infected tooth
Thanks to advancements in medical techniques and technology, a root canal can be a fast, easy procedure to treat an infected tooth. Along with different levels of sedation, your root canal at Something To Smile About can be beneficial in order to avoid further tooth pain or more invasive procedures. Contact our team in Merrimack, NH to set up a consultation with Dr. Boulard for more information on root canal therapy and other ways to improve your dental health.