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Root Canals

Gentle Breeze Family Dentistry

Cosmetic & General Dentist located in Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Movies and TV have made root canals out to be the bad guys at the dentist’s office, when in reality, they can actually save you from a lot of pain and restore your oral health. At Gentle Breeze Family Dentistry, Tanya Orr, DDS, provides gentle and effective root canals to keep its patients’ smiles happy and healthy. To learn more, schedule a visit today by in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, office or booking online.

Root Canals Q & A

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a procedure that salvages a tooth by removing damaged or infected pulp. The pulp is your tooth’s soft, inner layer. It’s composed of connective tissues, blood vessels, and nerve fibers. 

When your pulp is damaged or decayed, it swells, compressing the nerves within and causing a tremendous amount of pain.

A root canal removes your damaged pulp but allows you to keep the rest of your natural structures intact. This is a huge improvement to the old way of treating damaged pulp, which was to simply extract the tooth.

Do I need a root canal?

If your tooth pulp is infected or damaged, then you likely need a root canal. Some of the symptoms of a damaged or infected tooth include:

  • Severe toothache
  • Darkened or discolored tooth
  • Increased sensitivity to hot and cold
  • A bad taste in your mouth
  • Pus around the gumline of your tooth
  • A small, pimplelike pocket of pus on your gums

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule a visit with Gentle Breeze Family Dentistry immediately. 

What happens if I don’t treat my infected tooth?

If left untreated, a damaged or infected tooth only gets worse. Putting off a root canal can lead to:

  • Tooth loss
  • Infection of nearby teeth
  • Infection of gums or jawbone
  • Sepsis

Root canals might seem scary, because they’ve become the butt of jokes about the dentist’s office, but in reality, a root canal is no more painful than a standard dental filling. 

In fact, a root canal actually relieves you of a great deal of pain, since it treats the infected pulp that’s causing the pain in the first place.

What should I expect from my root canal?

First, your dentist anesthetizes your tooth and its surrounding tissues and protects the rest of your mouth with a rubber dental dam.

Next, your dentist drills a small access hole in the top of your tooth and uses a series of tools called “endodontic files” to remove the decayed pulp from inside your pulpal chamber and canals. 

Once all of the dead pulp tissue has been removed, your dentist cleans and sterilizes the inside of your tooth and fills it with a rubbery compound called gutta-percha. In some cases, your dentist reinforces the structure of your tooth by placing a small metal or plastic rod inside of your pulpal chamber. 

Your dentist then uses a dental filling to seal the access hole they drilled in the top of your tooth and fits you with a crown to reinforce the strength and integrity of your tooth.

Don’t let your tooth get any worse than it needs to. Schedule your root canal with Gentle Breeze Family Dentistry today by calling the office or booking a visit online.