Image of patient getting a root canalEndodontics Therapy and Root Canals

Root canal treatment can do wonders in relieving dental pain and can save your teeth. Patients typically need a root canal when there is inflammation or infection in the roots of a tooth. Unfortunately, the reputation of root canals is much worse than they actually are. In reality, today’s root canal treatments are much more gentle. Some patients experience mild swelling after root canal treatment, which can be treated with over-the-counter medication.

Call (405) 857-6453 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Wheatley. Tecumseh Ridge Dental of Norman accepts most insurance plans. Financing is available.

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How does a Root Canal work?

Inside the tooth, under the enamel is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue and creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development. The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is important during a tooth’s growth and development. But once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp, because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it. A root canal essentially involves the removal of pulp that is infected or inflamed. The pulp chamber and root canal are completely cleaned out and refilled to protect the area from further damage. The below video provides a quick overview:

Do I need a Root Canal?

Patients typically need a root canal when there is inflammation or infection in the roots of a tooth. Inside your tooth is a soft tissue called pulp. This tissue contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue, which nourish the tooth during development and after maturation. During root canal treatment, Dr. Wheatley will remove the pulp inside the tooth, clean, disinfect, and shape the root canals, and place a filling to seal the space.  The tooth itself is left as solid as ever without the pain caused by the diseased nerves.

Root canals are often needed for teeth that have:

  • Had previous trauma
  • Abscesses
  • Severe pain
  • Evidence of a dying nerve (discoloration)
  • Large cavities extending into the nerve chamber
  • Large fillings that are leaking and have excessive decay underneath

Read our comprehensive Root Canal Patient Guide.

My Pain is not that bad. Do I really need a Root Canal?

Dental model to illustrate root canalIn many cases, your tooth nerve may have “died,” and you don’t feel any pain. Unfortunately, if the nerve has died, the blood vessels that nourish the tooth are also not doing their job, leaving the tooth susceptible to infection. Even if the tooth is diseased and needs a root canal, you may feel like nothing is wrong. We work to pinpoint these problems so that the tooth can be saved rather than extracted later on. Many myths about root canals have given this very effective procedure a bad name. Read about some of these root canal myth on our blog.

Don’t put off your Root Canal. 

Putting off a root canal is something most people do because they are afraid it will hurt, cost them a lot of money, or isn’t really necessary. We only recommend root canal treatments in our Norman dentist office if Dr. Wheatley believes they are truly needed to improve the health of your mouth. A root canal will get you out of pain, and can save the tooth and its neighbors.

Call us at Tecumseh Ridge Dental of Norman at (405) 857-6453 for more information.