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augusta root canal dentist

Root Canals

What is a Root Canal?

When a tooth is badly decayed, the infection can progress and cause the tooth nerve and supportive tissue (also called the pulp) to become inflamed. The infection can further spread into the jaw and develop into a painful tooth abscess; the tooth may be lost if not treated. When possible, a root canal procedure is the preferred approach to save the tooth.

General and restorative dentist Dr. Rebecca Hobbs provides root canals treatments in our Augusta dental office. Dr. Hobbs sometimes works with a local endodontist (root canal specialist) in complex restorative cases.

root canal therapy to save an infected tooth

Do Root Canals hurt?

In spite of their reputation, root canal procedures can actually be very comfortable. The root canal treatment itself is much like having a dental filling:

  • After first getting the tooth and surrounding area numb with local anesthesia, a small opening is made in the top of the tooth to gain access to the pulp tissue. The infection is removed and the tooth root canals are cleaned and disinfected.
  • To complete the root canal procedure, Dr. Hobbs seals each canal with medicated material to help avoid re-infection and provide additional support for the existing tooth structure.

Restoring a Root Canal Tooth

Root canals may be performed in a single appointment, or may require multiple appointments to fully eliminate the infection. In most cases, after a root canal is completed Dr. Hobbs will recommend that the tooth be further protected by a dental crown.

Root Canals vs. Tooth Extraction

If there is enough existing healthy tooth structure to restore with a dental crown, a root canal is generally the recommended treatment for an infected tooth over tooth extraction. Preserving the natural tooth will help prevent loss of jaw bone that occurs with a tooth extraction and avoid the need for tooth replacement procedures, such as dental implants, bridges or removable partial dentures.

Prevention of Dental Problems

Not all root canals can be prevented, but early detection of tooth decay and gum disease is possible with regular dental maintenance visits and check-ups. During these appointments, Dr. Hobbs will take a close look at your teeth, gums and necessary dental x-rays to update you on your oral health. Preventive dentistry saves time and money as compared to root canals and other restorative dental procedures.

If you have questions about root canals or other dental treatments, our Hobbs Dentistry Team is happy to help! Contact Us