Do you have a panic attack when a dentist mentions root canal therapy? Many people are scared because of the myths and misconceptions about root canals.  I’m Dr. Corbet Locke, a cosmetic and restorative dentist in Waco, and I would like to ease some of your fears by briefly explaining why you should receive root canal therapy, the benefits of the treatment.

Why might someone need root canal therapy?  Ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • Do you have extreme pain in the tooth, which is intensified with biting or chewing?
  • Are you experiencing prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold?
  • Do you have discoloration of the affected tooth?
  • Do you have swelling and tenderness in your gums?
  • Have you experienced trauma to the tooth?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may have a tooth with internal infection that can only be addressed by root canal therapy. Inside each of your teeth, a canal houses a nerve, or pulp, in a sterile environment. If bacteria infiltrate a tooth’s canal, infection sets in. Pain usually results from pressure building in the tooth’s canal. Once the infection is treated, pain, discomfort, and other symptoms subside. Root canal therapy can allow the tooth to remain intact and functioning.

Left untreated, an internally infected tooth can cause further damage to the affected tooth, surrounding teeth, gums, and bone.

Root canal treatment is a conservative procedure when you consider that the only alternative is extraction. Removal of an internally infected tooth usually involves more pain, expense, and complications. If an extracted tooth is not replaced, remaining teeth can shift out of place, which will affect chewing ability and may cause jaw joint misalignment.

During your visit, I will answer any questions you have concerning the procedure and why should you choose a root canal as opposed to an extraction.  We will discuss the therapy in as much or little detail as you feel necessary. Root canal procedures can generally be accomplished in one to two visits. For patients who are extremely fearful, I do offer sedation dentistry.

If you are experiencing severe tooth pain or need a second opinion for a root can, please call my Waco office at (254)776-4888.