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What Kennesaw GA patients need to know about root canal therapy


The team at 32 Dental in Kennesaw is known for providing quality care and gentle dental solutions.
The team at 32 Dental in Kennesaw is known for providing quality care and gentle dental solutions. That includes root canal treatment, which patients often – and unnecessarily – fear. In reality, the procedure is not painful, because the area is completely numbed. Furthermore, root canal treatment is often the only way to save a damaged tooth.

What is a root canal?

To understand root canal therapy, and why it is needed, we first need to understand the anatomy of a tooth. From the outside, a human tooth looks like a solid object. However, it is actually composed of several layers.

  • The outermost layer is enamel, a very hard substance with considerable resistance to wear and tear. Think of it as the tooth’s protective coating.
  • Beneath enamel is a softer, more porous layer called dentin.
  • The middle of the tooth, surprisingly, is hollow to a great extent. The upper portion contains spaces called pulp chambers, connected to canals in the tooth root that extend to the bone.
  • Inside of the chambers and canals is a mixture of soft tissues, known as dental pulp. It includes nerves, blood vessels, and more.
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How dental pulp is compromised

dental pulp is quite fragile

As you might imagine, dental pulp is quite fragile. Fortunately, in a healthy tooth it is well-protected by dentin and enamel. What happens when the tooth is not so healthy? The pulp may be damaged, or left susceptible to infection for several reasons:

  • Cavities/decay – Acidic foods, poor oral hygiene, and other factors can lead to the erosion of tooth enamel. Small cavities may be easily repaired. However, without treatment, they become larger and deeper, eventually eating away enamel, and reaching dentin. Because it is softer, it erodes more quickly. If the cavity reaches the pulp chamber or root canal, then the dental pulp is exposed to harmful bacteria and infection is likely.
  • Broken teeth – Similar to deep cavities, a break can expose inner layers to infective microorganisms. Depending on the severity of the trauma, nerves or other tissues in the dental pulp may be injured.
  • Micro-fractures – Maybe you think your tooth is healthy. You might not see any cavities or breaks. However, even the tiniest fracture can create a pathway for harmful bacteria. This may happen due to an oral trauma, such as impact to your mouth. Fractures can also be caused by bruxism (tooth grinding), which often occurs during sleep.
  • Gum disease – Gingivitis, periodontitis, and similar infections occur below the gum line. They open pockets around teeth, exposing the root surface to plaque. Decay, separation of tissue, and other damage can occur below the gum line, where you don’t even see it happening.

Do you need root canal treatment? Symptoms to watch out for

root canal treatment accomplishes

Since dental pulp is hidden in the middle of your tooth, you can’t look and see if it appears healthy. It takes the trained eye of a dentist, along with advanced diagnostics, to detect injured or infected dental pulp. However, there are several warning signs.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call us for an evaluation:

  • Movement-related pain – Does your tooth hurt or throb when you are extremely active, stand up quickly, or make specific movements? This is a common sign of abscess (infection pocket), which may indicate a root canal infection.
  • Spontaneous pain – When pulp is compromised, you might experience sharp, throbbing, or pulsating pain unexpectedly. This could happen while you are driving, relaxing, watching television, or even trying to sleep.
  • Sores – Ulcers that don’t heal, pus pockets, and other types of mouth sores are often an indication of infection in close proximity. This may indicate gum disease, an abscess, infected dental pulp, or all of these.
  • Referred pain – Abscess caused by root canal infection often makes the afflicted tooth hurt. However, the pain might not be confined to that tooth. It can be referred to surrounding teeth, the jaw, or other facial regions.

What root canal treatment accomplishes

So, root canal treatment addresses infected or injured dental pulp. You may be wondering just what the procedure involves, and how it can solve your dental problems. Root canal therapy is a straightforward process. It begins with creating a very small opening in the tooth crown, which your dentist uses to access pulp chambers and root canals. The compromised dental pulp is removed, because it cannot be saved once infected or injured. Next, the area is sterilized to eliminate any lingering bacteria, and filled to prevent reinfection. We usually recommend completing treatment with a dental crown, which restores the appearance of the tooth and protects it from further damages.

If you are experiencing any kind of dental pain, please call us at (770) 423-1132 and schedule an appointment today.

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  • Thirty-Two Dental
    Rating : 5

    Dr. Vo and Dr. Breckly are absolutely fantastic! Never worry about another painful trip to the dentist if you are going to see them. They make sure you are never in any pain throughout the entire procedure. I just had my wisdom teeth removed and Dr. Vo did a fabulous job, as always. I had four impacted wisdom teeth and they were out before I knew it. I was up and eating solid food the very same day, and could have been back at work if I needed to. My stitches fell out within a few days and everything healed up much faster than any of my friends who saw other doctors. I stayed awake for the procedure, and I would say that it definitely is much better than being put to sleep. It has a faster heal time and less discomfort. My face honestly didn't even swell. I've gone to Dr. Vo and Breckly for minor things before and they have always been amazing, but after my great experience with something more major, I know they are by far the two of the best dentists, I have ever seen.
  • Rating: 5
    Dr. Vo and Dr. Berkley are the ONLY dentists we see. Dr. Vos taken care of my parents, my husband, our daughter and son, and myself for the past 7 years. We love the care and the personal relationship she establishes with her patients. She takes the time to get to know us, our families, our dental concerns, which is NOT the usual in the business.Thank you for everything. Dr. Berkley is very attentive and gently with my children. We came in for a cleaning yesterday and they did great under his medical care. The staff is extremely professional and willing to help. Amazing team. If you have been afraid of the dentist, check them out and theyll change your mind about dentistry.
  • Rating: 5
    My family and I love Dr. Vo. I would suggest this practice to anyone who wants a dentist and staff that truly care about your health and will go above and beyond the typical dentist. I followed Dr. Vo from a previous office, and although this office is farther away, it is worth it because of how caring the staff is.
  • Rating: 5
    Switched to 32 dental after Dr. Breckley left Dr. Goetees practice. Great staff, and nice space. They use the latest technologies and have K cups in the waiting room!
  • Rating: 5
    Dr. Vo is fantastic. She is patient, knowledgeable, and excellent at her job, and most importantly, she takes time to answer your questions and explain any concerns she has about your teeth, so you really know what\'s going on. It inspires me to take better care of my teeth. By far, she is the best dentist I have been been to, and I highly recommend her. No more of those dime-a-dozen dentists for me!
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