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What Kennesaw GA patients need to know about root canal therapy

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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.

About Dr. Sean Breckley

Dr. Sean Breckley
A graduate from the Temple University School of Dentistry and Susquehanna University, Dr. Sean Breckley is an established professional in the field of dentistry. He is a firm believer of contributing to the community and ensuring his patients receive the best possible dental care. Whilst maintaining his professionalism, Dr. Breckley takes time to get to know his patients and make sure they are comfortable and at ease to avoid any unnecessary dental anxiety and stress. He is presently a member of the American Dental Association, Georgia Dental Association, Northwest District Dental Society, and a graduate of the Mercer Mastery Program.

About Dr. Lan Vo

Dr. Lan Vo
A graduate from the University of California-Irvine and Temple University School of Dentistry, Dr. Lan Vo is a highly skilled and resourceful dentist in the field of professional dentistry. She is an active member of the American Dental Association, Georgia Dental Association, Northwest District Dental Society, American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and a graduate of the Mercer Mastery Program whilst maintaining a certification with the American Academy of Facial Esthetics. Dr. Vo is very people-oriented and is a favorite amongst children and commands a great deal of trust amongst anyone who has had the fortune of being treated by her.
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5 Star
  • Review Posted By Ashley B.
    I've been seeing Dr. Breckley and Dr. Vo since they opened this practice, and I'm still a huge fan. I recently had some dental work done with them (like this morning). I've never doubted the doctors' abilities, and this experience was no exception. They are experts and are very good at their craft. I want to also mention the support staff, especially the women on the front desk. They are thorough, helpful, and so very nice. I've never experienced the follow-up and follow through at another practice as I have with them at 32 Dental. I always know what my bill will be. There are never any surprises, and that is so comforting in this day of American healthcare. :) I'll continue to refer my friends to them and patron their practice based on my experiences with them! Thanks!
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  • Review Posted By KristyLynn A.
    My 8 year old son had to have 2 teeth pulled because the babies just didn't want to let go. The whole procedure went amazing! My son was like "Wait we're done already? I didn't feel anything! Wow." I would definitely recommend this practice to anyone who wants both kids and adults to be taken care of at the same location!
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  • Review Posted By Dave M.
    I'm 55 and have used many dental offices over the years. Without question, both of the 32 Dental locations, have been extremely pleasant and rewarding to my mouth!. The quality of work, expert advice on dental care, friendly as they come... what more can I say. Highly recommended!
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  • J
    My son has anxiety about going to the dentist. The hygienist did an awesome job of putting him at ease. My son was very comfortable with her, and had no issues during the appointment at all. It was stress free. We will definitely be coming back. Thank you.
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  • Review Posted By Angela B.
    32 Dental was quick and kind. The office staff was efficient and the dentist was very thorough. He referred me to a specialist due to the type of root canal needed. He was able to find one available for the same day. I will definitely use them in the future.
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