Root Canal

Schmitter Family Dental

Kristin Schmitter-Webster, DDS

Family Dentist & Cosmetic Dentist located in Brentwood, TN

Root canals are a common procedure used to relieve pain and restore health to damaged teeth. At Schmitter Family Dental in Brentwood, Tennessee, family dentist Kristin Schmitter-Webster, DDS, and her team help take the fear out of root canal procedures, providing comfortable, convenient, and effective treatment. If you suffer from symptoms like severe or persistent tooth sensitivity, call the office or request an appointment online today to find out if you need a root canal.

Root Canal Q&A

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a simple procedure used to treat infected tooth pulp. Tooth pulp refers to the space within your tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. When the tooth pulp becomes infected, patients experience a number of concerning symptoms, including:

  • Persistent tooth sensitivity
  • Darkening of the infected tooth
  • Swollen gums
  • Tender gums

Bacteria can reach the pulp of your tooth either through a cavity or through a cracked or damaged tooth. A root canal procedure removes the infected pulp, preserving the structure and function of your tooth.

What causes infected tooth pulp?

Poor oral hygiene is a leading cause of infected tooth pulp. Plaque buildup and bacteria eat away the tooth enamel, eventually forming holes or cavities in the teeth. If left untreated, cavities continue to grow, allowing bacteria to move closer to your tooth pulp. 

In severe cases, an infected tooth can lead to a tooth abscess, a painful puss-filled pocket that develops near the root of your tooth. A tooth abscess is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires treatment for effective relief. This type of infection can spread to nearby areas like the jaw or neck, leading to serious complications. 

What should I expect from a root canal?

Root canal procedures begin with digital X-rays. Dr. Schmitter-Webster uses these images to determine the severity of your condition and plan your treatment. 

Root canals are performed under local anesthesia to prevent any pain or discomfort. Schmitter Family Dental works with you to ensure the treatment area is adequately numbed and that you are comfortable during your procedure. Although many patients are apprehensive about the procedure, root canals help effectively relieve the pain caused by infected tooth pulp. 

Once you’re numb, Dr. Schmitter-Webster drills a small hole through your tooth that allows her to access the infected pulp. After the infected areas are removed, the tooth is filled and sealed to prevent further damage.

What is the aftercare for a root canal?

After a root canal, it’s normal to experience some increased sensitivity. As the tooth heals, you should be extra careful when chewing or brushing near the treatment area. 

In many cases, dental crowns are placed over treated teeth to improve their structure and appearance. During your follow-up appointment, Dr. Schmitter-Webster and her team discuss your recovery and options for tooth restoration. 

To find out if a root canal is right for you, book an appointment at Schmitter Family Dental by phone or request one online today.