As an experienced dentist, Dr. Euclid McLeod Jr., DDS, in Georgetown, Texas, stops at nothing to save your teeth. In some cases, that might mean he needs to perform a root canal. While the thought of having a root canal sounds unpleasant, the end result gives you a healthier mouth. If you need a root canal or have concerns about a tooth due to pain, call the office or book an appointment online.
A root canal is a dental procedure aimed at saving your tooth from extraction by removing an infection from the soft tissue of your tooth before it does more damage. Dr. McLeod performs numerous root canals each year, as they’re fairly common.
You need a root canal when the soft tissue in your tooth, referred to as pulp, has become infected. The pulp contains the nerves, blood vessels, and nutrients for your tooth.
An infection of your pulp might occur if your tooth is cracked or damaged, or you have a large cavity. Other dental procedures can also damage the pulp and lead to an infection.
You may not show any signs or symptoms indicating you need a root canal, which is why it’s so important to follow up with Dr. McLeod to monitor the health of your teeth.
If the infection has progressed, you may experience pain and swelling. You may also get an abscess — a pus-filled pocket — in your tooth or in the bones surrounding the infected tooth.
During the root canal, Dr. McLeod begins by first numbing the area around the infected tooth. You should not feel any pain during this entire process. He then drills a hole into the tooth until he reaches the pulp.
He then uses special dental tools to remove all of the infected pulp from your tooth, and then disinfects the inside of the tooth with an antiseptic and antibacterial to kill any remaining germs and bacteria. This protects the rest of your tooth from infection.
Dr. McLeod than shapes the inside of your tooth and fills it with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. He then takes a mold of your tooth, which is used to make a permanent crown, and caps the tooth with a temporary filling.
Once your permanent crown is ready — which can take a few weeks — Dr. McLeod adheres it to your tooth for long-term protection.
You may feel some sensitivity immediately following the root canal, and Dr. McLeod may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to ease any discomfort. Depending on the extent of the infection, he may also prescribe an antibiotic.
If you have concerns about a tooth, call the office or use the online booking agent to schedule an appointment.