Why might I need root canal treatment, Dr. Ferguson?

All right, admit it. You’ve got a toothache that may be in need of a root canal treatment, but you’re not exactly sure what that entails. You’re not even sure why your tooth is hurting. Here at Ferguson Dental Associates, we’d like to offer a brief explanation to help you out.

It’s can be hard for people in the Charleston area to understand how complex our teeth are. We use them all the time and rarely think of them—until they start hurting. But a tooth is composed of a soft tissue area called the “pulp” under that hard surface. In that pulp, lymph vessels, nerves, veins, and arteries carry blood, signals, and more from our teeth to the rest of our bodies.

These connections exist from the very top of the tooth into the tooth’s roots below the gum’s surface through what is called the root canal. Depending on the number of roots below the tooth, a single tooth can have anywhere between one to five root canals.

So How Do Root Canal Problems Arise, Dr. Ferguson?

A deep cavity, the early stages of decay, or a crack in a tooth allows bacteria in saliva to travel through the tooth’s surface into the tooth’s pulp. When this happens, an infection is likely to result. This infection may even cause an abscess after pus gathers at the tip of the root. If a root canal infection is left untreated, the pulp will die. An untreated abscess might spread to the jaw bone. At Ferguson Dental Associates we encourage you to contact us at the earliest stages of symptoms to avoid this!

Dr. Ferguson, Why Does a Root Canal Infection Hurt So Much?

Damaged or dead pulp leads to pressure inside of a tooth! When you ingest hot or cold liquids or food or even when you bite down or chew, this pressure is what causes your pain. Ouch!

How Can My Tooth Be Saved at Ferguson Dental Associates?

It’s possible, if you haven’t made an appointment with Dr. Ferguson early enough, that your tooth is beyond saving. He may recommend pulling the tooth, but that empty gap could easily lead to teeth displacement and/or biting and chewing problems. You could replace the gap with a bridge or a denture, but these treatments are much more costly than a root canal procedure. That’s why meeting with Dr. Ferguson ASAP is so essential to your mouth’s health - and to your pocketbook! He is generally able to repair an infected root canal and save the tooth entirely.

Dr. Larry Ferguson of Charleston sees patients with root canal questions all of the time and he’d be happy to take the time to explain it to you in person! Complete the online form or call (843) 571-4411 to schedule an appointment with him to find out more—and start your path to a healthier, happier smile!

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Ferguson Dental Associates

Larry J. Ferguson, DMD

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Ferguson Dental Associates
1812 Wallace School Road, Suite 400
Charleston, SC 29407
General Info: (843) 571-4411