Root Canals Specialist

Timothy Lee, DDS -  - General & Cosmetic Dentist

Mission Dental

Timothy Lee, DDS

General & Cosmetic Dentist located in Eugene, OR

Root canals have a nasty reputation, but in reality, modern endodontic treatment is nothing like the horror stories you may have heard. While an infection to your root canal can be a painful condition, a root canal procedure is a common dental procedure that an experienced dentist can perform with minimal pain or discomfort. At Mission Dental in Eugene, Oregon, Timothy Lee, DDS, routinely performs the procedure for his patients and can schedule you for an evaluation. Call the conveniently located Mission Dental practice today or make an appointment online.

Root Canals Q & A

What is a root canal?

Technically, the root canal is an inner chamber of the tooth that contains the pulp of the tooth. This is where you’ll find the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues of the tooth. Usually, the term root canal is used to describe a root canal procedure, which is necessary when the pulp at the root of the tooth becomes decayed or infected.

Why would I need a root canal?

Each tooth contains a chamber of pulp that’s vital to the tooth’s health. Sometimes, tooth decay can reach this chamber and infect the pulp, causing painful swelling and sometimes forming an abscess.

You’ll be able to recognize a root canal infection by symptoms like:

  • Persistent pain to the tooth or surrounding area
  • Swelling in the face, jaw or cheeks
  • Sensitivity in the tooth to heat and cold
  • Dark discoloration to the tooth
  • Deep tooth decay or noticeable, pus-filled abscess

If the pulp of the tooth needs to be removed, the tooth itself can still survive once its been filled by drawing nutrients from the gums around it. Allowing the infection to persist, however, can lead to greater infection and puts not only the tooth but the jaw and surrounding tissues at risk.

What happens during a root canal procedure?

Today, a root canal procedure is very similar to getting a normal filling. First, Dr. Lee numbs the tooth and surrounding areas to keep you comfortable during your procedure. Then he isolates the tooth with a small plastic shield to keep it clean and dry from saliva.

Dr. Lee creates a channel in the tooth to clean out the infection and remove the inflamed pulp. He’ll then irrigate and reshape the roots of the tooth before filling and sealing the root canals themselves. He’ll then be able to fill the tooth, and your root canal is complete, although he may wait until a follow-up visit to finish the filling.

To keep the tooth protected, a crown is usually recommended to seal it up from bacteria and restore its strength and biting ability.

Are root canals painful?

Root canals have developed a reputation for being an especially painful dental procedure, but this is both inaccurate and outdated. For one thing, inflammation and infection to the pulp of a tooth is often far more painful than any dental procedure and, furthermore, modern endodontic techniques have made root canal procedures much more comfortable.

If you think you may need a root canal, or are seeking an experienced dentist to perform the most comfortable root canal procedure available, call Mission Dental today or make an appointment online.