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Posts for tag: root canal


Root canal treatments are an essential part of dental care — countless teeth with deep decay would be lost each year without it. Now, this traditional dental care procedure is advancing to a new level of precision through lasers.

Root canal treatments have a simple goal: access a tooth's infected pulp and root canals, clean out the infected tissue and fill the empty pulp chamber and canals with a special filling. Once filled, the access is sealed and a porcelain crown later placed for additional protection against re-infection.

In the traditional procedure, we perform these steps manually with a dental drill and hand instruments. We may also need to remove a good portion of tooth structure, both healthy and infected tissue. A laser, on the other hand, is a highly focused beam of light with the ability to interact with healthy and infected tissues differently: destroying infected tissue while having no effect on nearby healthy tissue. The end result: we may be able to remove less healthy tissue with lasers than with the conventional procedure.

Lasers are also helpful with softening and precisely molding the filling material within each canal's particular shape. And, early reports seem to indicate a higher degree of comfort for patients (less drill noise and need for anesthesia), less bleeding and faster recovery times than the conventional approach.

But as a tool for root canal treatments, lasers do have a couple of disadvantages. While light travels in a straight line, root canals are rarely straight — conventional instruments with curved designs usually accommodate odd canal shapes better than a laser. Lasers can also raise temperatures within a tooth that can damage healthy tissue, both within the pulp and outward into the dentin.

Still, lasers for root canal treatments appear promising with some dentists using a combination of lasers and manual techniques to garner benefits from both approaches. While you won't see lasers replacing the traditional root canal treatment anytime soon, the future looks bright for more efficient ways to treat deep tooth decay.

If you would like more information on your options for root canal therapy, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Phillip S. Tully III DMD
July 10, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Some signs of oral health problems are easy to recognize. For instance, a toothache can be a sign of a cavity, while gums that bleed whenroot canal brushing or flossing can be an indication of gum disease. For other oral health concerns, such as root canal problems, many people are unfamiliar with the symptoms and do not know when to see a dentist. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of root canal problems and seeing a dentist right away can prevent the problem from getting worse. Dr. Phillip Tully is your dentist in Columbus, GA, for root canal treatment.

Signs and Symptoms

There are several indications of the need for a potential root canal. If you develop any of these signs or symptoms, see a dentist in Columbus for treatment. Common signs and symptoms of root canal problems include:

  • Persistent pain and pressure in the mouth
  • Severe tooth or mouth pain
  • Sharp pain when biting down while eating
  • Pain and sensitivity when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages

Root Canal Treatment

Root canals are needed when the soft pulp material at the center of a tooth is infected and causes an abscess to form below the root of the tooth. An untreated abscess can cause other oral health problems to develop and lead to extraction of the infected tooth. Root canal treatment makes it possible to preserve the tooth, eliminating the need for extraction. Root canal treatment involves clearing away the infected pulp from inside the tooth. Once the pulp is removed, the area is cleaned and filled, much like a cavity and the tooth is restored.

Benefits of Root Canals

There are several benefits to having root canal treatment. Your Columbus area dentist can advise you if root canal treatment would work for you. Some of the benefits of root canal treatment include:

  • Avoiding extraction of infected teeth
  • Preserving the natural teeth
  • Strengthening infected teeth that have become weak
  • Restoring normal tooth functioning, such as biting and chewing
  • Protecting surrounding teeth by reducing the strain on them
  • An uncomplicated procedure similar to filling a cavity

There are several signs and symptoms of root canal problems. See a dentist in Columbus, GA, right away if you are experiencing these signs or symptoms. Root canal treatment can preserve an infected tooth and prevent the infection from spreading. To find out if you might need root canal treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Tully by calling the office at (706) 323-6491.

By Phillip S. Tully III DMD
May 03, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: root canal  

A toothache is never an enjoyable experience. Eating and drinking become more difficult, and even something as simple as breathing root canalcan produce pain. However, relieving tooth pain is often as simple as undergoing a root canal procedure at the Columbus, GA dentist’s office of Phillip Tully. Despite its bad reputation, root canal therapy is a painless, relatively quick procedure which can eliminate your tooth pain and save your natural tooth from extraction.

When is a root canal necessary?
A root canal is necessary when the tooth’s pulp becomes inflamed, infected or dead. The tooth’s pulp made up of blood vessels, nerve, and connective tissues, is located in the tooth’s hollow, inner pulp chamber. When the pulp becomes inflamed, a toothache occurs. This often comes with sensitivity to hot and cold, making drinking and eating painful or uncomfortable. A toothache can also have a radiating ache, occurring without stimulation.

How does a root canal work? 
A root canal begins when your Columbus, GA dentist Dr. Tully administering local anesthetic to numb the area. Then, your dentist makes a small access hole in the top of your tooth from which he removes the infected pulp. With the pulp removed, your dentist cleans and sterilizes the inside of the tooth, making sure no infected tissue is left behind. Composite materials fill the tooth and seal it off to prevent further infection. In most cases, you will need a dental crown which sits over the top of the tooth to protect it. Our dental office is equipped with CEREC Crowns, so the new crown will be ready later that day.

Does a root canal hurt? 
While root canals have a reputation for being painful, drawn-out procedures, that is simply a myth. A root canal only occurs once the area is numbed with local anesthetic. While you may feel some pressure from the instruments, you should not feel any pain during your procedure.

For more information on root canal therapy, please contact Dr. Phillip S. Tully III, DMD at his office in Columbus, GA. Call (706) 323-6491 to speak with a knowledgeable and friendly associate about scheduling your dental examination.