Family Dental
Dr. Kenneth G. Edwards, DDS

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Root Canal Therapy

How can we help you?

We get many questions about dental care and our Amherst, NH dental practice. We have addressed some of the most frequently asked questions here. Please feel free to browse to find the answers you are looking for. Maybe we can even answer a question you didn't realize you had!

If you have other questions not covered here, don't hesitate to contact our office. We'll be happy to answer them!

Root Canal Therapy

In a word: no.

Root canals have been getting a bad reputation by Amherst dental patients for years, but the truth is that most people’s fear of root canals is unfounded. Perhaps the anxiety overwoman with tooth pain in amherst nh root canals is connected to the pain of a toothache that usually signals a tooth infection—and root canal therapy to treat it. The toothache pain if far worse than the root canal itself, which is no worse than getting a run-of-the-mill cavity filled.

If you let an infected tooth go untreated, the tooth root may eventually die off so you don’t feel any more pain but the infection will still be present. Your dentist must treat the infection to protect your oral health.

How Does a Root Canal Work?

Here’s how the root canal procedure works: The area where the affected tooth is located will first be numbed with a local anesthetic. By the time Dr. Kenneth Edwards begins to drill a tiny hole in the tooth, you won’t feel anything. He will use that small hole to extract the infected tooth pulp and other bacteria. Once the area has been thoroughly cleaned out, it will be sealed to prevent future infections.

In most cases, the tooth structure left behind will become brittle, so a crown is generally placed to restore its form and function.

woman with a dental emergency in amherst nhNo one wants to wait weeks or months to see the dentist. A common question we hear is "How long does it take to get a dental appointment?" We do our best to schedule your appointment at your earliest convenience. Most of the time, we can get you in to see Dr. Edwards within a few days. We try to offer a wide range of appointments to fit your schedule, so let us know what time or day works best for you and we will do our best to meet your needs!

Dental Emergencies in Amherst

Dental emergencies are a priority at our Amherst dental office. We try to keep a block of same-day and next-day appointments available for emergencies. If you are going through a dental emergency or an urgent dental situation, call us right away and we will schedule you as soon as possible. If your dental emergency strikes after hours, leave a message and we will call you the next business day to fit you in. We offer after-hours contact information in the case of dental emergencies.

We know you have a busy life. We will always do what we can to accommodate your schedule without delaying necessary dental treatment. We want to make caring for your teeth convenient and fast. Call to schedule your appointment today.

woman flossing her teeth in amherst nhA root canal is actually a nickname for root canal therapy. The root canal is the part of your tooth that houses the nerves and blood vessels of your teeth, surrounded by the soft pulp. When decay makes its way into the root canal, extreme pain and infection (abscess) is usually the result. 

The Root Canal Process

Root canal therapy consists of opening a path through the hard outer enamel and inner dentin, into the canals that contain the roots. Amherst dentist Dr. Edwards then removes these roots and cleans out the canals to ensure all decay and infection is removed, using a series of files to scrape any remaining pulp away. This process is performed while you're numb, so you won't feel any pain.

Over time, root canal therapy was shortened to just "a root canal," even though that's really just the part of the tooth we're working on. So the next time someone asks you what a root canal is, you can explain it's both the part of the tooth and the treatment used when that part becomes infected.

Root canals have a bad reputation for being a painful procedure, but they're really not that bad. The abscess that comes before the root canal is the part that really hurts! If you think you may need a root canal or you have any questions about root canal therapy, don't hesitate to contact our Amherst dental office.

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