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Root Canal

Cross section diagram of damaged tooth at Smiles by Shrenna Clifton, DDSTooth enamel is incredibly hard. It allows you to bite and chew a wide variety of different foods. This outermost layer of your teeth is also essential for the protection of the inner layers of the teeth. Even though enamel is so hard, it can still be faced with damages or tooth decay. When any damage occurs to the enamel, your teeth become compromised. Serious damage can provide an access point for bacteria to enter the interior of your teeth, which can lead to an infection, and serious consequences. If bacteria do get inside your tooth, it requires dental care right away. At Smiles by Shrenna Clifton, DDS, we can help with a root canal.

Bacterial Invasion of Your Teeth

The part of your teeth that you see is just one of many layers. The teeth are quite complex. At the very inside of the teeth, there is a series of hollow canals, which lead down to the tooth roots. The interior of the tooth also contains the soft tissue known pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, which deliver nutrients to the tooth, and nerves, which allow you to feel temperature and pressure.
While the outer layer is strong, damage can still occur. Cracks, chips, or tooth decay can provide direct access to the inner layer of the teeth, allowing bacteria to travel freely inside. Inside the tooth, they make themselves at home in the hollow canals and attack the pulp. The pulp swells, becoming infected and painful, which can significantly disrupt your quality of life.

Cross section diagram of cleaned tooth and temporary filling at Smiles by Shrenna Clifton, DDS

Root Canals

A root canal is the only way an infection inside the tooth can be treated. The procedure involves removing not just the bacteria, but the infected pulp and the nerves inside the tooth as well. The interior of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. At the end of your treatment, a dental crown is placed on the affected tooth, which provides it with strength and protects it from the possibility of another infection.

What symptoms should I watch for?

There are several signs and symptoms that can point toward an infection inside one of your teeth.
•  You are experiencing severe tooth pain.
•  Pain or sensitivity, which may be triggered by biting or by ingesting something too hot or cold, that lingers long after the initial cause of your discomfort is gone.
•  Facial swelling near the affected tooth.
•  Dental abscesses. An abscess is a sac that forms around bacteria that have begun spilling out of the roots of the infected tooth. The longer the infection goes untreated, the larger the abscess grows. As it grows, it can result in bone loss in the jaw. The abscess may also burst, allowing bacteria to enter the bloodstream.

Diagnosing an Infection and Providing Treatment

If you suspect an infection, it is important that you call our office right away. We can perform a thorough oral exam to diagnose an infection and provide you with the treatment you need. Your exam starts with a visual evaluation of your teeth and gums. We check for signs of damage, decay, and infection. We also take x-rays of your mouth, which provide us with a view of the structures under your gum line. We can see damage to the roots of your teeth as well as any abscesses or other issues.

If an infection is present, we then move forward with a root canal. After a local anesthetic, and sedation if necessary, we drill a small hole into the top of the affected tooth. Small tools are used to extract the pulp from inside the tooth. We then shape the hollow canals and disinfect the entire interior. Once the tooth is clean, a dental material called gutta percha is placed inside the space left behind. The very last step of your root canal is preparing the treated tooth and placing a dental crown.

With a root canal, we can effectively eliminate infection from your tooth, restoring your oral health and your quality of life. Call Smiles by Shrenna Clifton, DDS today for more information at (470) 400-2001.
What our patients are saying about us.

  • "I love my new smile and get lots of compliments on how straight and bright my teeth look! It only took two appointments and no shots, Dr. Clifton, and her staff made it easy for me." ~ Ashley

  • "Dr. Clifton and staff are very professional. Love how friendly everybody was. I would highly recommend this place!" ~ Fred

  • "I have used Dr. Clifton for over 12 years and would not consider seeing any other dentist. She is caring, knowledgeable and gentle with her work. Her staff is professional, and the facility is very clean." ~ Allen

Cosmetic Dentistry
By Dr. Shrenna Clifton

Contact us today
State-of-the-art dental care for your whole family.
166 Jefferson Pkwy
Newnan, GA 30263
Call: (470) 400-2001

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