Root Canals

Ronald W. Householder, DDS -  - General Dentist

Ronald W. Householder, DDS

General Dentist & Aesthetics Specialist located in Tazewell, VA

If you need a root canal, you might be feeling afraid, but there’s really nothing to worry about. Root canal treatment provides a safe and effective way to preserve your natural, permanent teeth. At Ronald W. Householder, DDS, PLLC in Tazewell, Virginia, Dr. Householder regularly performs no-molar root canals. If you’re experiencing a toothache, call or use the online booking tool and request an appointment today.

Root Canals Q & A

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a type of oral surgery designed to prevent an extraction. During root canal treatment, your dentist removes infected or inflamed tooth pulp, relieving pain and preventing further damage. 

Dr. Householder specializes in root canal treatment specifically for teeth other than molars.

Why would I need a root canal?

A tooth’s pulp can become infected as a result of deep decay or damage caused by an accident or injury. Some telltale symptoms that may indicate a need for root canal therapy include:

  • Severe toothache when biting or chewing
  • Heightened sensitivity to hot and cold 
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Pimples or abscesses forming on your gums

Changes in tooth color can also alert you to a problem with your pulp. For example, if a tooth turns brown or black, an infection may be to blame.

What happens during a root canal?

Root canal treatment typically requires two appointments. 

At your first appointment, Dr. Householder performs a thorough oral exam, reviews your medical history, and asks you a series of questions about your symptoms. Next, Dr. Householder takes X-rays to get a closer look at your root canals. If there are signs of an infection, Dr. Householder moves forward with treatment and uses a local anesthetic to numb your teeth and gums. If you suffer from dental anxiety or have a low pain tolerance, the team also offers nitrous oxide. 

Once the anesthesia sets in, Dr. Householder places a rubber dam over your affected tooth to keep it dry. Dr. Householder drills an access hole into your tooth and carefully removes your tooth’s nerve and infected pulp. Dr. Householder cleans out the pulp chamber with an antiseptic solution and applies a temporary crown.

A week later, you return for your second appointment. Again, Dr. Householder administers anesthesia, then removes your temporary crown and fills your root canal with a rubber-like compound called gutta-percha. After the gutta-percha dries, he applies a filling. For severely damaged teeth, a dental crown may be necessary.

Is root canal treatment painful?

Thanks to modern treatment techniques and anesthetics, root canal procedures are safe and well-tolerated. However, in the first 24-48 hours following treatment, it’s perfectly normal to experience pain and swelling around your affected tooth. Follow Dr. Householder’s recovery instructions carefully and avoid biting down or chewing on hard or crunchy objects. As you recover, stick to soft foods like soup, applesauce, and yogurt. 

If you suspect you may need a root canal, call or use the online booking tool to request an appointment with the team at Ronald W. Householder, DDS, PLLC today.