By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
April 05, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Find out why root canal treatment is often necessary for the health of your teeth.root canal

We know that most people hear “root canal” and immediately envision a horror story scenario. Relax! Our Marion, AR, dentist, Dr. Wayne Cook, is here to tell you that there is really nothing scary about getting a root canal. Besides the fact that they are necessary if you want to preserve an infected tooth they are also no more invasive than getting a cavity filled.

What is a root canal?

This procedure is designed to preserve and protect a tooth from further damage from decay, trauma (e.g. crack; fracture), or an infection. A root canal itself refers to the inside or center of the tooth. Within the “root canal” is a soft structure known as a dental pulp. A dental pulp is made up of nerves, which is why a toothache is often the first sign that the dental pulp has become infected or inflamed.

What is the purpose of a root canal procedure?

This endodontic treatment is crucial if you want to preserve your natural tooth. Those who wait to seek treatment from our Marion emergency dentist or don’t seek treatment at all run the risk of losing the tooth altogether. Getting a root canal can prevent the need for a tooth extraction.

Of course, once bacteria has entered the inside of the tooth and affected the health of the pulp, the only course of action is to remove the infected pulp and to clean out the tooth so the bacteria doesn’t spread to neighboring teeth or bone. Luckily, your tooth doesn’t need the dental pulp in order to survive. If the tooth isn’t treated it could lead to an infection that could cause facial swelling, as well as tooth and bone loss.

What are the signs that I need a root canal?

It isn’t always obvious and not everyone experiences symptoms that will alert them to the fact that something is wrong. This is why even healthy individuals should come in twice a year for annual checkups. Even if you don’t think anything is wrong with your oral health we may find that decay, gum disease or an infection is actually present.

Common signs that you might need root canal therapy include:

  • A toothache
  • Sudden tooth sensitivity (particularly to hot or cold foods/drinks)
  • Tooth darkening (a sign that the roots of the tooth have died)
  • Gum swelling or tenderness surrounding the tooth
  • An abscess (a pimple-like growth) on the gums (a sign of infection)

Are you dealing with dental issues or symptoms? Do you want to find out if these symptoms warrant an immediate trip to our Marion, AR, dental office? Well, don’t hesitate to call us!


Marion, AR Family Dentist
Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
303 Bancario Rd.Suite 7
Marion, AR 72364
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