Root Canal New Bern, NC

Depending on your condition, Dr. Stephen Hoard may perform your root canal procedure in his New Bern dentist’s office or refer you to a local endodontist for treatment. Dr. Hoard’s role is to design and coordinate a treatment plan that will result in a long-lasting, comfortable, and natural-looking restoration of your tooth.

A root canal treatment is also commonly referred to as simply a “root canal.” It becomes necessary when the tissues inside your tooth, called the pulp, becomes infected and needs to be removed from the pulp chamber.

This usually results from deep decay (cavities) or a chip or crack in the surface of your tooth. The infection in the pulp can spread down through the root canals of your teeth into tissues of your gums. This infection, called an abscess, can be very painful and can be dangerous to your overall health, possibly even leading to heart disease.

Root canals are a part of Dr. Steven Hoard’s general dentistry treatments.

Why Do I Need A Root Canal?

You may need a root canal treatment if you have a tooth that is sensitive to hot and cold, to touch or is painful to use when chewing. Inflamed and sensitive gums around the tooth are another indicator. Informing Dr. Hoard of these and any other symptoms you may be having during exams will allow him to determine if a root canal is necessary for your condition.

Dr. Hoard will perform some root canals, depending on the severity of the condition. For very severe cases, he may refer you to an endodontist or oral surgeon. An endodontist is a dental specialist who specializes in treating the insides of your teeth.

Many people avoid root canals due to the belief that the procedure will be painful or because they may have heard “horror stories” of complications from the procedure. Some even have teeth pulled rather than undergo the treatment.

Dentists prefer root canals to extractions to save the natural teeth as empty spaces in your teeth can lead to teeth shifting positions and even further decay and even bone loss. There is no need to risk this.

Root canals may have been painful a few decades ago but with our modern technology and anesthetics, the procedure is only about as painful as having a filling placed.

Root Canal Treatment

In a root canal procedure, your dentist or endodontist drills down into the crown of your infected tooth and removes the infected pulp from pulp chamber and the root canals below. As adults our teeth can survive without the pulp as it they continue to be nourished by the surrounding tissues.

Once the pulp has been removed, a biocompatible material will be inserted to temporarily fill the now-empty space inside your tooth. In some cases, where tooth decay has severely broken down one of the roots and made the tooth unstable, a tiny metal rod may be inserted down into the root to secure the tooth in your gums.

During the restoration process, a crown will be created and placed over the tooth that has been treated. Your dentist will construct the crown, matching it to the natural hue of your teeth, and will use it to seal up and protect the tooth from another infection. Within a few days, the swelling goes down and the new tooth can be used and cleaned just like your natural teeth.

Root Canal FAQs

What is a root canal?

The term root canal refers to the interior of a tooth where the pulp and nerves are located. A root canal treatment is needed when a tooth is significantly damaged or has decay that extends into the pulp chamber. Tooth pain is usually the first sign patients experience, though a dentist can spot infection during routine examinations.

Is it better to have a root canal procedure or a tooth extraction?

The best treatment choice will depend on your specific situation and circumstances, however, it is usually in the best interest of the patient to preserve the natural tooth through a root canal procedure or other treatment method. An extracted tooth should always be replaced to prevent neighboring teeth from shifting and to reduce the risk of bone loss, tooth decay and gum disease.

What is the cost of a root canal procedure?

Factors that go into determining the price of the root canal procedure include the extent of damage to the tooth and type of restoration needed (ex. dental filing vs. dental crown). Some dental insurance providers will pay for all or part of the cost of root canal therapy. Dr. Hoard’s office staff will assist you with all billing and documentation for your insurance company to help maximize your benefits.

How long does a root canal last?

With proper dental care, a root canal treatment should last a lifetime.
However, root canals do not last a lifetime in all patients. After the procedure, you should have a tooth free from nerve pain. The longevity of a root canal treatment will depend on how long you take care of it. Regular dental visits are important to ensure that your root canal stays healthy. Occasionally, a tooth may need retreatment if the infection comes back. But, with proper maintenance and care, a root canal can last many years.

Is it painful to have a root canal?

Having a root canal can often be uncomfortable for some patients, but it usually isn’t painful. First, the dentist or endodontist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the damaged tooth. Proper numbing before and during the procedure should help keep any discomfort to a minimum. Sometimes, your dentist may also suggest using general anesthesia if you have difficulty getting numb with a local anesthetic. After the procedure, there may be some tenderness, but it’s usually manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers.

Can a root canal be done in one visit?

Yes, a general dentist or endodontist can complete a root canal treatment in one visit. The time the procedure takes will depend on the complexity of the tooth that has an infection and how many canals the endodontist or dentist needs to treat. In general, it takes 90 minutes to two hours per appointment. However, some treatments may take longer. Depending on the situation, your dentist or endodontist may recommend a second visit.

Schedule a Dental Exam Today

So the big, bad root canal isn’t so scary after all. Instead, it’s a helpful procedure intended to alleviate pain and preserve your natural teeth, allowing you to chew properly and smile confidently. As with most ailments, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and scheduling regular exams with Dr. Hoard are all important steps to avoid needing a root canal, especially if your teeth have recently developed any chips or cracks. But if you do need a root canal, now you know there’s nothing to fear.

To schedule with Dr. Hoard today, call 252.507.0373 or schedule an appointment online.