If detected early tooth decay can be treated with a dental restoration to eliminate the infection (tooth decay IS an infection). However, if the decay spreads past the enamel and infects the inner pulp (inner chamber of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels), or if there is a lot of trauma to the tooth, you will likely need a root canal. More formally called an endodontic treatment, root canal therapy at Smiles! Dentistry by Dr. Joseph Heher removes the damaged pulp from the tooth, disinfects the nerve chamber, and then uses a filling material to seal the tooth at the apex of the tooth, where the nerves and blood vessels entered the tooth from the jawbone. Experienced and trained dentist Dr. Joseph Heher recommends a root canal to Salisbury, MD patients because it not only treats the infected tooth, it prevents the decay from advancing and infecting other teeth (creating a larger issue) and most importantly, saves the tooth from extraction.
If you believe you may need to have a root canal, we know many people have reservations about the procedure—it has a reputation akin to childbirth. However, modern technology has made those concerns a tale of the past, and today a root canal is a very common dental therapy. Dr. Heher and his team make their best effort to help you feel at ease and relax naturally, but we also offer sedation options to alleviate any anxiety. Contact Smiles! Dentistry by Dr. Joseph Heher to schedule a consultation with Dr. Heher to learn more about sedation dentistry and root canal therapy.
"I’ve only had 2 visits to the practice but they wow’d me both times. I had the best dental exam I’ve ever had by Dr. Heher on my first visit and today I had my cleaning and it was also very thorough. I highly recommend this practice."- A.M. / Google / Oct 24, 2018
"You won't find a better dentist in the industry. He lives for it and it shows. He also hires a very competent staff which makes all visits great."- L.R. / Google / Oct 13, 2018
"After having a very bad experience in the Navy, I am terrified of dentists. Dr. Heher has a very calming manner and helps alleviate my fears."- J.G. / Google / Oct 12, 2018
"I absolutely love this place and people.Have a fear of dentists.. that being said the best experience ever.everyone is Sooo friendly and compassionate!! Got me in the office with a desperate need of tooth repair(the same day it happened) ... I can not thank everyone enough!! The experience was Awesome!! Thank you again Dr Heher and staff!! You guys ARE AWESOME!!??"- D.R. / Google / Sep 28, 2018
"Dr. Heher and his staff are amazing. Dr. Heher is knowledgeable and great with my two boys as well as my husband and I. His staff is friendly and always happy to see us. I love knowing my family's dental health is in such good hands. Thanks so much!"- A.B. / Google / Sep 14, 2018
An infection in the pulp of a tooth may be caused by a cavity or deep crack in the tooth or a physical trauma. The most obvious signs that you could have an infection are tooth or jaw pain, swelling or discoloration of the gums around the tooth, and changes in the color of the tooth. If the infection is not addressed, it will spread, causing increased pain. Schedule an appointment with Smiles! Dentistry by Dr. Joseph Heher right away if you feel or notice something abnormal in your mouth. If you have anxieties or reservations about visiting the dentist, please ask us about nitrous oxide sedation to keep you calm and comfortable during your dental appointments.
What To Expect
Before your procedure, you will discuss your sedation and/or anesthetic options with Dr. Heher. We want you to feel at ease and relaxed while you are at our office. Some patients ask for nitrous oxide sedation (laughing gas) for a root canal procedure. Dr. Heher is very sympathetic about dental fear and will help you make the necessary decision about your sedation needs.
During a root canal procedure, Dr. Heher will access the inner chamber of your tooth and extract the decayed pulp. Afterward, the inside of the empty chamber will be carefully sterilized to remove remaining debris. To finalize the therapy, the tooth will be filled with a special material to seal and protect it.
After your root canal procedure, your mouth may feel sensitive or swollen, but these are common sequelae post-root canal therapy and can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers and/or antibiotics. Depending upon the degree of damage to the tooth, either a filling, an onlay or a crown is needed to prevent further damage to the tooth. We recommend that you schedule a follow-up appointment about six months after your root canal. Dr. Heher will check to make sure the infection has been eradicated and that your mouth has healed. After that, you should continue to schedule annual dental exams and semi-annual cleanings to maintain your dental health.
At your consultation, Dr. Heher will provide a cost estimate so your treatment fits both your needs and budget. If you currently carry dental insurance, we can contact your insurance carrier to help you determine your coverage. If you don't have dental insurance, Smiles! Dentistry by Dr. Joseph Heher accepts several payment methods and may be able to help you find low-interest medical financing.
Root Canal Therapy
Thanks to advancements in the dental profession, root canals can be a quick, easy procedure to treat an infected tooth. Your root canal at Smiles! Dentistry by Dr. Joseph Heher can be comfortable and save you from further tooth pain or more invasive procedures. Contact our staff in Salisbury, MD to set up a consultation with dentist Dr. Heher for more information on root canal therapy and other ways to improve your dental health.