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.
"The staff is super friendly and so is Dr. Heher. My family has been using him for years and I can't imagine going anywhere else"- B.M. / Facebook / Oct 01, 2019
"Like a lot of people, I dread going to the dentist. I was scheduled as a first time patient very quickly. Dr. Heher sat with me before and after my exam and comprehensively went over my care plan. He listened to my previous dental horror stories and was very reassuring and kind. I feel at ease going back."- M.B. / Google / Sep 27, 2019
"Dr. Heher went in-depth with me at my first exam. Him and all staff made my day as they were kind and professional. Being to three different dentist in the area, I truly feel Dr. Heher was thorough, easy to talk to and ask questions and gentle. His staff and himself definitely make you their priority."- A.B. / Google / Jan 04, 2019
"I really liked how friendly the staff was. It was my first time going here and I was really impressed with how Dr. Heher sat down and explained everything to me. Great dentist! 😁"- A.K. / Google / Aug 30, 2019
"Hygienist Barb always fantastic, putting patient at ease with her humor & professionalism. Dr. Heher offers many words of support, encouragement.He was first to identify, diagnose a problem I was having.Office Ladies pleasant & helpful."- J.D. / Google / Aug 23, 2019
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.