My Blog

Posts for tag: root canal

By Rick K. Harrison, DMD, PA
April 16, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Acute pain, drainage, and discoloration are just some of the problems that can arise from having a fractured or infected tooth. Luckily, root root canalcanal treatment from Rick K. Harrison, DMD, PA in Jacksonville Beach can save your tooth, strengthen it, and prolong its life for years on end!

What is root canal therapy?

Employed for decades by dentists and endodontists all over the world, root canal therapy is named for the part of the tooth which contains pulp, nerves, and blood vessels. Each tooth root has a single canal, and if invaded by bacteria, that canal may become inflamed and painful. This situation is called a dental abscess.

Dentists use root canal therapy to remove the pulp and stop the potentially dangerous infection. Additionally, this therapeutic treatment also preserves teeth cracked in trauma or which have been heavily restored with metal or composite resin fillings.

Signs that you may need a root canal

Common signs indicating that a patient needs a root canal include:

  • Dental sensitivity (pain in response to chewing, cold, heat or sugar)
  • Darkened tooth enamel
  • Noticeable cracks or loss of tooth structure
  • Throbbing toothache discomfort
  • A pimple on the gums in close proximity to the tooth
  • Bad breath which keeps coming back (despite tooth brushing and use of mouthwash)
  • Drainage (a bad taste in the mouth)
  • Multiple, deep fillings

Amazingly, sometimes a failing tooth exhibits no symptoms whatsoever! That's why, to stay on top of your oral health, you must attend routine examinations and cleanings at our Jacksonville Beach office.

Learn more about endodontics

The American Dental Association says that about 22 million root canals are performed each year in the United States. So, if you need this restorative procedure, you're not alone. Furthermore, you can trust Dr. Harrison and his team for the finest dental care in the Jacksonville Beach area!

If you are experiencing dental symptoms, please don't wait—phone Jax Beach Family & Cosmetic Dentistry for a consultation today! Our number is (904) 241-4237.

By Rick K. Harrison, DMD, PA
May 24, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: root canal  

Have you ever had root canal therapy in Jacksonville Beach, FL? If you have, you know how pain-free and straightforward it is. At Jax Beach Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Rick Harrison and his capable team use this predictable restorative service to bring failing teethRoot Canal back to full function, comfort, and appearance. Learn here about the signs which indicate you may need a root canal treatment.

What can go wrong with a tooth

A tooth is composed of a calcified outer layer called enamel. Under that is a yellow, more porous layer called the dentin. Interior to dentin are chambers which contain blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. This pulp runs through the center of the tooth, and its root canals may become damaged, inflamed and infected due to:

  • Deep cavities
  • Fracture because of accident or extensive restorative work
  • Infection (abscess)

As a result, patients experience many disconcerting symptoms. When Dr. Harrison reviews these symptoms and his findings from oral examination and X-rays, he may advise root canal therapy at his Jacksonville Beach office to remove the interior pulp and protect the tooth with a filling or a beautiful porcelain crown.

Symptoms which say "You need a root canal"

While some patients are unaware that a tooth is compromised, others experience a range of symptoms which vary in intensity. They may include:

  • Harsh, throbbing toothache pain
  • Dental sensitivity to hot, cold, and sugary foods
  • Jaw swelling
  • Drainage from the affected tooth
  • Bad breath (halitosis) which does not respond to mouthwash or toothbrushing
  • A red pimple on the gums
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Cracked tooth enamel
  • Shooting pain when biting or chewing

If you have any of these symptoms, contact Jax Beach Cosmetic & Family Dentistry for an evaluation. The sooner the dentist checks that tooth, the better your chances are of avoiding harmful tooth extraction.

The root canal procedure

Patients visit Dr. Harrison twice to complete a root canal, with each appointment taking about an hour. Normally, only locally injected anesthetic is necessary for complete comfort during the procedure.

After the tooth is numb, Dr. Harrison creates a small access hole into the first root canal. Through this opening, he inserts a series of small metal files which remove the diseased pulp and reshape the canal walls. Also, he instills antibiotics to quell infection, and seals the canal with a rubbery substance called gutta-percha.

When he has completed all canals (there may be up to four in a single tooth), your dentist covers the tooth with a temporary filling and crown. Oral impressions and a detailed care plan tell the dental lab how to create a lifelike porcelain crown.

At the next appointment, the dentist removes the temporary restoration and bonds on the crown. That completes the treatment. The American Association of Endodontists says that most teeth restored with root canal therapy last a lifetime!

Do you need a root canal?

Don't delay. Find out during an evaluation at Jax Beach Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Jacksonville Beach, FL. Call for your appointment at (904) 241-4237.

By Rick K. Harrison, DMD, PA
January 04, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: root canal  
ARootCanalTreatmentcanSaveYourToothandRelievePain

One of the most effective techniques for saving decayed or injured teeth is the root canal treatment. Yet when many people hear they need it, they become nervous at the prospect.

Much of this stems from a common misunderstanding that undergoing a root canal is painful. It’s not — today’s anesthetics are quite effective in numbing pain during a procedure, and mild pain relievers like ibuprofen are usually sufficient to manage any discomfort afterwards.

In fact, a root canal treatment relieves pain caused by decay within a tooth. As decay progresses, it can enter the interior known as the pulp, which contains bundles of nerves and blood vessels. It attacks these nerves causing pain and infection. If the infection progresses through passageways known as root canals that are in the roots of the tooth, the pain can intensify. More important, the tooth is in danger of loss as the root and connective tissues that hold the tooth in place are injured from the spreading infection.

During a root canal treatment, we access the pulp by drilling a small access hole, usually in the biting surface or in the rear of a front tooth. Once we enter the pulp chamber we remove all the contaminated tissue. Once thoroughly cleansed, we fill the empty chamber and canals with a special filling (usually gutta percha) to prevent future infection. The access hole is then sealed and at a subsequent visit we strongly recommend placing a permanent crown to provide further protection from damage to the tooth.

Root canal treatments are quite common. All general dentists have been trained in endodontic treatment and can perform most types of procedures. More difficult cases (like a complex root canal network that may be hard to access) may require the services of an endodontist, a specialist in root canals. Endodontists use advanced techniques and specialized microscopic equipment to treat complicated situations.

It’s actually good news if we recommend you undergo a root canal treatment — it means your tooth has a good chance of survival once it’s disinfected and the decay is removed. But don’t delay: the sooner we can treat your tooth, the better your chances of a healthy outcome.

If you would like more information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Common Concerns about Root Canal Treatment.”