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Posts for tag: root canal

By Barbara Preussner, DMD
April 30, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

If you are dealing with a toothache, it often feels like everything around you has been put on hold because of that nagging, stabbing pain in root canalyour mouth. So, what’s going on exactly? Dr. Barbara Preussner in Holliston, MA can shed some light on why a toothache might mean the presence of decay, and how early treatment may prevent you from needing root canal treatment.

Signs You May Need a Root Canal

Dentists generally use root canals to treat teeth damaged from advanced tooth decay. Catching decay early means that your dentist may be able to use a simple dental filling to treat your condition. Some signs of decay include:

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Sensitivity or pain while biting or chewing
  • A toothache
  • A dark discoloration on the tooth
  • A hole in the tooth

What Can I Expect from a Root Canal Procedure?

By coming in for your regular exams we can catch these issues early on before root canal therapy is necessary. If the decay is too far advanced and the dental pulp is affected, you may need a root canal. A root canal begins with your dentist administering a local anesthetic to numb the area and remove the soft tissues and nerves found within the inner pulp chamber of the affected tooth. After removing the bacterial tissue, your dentist will fill the tooth with a sterile material to prevent reinfection. In most cases, a dental crown is placed over the tooth to protect it.

If you don’t get a root canal when you need one, you risk a jaw infection or losing the tooth altogether. Seeing your dentist regularly for preventative care or noticing the signs of teeth decay early can allow your dentist to take care of your cavity early.

For more information on root canals or to determine whether or not this treatment can help your smile, please contact Dr. Barbara Preussner in Holliston, MA. Call (508) 429-7125 today.


Root canal treatments are an essential part of dental care — countless teeth with deep decay would be lost each year without it. Now, this traditional dental care procedure is advancing to a new level of precision through lasers.

Root canal treatments have a simple goal: access a tooth's infected pulp and root canals, clean out the infected tissue and fill the empty pulp chamber and canals with a special filling. Once filled, the access is sealed and a porcelain crown later placed for additional protection against re-infection.

In the traditional procedure, we perform these steps manually with a dental drill and hand instruments. We may also need to remove a good portion of tooth structure, both healthy and infected tissue. A laser, on the other hand, is a highly focused beam of light with the ability to interact with healthy and infected tissues differently: destroying infected tissue while having no effect on nearby healthy tissue. The end result: we may be able to remove less healthy tissue with lasers than with the conventional procedure.

Lasers are also helpful with softening and precisely molding the filling material within each canal's particular shape. And, early reports seem to indicate a higher degree of comfort for patients (less drill noise and need for anesthesia), less bleeding and faster recovery times than the conventional approach.

But as a tool for root canal treatments, lasers do have a couple of disadvantages. While light travels in a straight line, root canals are rarely straight — conventional instruments with curved designs usually accommodate odd canal shapes better than a laser. Lasers can also raise temperatures within a tooth that can damage healthy tissue, both within the pulp and outward into the dentin.

Still, lasers for root canal treatments appear promising with some dentists using a combination of lasers and manual techniques to garner benefits from both approaches. While you won't see lasers replacing the traditional root canal treatment anytime soon, the future looks bright for more efficient ways to treat deep tooth decay.

If you would like more information on your options for root canal therapy, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.