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Root Canal Treatment Can
Prevent the Need for Extraction

If you are experiencing pain while chewing or increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, you may be suffering from an infection of the root canals. Root canal therapy can be performed to remove the infected pulp at the center of the tooth, often preventing the need for extraction. Voted one of America's Top Dentists, Dr. Montgomery Heathman has over 18 years of experience protecting the health of his patients' smiles. Using advanced rotary endodontic instruments rather than traditional techniques, the team at Heathman Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, in Little Rock, AR, can provide gentler, more accurate treatment to save damaged teeth.

Dental x-ray showing infected tooth in red

X-rays can be used to screen for dental infections which are not yet producing any noticeable symptoms. 

What is Root Canal Therapy? 

Rotary endodontic instruments allow Dr. Heathman to navigate the root canals with greater ease and precision, producing a more efficient and pleasant experience for the patient.

Left untreated, an infected tooth can harm surrounding teeth and even the underlying bone. Root canal therapy is typically the only way to salvage a tooth that would otherwise need to be removed.

Treatment is typically completed in two appointments and consists of several steps: 

Treatment Planning
To begin, Dr. Heathman will take a digital x-ray of the tooth. This provides detailed information on the size and shape of the root canals.
Ensuring Your Comfort
Next he will administer a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding tissue. Patients with dental anxiety may also benefit from oral medication or nitrous oxide.
Accessing the Root Canals
Dr. Heathman will then create a small opening at the top of the tooth to access the root canals. Through this opening, he can remove the infected pulp.
Disinfecting the Area
The root canals and the inner chamber of the tooth will then be cleaned. Once the tooth has been fully disinfected, it will be filled with a rubber-like filling known as gutta-percha. At this time, we will take an impression of the tooth to create a custom dental crown and place a temporary filling.
Protecting the Tooth
After about two weeks, you will return to our office to have your crown placed. This will protect the treated tooth and guard against reinfection.

Root canal treatment has a reputation for being intimidating and uncomfortable, however, Dr. Heathman uses rotary endodontic instruments. This advanced electric handpiece allows him to navigate the root canals with greater ease and precision than manual files, producing a more efficient and pleasant experience for the patient.

Signs You May Require Treatment

The pulp within the root canals may become infected when you suffer from deep decay or experience trauma to the tooth, such as a crack or chip. Common signs you may be experiencing a root canal infection include: 

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold foods
  • Swelling near the gums
  • Tenderness while chewing 
  • Discoloration of the tooth 

It is important to understand that some patients may not experience any noticeable symptoms. This is why it is critically important to attend regular exams with our team, which include digital x-rays to check for signs of infection. 

After Your Procedure

Patients should be able to return to normal activities the day after the root canal procedure. You can expect minor discomfort and sensitivity which can typically be managed with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. It is especially important that you attend twice-yearly professional cleanings and practice good oral hygiene to help prevent future decay. 

Your Health is Our Priority

At Heathman Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we strive to help you maintain optimal oral health for life. If you are experiencing symptoms of a root canal infection, contact us online or by phone at (501) 223-3838 to schedule an examination. 

Contact Us

"Dr. Heathman has always done great work on me! He makes sure his patients are well taken care of! Highly recommended."

-Sara Meeks
Little Rock, AR