ROOT CANALS - Spring Hill, TN

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Root Canals Protect Your Oral Health

Toothaches can be agonizing, making it hard to eat, sleep, and function normally. But before you reach for the pliers, consider root canal therapy. While the name sounds intense, root canals are a safe, effective way to save severely damaged or infected teeth.

At Dentistry By Design in Spring Hill, TN, Dr. Richard Robinette takes a gentle, patient-centered approach to root canal treatment. Call our office today at (931) 391-3089 to explore root canal therapy and schedule your consultation.

root canal graphic

What Is Root Canal Therapy?

A root canal removes damaged tissue from inside a tooth and seals it to prevent further infection. The “canals” are the inner pulp-filled areas that run from the tooth’s root to its crown. Decay, cracks, faulty dental work, and trauma can all damage the pulp and spread infection to the root and bone. If left untreated, an infected tooth will continue to cause severe pain and require extraction.

During a root canal, Dr. Robinette will create an access hole through the top of the tooth to reach the infected pulp in the root canals. He’ll then remove all the pulp, clean and shape the canals, and seal them with a rubber-like material. Finally, he’ll place a permanent dental crown over the tooth to protect and strengthen it. While the process sounds intensive, modern techniques make root canals quick and comfortable.

tooth graphic

Benefits of Root Canal Therapy

Saving Your Natural Tooth

The biggest benefit of a root canal is preserving your natural tooth structure and function. Since the tooth remains intact, you can continue chewing normally. Extracting an infected tooth often requires implant-supported crowns or bridges to replace it. A root canal is typically much less expensive than extraction and replacement.

Relieving Pain

If you have a severe toothache from infection, a root canal will provide immense pain relief by removing the infected tissue. Once healed, the tooth should not cause you any more discomfort.

Minimally Invasive

Today’s advanced dental equipment allows Dr. Robinette to perform root canals through a small access hole. There’s no need for large incisions or sutures. The procedure is minimally invasive, so you’ll experience minimal discomfort.

Improved Appearance

A natural tooth restored with a crown will look and feel completely normal. In contrast, gaps from extractions can cause surrounding teeth to shift. This may lead to bite problems and impact your smile. For optimal appearance and dental health, natural teeth are best.

Long-Term Success

With proper care, a root canal and crown can last a lifetime. Dr. Robinette has over 20 years of experience performing successful root canals on patients of all ages. While every patient is different, root canal therapy has an excellent long-term prognosis.

dental patient smiling outside after procedure

When Are Root Canals Necessary?

Root canals are usually the best treatment option for the following situations:

The Root Canal Therapy Process at Dentistry By Design

Preliminary Exam

In the first appointment, Dr. Robinette will examine the tooth, take X-rays, and discuss your symptoms. He’ll then explain the root canal procedure and make sure it’s the right treatment for you. If so, he can start the root canal immediately.

Numbing and Isolation

Your tooth will be thoroughly numbed before treatment begins. Dr. Robinette will also place a rubber dam around the tooth to isolate it from saliva. This keeps the area clean and dry during the procedure.

Accessing the Pulp

A small hole will be created through your tooth’s enamel and dentin layers to reach the pulp in the center. Dr. Robinette will remove any decay to clear a path to the canals.

Cleaning and Shaping

Tiny dental instruments will remove inflamed or infected pulp from the entire root canal system. Dr. Robinette will then shape and clean each canal using medicated irrigation solutions.


Powerful disinfectants kill any lingering bacteria inside the root canals. A temporary filling or crown will be placed to keep the tooth sealed.

Permanent Restoration

If necessary, we’ll schedule a second appointment to place a permanent crown or filling. The access hole will be sealed, and the tooth will be restored to full function and aesthetics.

Dr. Robinette will provide pain management and post-op care instructions before you leave the office. While a bit sore initially, you’ll soon be able to use the tooth normally without pain.

Candidates for Root Canal Therapy

Root canals are safe and effective for patients of all ages, including:

No matter your age, root canals are vastly preferable to extractions whenever possible. Dr. Robinette will determine if you’re a good candidate based on exam findings, dental history, and tooth restorability. He’ll be upfront if extraction is the only reasonable option.

Root Canal Aftercare

Crown Placement

After root canal treatment, Dr. Robinette will recommend placing a permanent crown on your tooth. The crown strengthens the tooth, seals it from bacteria, and prevents fracture or reinfection. It will match your natural teeth.

Good Oral Hygiene

Practice meticulous brushing and flossing to keep your root canal tooth and surrounding gums healthy. See your dentist for cleanings and exams twice yearly. Avoid chewing hard foods like ice on root canal-treated teeth.

Sensitivity and Discomfort

It’s normal to experience mild sensitivity after a root canal, especially to hot and cold. This should be resolved within a few weeks. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help relieve post-op discomfort.

Call Our Spring Hill Dental Office with Concerns

Contact Dentistry By Design if pain worsens or persists beyond a few days or if you experience swelling, chipping, cracks, or other problems with the tooth. Prompt follow-up care can prevent complications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a root canal fail?

Root canal failure is uncommon with today’s advances in techniques and dental materials. However, new infection can develop if the tooth cracks or the crown leaks. This may require root canal retreatment or extraction if severe. Proper restoration and oral hygiene help prevent failure.

How can I prevent needing a root canal?

Good oral hygiene, avoiding teeth grinding, prompt treatment of cavities, and avoiding trauma will all help prevent pulp damage and infection. See your dentist twice yearly for exams and cleanings. Wear a custom night guard if you grind your teeth.

Are there alternatives to root canals?

The only alternative to a root canal for an infected tooth is extraction. However, this should be avoided whenever possible to prevent dental issues associated with missing teeth. Root canals allow teeth to be saved and function normally.

Does a root canal hurt?

Modern techniques make root canals comfortable. The tooth will be completely numbed with local anesthetics during treatment. Some mild soreness may linger for a few days afterward, managed with over-the-counter medication.

Save Your Tooth at Dentistry By Design

Root canal therapy helps patients of all ages preserve their natural smiles. If you’re dealing with tooth pain, Dr. Richard Robinette can provide experienced care. Contact Dentistry By Design in Spring Hill, TN, at (931) 391-3089 to schedule your consultation.

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