Dear Valued Patient:

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and stay safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

- Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You'll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.

- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.

- You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children's toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.

- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you're offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

- We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 704-364-9000. 

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,

Dr. Porter and Team

root canal

Root Canal

When decay reaches the pulp (inner tissue) of a tooth, infection and a host of painful symptoms can result, eventually causing tooth loss.

A root canal is the complete removal of the pulp. This relieves pain, eliminates infection, and preserves the exterior tooth structure.

But a root canal is painful, right?

root canal

A Root Canal Is Virtually Painless, Prevents Tooth Loss, and Protects Your Oral Health.

Gentle Techniques. Comfortable Treatment.

A root canal is no more uncomfortable than receiving a filling, thanks to local anesthesia and modern techniques. Meanwhile, it can stop the considerable pain of a tooth infection.

Root canal therapy eliminates the need for extraction.

By removing infected tissue, the healthy exterior can continue to contribute to chewing and other functions. The remaining tooth structure is usually restored with a crown.

Prompt treatment helps you avoid serious oral health issues.

A dental infection can affect surrounding teeth and gum tissue. It can also cause deterioration of the jawbone. 

Root Canal

Do I Need a Root Canal?

Contact a dentist immediately if you are experiencing:

  • A toothache
  • Sudden sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Swelling in your gums or face
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • A sudden but persistent bad taste in your mouth 

With prompt attention, an infected tooth can often be saved with a root canal.

The only alternative is tooth extraction, which would be excessive in many cases. Meanwhile, extraction alone will eventually result in bone atrophy at the extraction site. This can be prevented with a solution such as a dental implant, but this treatment is far costlier and more complex than a root canal.

Deciding If a Tooth Can Be Saved

Healthy Outer Tissue

In order for a root canal to be successful, the outer tissue (enamel and dentin) must be able to at least support a crown. Too much decay or structural damage (such as a crack that extends below the gums) usually makes extraction the better choice.

Wisdom Teeth

To put it simply, you don't need your wisdom teeth. In fact, due to their hard-to-brush location and tendency to erupt in ways that harm the jaw and surrounding teeth, dentists often recommend extracting them before they fully develop. If it is time to do something about an infected wisdom tooth, your dentist will probably recommend extraction.

Seven Basic Steps

Step One

The dentist applies local anesthesia.

Step Two

An access point is created in the tooth.

Step Three

All tissue is removed from the pulp chamber and root canals.

Step Four

The inside of the tooth is disinfected. ​If the remaining tissue cannot support a crown, a post is inserted into one of the root canals for reinforcement.

Step Five

The tooth is filled with a rubber-like substance.

Step Six

The tooth is sealed.

Step Seven

A crown is placed to restore the tooth, if needed.

Most Side Effects Only Last a Few Days

When the anesthetic wears off, there may be some tenderness at the treatment site for up to a few days. Your jaw may also feel sore due to keeping your mouth open for a long period during treatment. In many cases, over-the-counter meds can keep this discomfort under control

Improved Comfort, Health, and Appearance

Once the short recovery period is over, your smile will be healthier and more comfortable than before. Thanks to modern restorative techniques, your tooth will look healthy and natural. If you receive a dental crown as part of your root canal treatment, you can expect it to last at least five to 15 years with proper care.

Maintaining your oral health after a root canal is easy – just continue to brush twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist every six months.

Root canal treatment process Root canal treatment process

It Depends on Many Variables

On average, a root canal procedure costs $762 to $1,111 per tooth. 

However, the exact amount will vary depending on which tooth needs treatment and a number of other factors. 

Model of tooth with infected root canal

Type of Tooth, Preparation, and Restoration

Number of Roots

Front teeth cost less to treat because they have only one root, while a molar can have as many as three. More roots equal more treatment, which will result in a higher cost.

X-rays and Anesthesia

Your dentist will first need to assess your tooth with an x-ray, which carries an additional cost. Immediately before the procedure, your dentist will provide local anesthesia. If you choose to receive sedation as well, you can expect to pay more.

Follow-up Care

After the procedure, you will need to visit the dentist for follow-up appointments. You will also likely need a dental crown to repair and protect the tooth, although a dental filling may be sufficient in certain cases. 

Meet with Your Dentist

If you are experiencing any symptoms of a tooth infection, it is time to meet with a dentist. Remember also that in some cases, the condition presents no obvious signs. Attending regular six-month checkups can reveal dental infection regardless of symptoms. Whether you are experiencing pain or simply need to establish ongoing dental care, you have everything to gain by scheduling an appointment with a dentist today.

Dr. Porter

Charles A. Porter III, DDS

Dr. Porter implements the latest developments and highest standards in dentistry. He is a member of several prestigious organizations, including the:

  • American Dental Association
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • North Carolina Dental Society 

To schedule your consultation, contact our Charlotte office online or call us at (704) 364-9000.

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Charlotte Office

135 S Sharon Amity Rd
Ste 200
Charlotte, NC 28211

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