By Sean Stannard, DDS
October 06, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canal  

A root canal- the stereotypical bogeyman of painful dental procedures. Actually, despite the cliché, root canals aren’t usually any worse than filling a typical cavity- and the pain of needing a root canal is often much worse than actually having it done. A root canal isRoot Canal definitive treatment for an infection in the interior, soft, sensitive “pulp” tissue of a tooth. Getting the proper treatment for this condition can prevent serious complications from advancement of the infection, including deep abscesses or the need for advanced tooth replacement interventions.

What Actually Happens During a Root Canal?
A tooth has several layers- the hard, protective enamel on the outside, firm supportive dentin underneath, and the living, soft pulp tissue containing blood supply and nerve cells. The enamel can be damaged, either through trauma - chipping a tooth on food, a sports accident, etc, or by decay leading to a cavity. When this barrier is broken, germs can be introduced to the interior pulp and start an infection. To clean out the infection and repair the damage, a root canal is needed. First, a local anesthetic is given to numb the area. Next, a small hole is made in the tooth to allow access to the pulp. The infected and dead tissue is removed from the pulp chamber and root canals, and the areas are cleaned and disinfected, and refilled with a type of bio-compatible plastic and adhesive to form-fit the tooth. Then, the enamel is filled and repaired, as in a usual filling procedure. Depending on the amount of enamel damage, a crown may be necessary. If the infection was severe enough, antibiotics may be necessary to prevent re-occurrence of infection.

Do I Need a Root Canal?
In the Waterford, Michigan area, the best way to determine if a root canal procedure is necessary to relieve your symptoms is to consult the experts at Stannard & Studt & Wolf Dentistry. If you have severe tooth pain on biting or chewing, gum pain and swelling, unrelenting pressure and pain orally, or pain that lingers after you are done eating, call today at (248) 673-7300.




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