Root Canal Treatment | Dentists in Waterford MI
What is a root canal?
A root canal restores a tooth that has been injured or is decayed. It’s the best alternative to losing a tooth, which can cause many problems in the future. Some common reasons for a root canal include: trauma resulting in a tooth fracture, a deep cavity that exposes the pulp to saliva, or an abscess which is a decay-infected tooth.
When the pulp inside the root canal of a tooth is diseased or injured, it dies. If it’s not removed, surrounding tissues can become infected. Pus can build up at the tip of the root and form an abscess that can spread into the bone surrounding the tooth. Without a root canal, eventually the tooth would have to be removed.
A root canal can take several visits to complete. If you’ve had an infection or abscess in the tooth, your dentist may have you start antibiotics before performing the root canal.
The Root Canal Process
At the beginning of your appointment you’ll be given a local anesthetic to numb the affected tooth. Your dentist will then place a rubber dam over your mouth to keep the tooth dry and isolated from saliva. It will also keep chemical solutions used for disinfecting your tooth from entering your mouth. Next, a small hole will be drilled into the tooth so the dentist has access to the pulp chamber and the nerve. Tiny files and a rotary instrument will then be used to remove the nerve and affected tissue. After that, the root canal is cleaned, enlarged and shaped to a form that can be filled properly and the tooth is dried. Before the end of the visit medication may be put in the pulp chamber and root canal to help eliminate bacteria and prevent infection between appointments. A temporary filing is usually put in the tooth. If you have a severely infected tooth, you may be given antibiotics to keep the infection from spreading and your tooth may be left open for a few days to drain.
At the next stage of treatment, the temporary filling is removed and the pulp chamber and tooth canal are filled permanently. A gold or porcelain crown (depending on where tooth is located) is then placed over the tooth to restore structure, function and appearance.
Your restored tooth could last a lifetime, if you care for your teeth and gums. As long as the root of the tooth is properly nourished by the surrounding tissues, it will remain healthy.