Family Dentistry

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Root Canals

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Information and education are the keys to good health. Just as we believe in continuing education for ourselves, we recommend that our patients learn about their dental health. We are always happy to discuss your care with you, and we will never perform a procedure until you’ve been informed about the procedure we are treating and have given us your approval to proceed.

If you have a question, take a look at this selection of questions we are often asked about our practice, the services we offer, and dentistry in general. If your question isn’t answered here or if you need more information, you are always welcome to give us a call or send us an email using our convenient online form.

Root Canals

Image of the inside of a toothIf you know what the anatomy of your tooth is like, you may be better able to understand how root canal therapy works.

Gum tissue and bone hold the tooth in place, fitting snugly around the tooth’s roots and “neck.” The crown of the tooth is the part that is visible above the gum line.

The crown’s outer part is called the enamel. The enamel is the hard surface that comes in contact with food and other teeth. The next layer inward is known as dentin. Within that layer lies the pulp, which is the soft inner part of the tooth made up of blood vessels and nerve material.

The roots anchor the tooth in the bone. The nerve material occupies the tooth’s chamber and the inside of the roots and extends beyond the tips of the roots into the bone. This nerve material is what transfers sensory information from the tooth to the bone of the jaw.

During a root canal, the infected pulp and nerve material is removed from the inside of the tooth. The resulting cavity is meticulously cleaned and disinfected, and then the cavity is filled with a rubber like dental material. The tooth is then finished with a crown or other restoration method.

Royal Oak Dentist | What Happens During Root Canal Each of your teeth contains a soft inner part called the pulp. The pulp contains nerve tissue and blood vessels. Stimulation of the pulp is what causes you to feel sensation in the tooth such as pressure, heat and cold.

A root canal is the process of removing the infected pulp and affected nerve tissue from the inside of the tooth.

The process of having a root canal done on your tooth starts with a thorough examination by your dentist. Only a dentist or endodontist can determine the need for a root canal.

Before your procedure, Dr. Chalasani will numb the area around the affected tooth with a local anesthetic. When you are completely comfortable, the pulp material is removed from the tooth using the latest endodontic methods. The tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and all traces of disease will be eradicated.

Your tooth’s cavity is then filled with a special rubber-like dental material, and the tooth is finished with a lifelike-looking crown. Your restored tooth will blend in perfectly with the rest of your natural teeth. The root canal procedure will also make your tooth strong and functional again. In many cases, root canal therapy can prevent the spread of infection and could even help prevent tooth loss.

root canal treatment royal oak mnA root canal may be necessary when the soft inner part of the tooth – called the pulp – becomes infected. Infection can occur for a number of reasons; including injury to the tooth or advanced decay, or another circumstance in which bacteria is able to access the pulp.

If your tooth is infected, you may be experiencing some common symptoms. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain upon putting biting pressure on the tooth
  • Discoloration of the tooth
  • A recurring pimple on the gum line
  • Throbbing pain

These symptoms may be indications that you need a root canal; however, in some cases of infection, there may be no obvious symptoms.

There may be signs that only an experienced dental professional like Dr. Chalasani can identify using x-rays or during your examination. Only your dentist can definitively say whether or not you need a root canal.

If it is determined that your tooth is infected, it is important that the infection is treated. Otherwise, you could develop a painful abscess.

An abscess occurs when pus collects at the root of the tooth, or in-between the tooth and gum. A root canal may allow you to save a natural tooth that would otherwise need extraction.

If you suspect that you may need a root canal, schedule an appointment with Dr. Chalasani today.

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