More than 15 million root canal treatments are performed each year in the United States, helping men, women, and even teens preserve their teeth and avoid extraction. Even though they’re relatively common, a lot of people don’t know how root canals work to save teeth and prevent additional tooth problems.
At Dr. Taylor’s Family Dental Center, Marvin Taylor, DDS and our team of dentists offer state-of-the-art root canals designed to help patients in Waterford, Michigan, avoid teeth extractions and enjoy healthier, more beautiful smiles.
Here’s how a root canal can help save your tooth.
When we think of our teeth, we tend to think of the hard outer shell — the part we see. But that’s just part of a tooth’s structure.
Inside the tooth is a channel, or “canal,” extending all the way down to the root. The canal contains the tooth pulp, which is where your tooth nerves and blood supply are located.
The tooth pulp is protected by your tooth’s hard outer shell. But sometimes the pulp can get damaged or infected by deep decay.
There was a time when pulp damage meant one thing: tooth extraction. But today a root canal is the preferred treatment for almost all types of pulp damage.
In a root canal, we use special tools and techniques to access the central pulp portion, removing the decayed pulp and gently cleaning the canal.
The canal walls are sealed to prevent additional decay, and the center of the tooth is filled with a special material designed to protect the tooth and help strengthen it.
Once the filling cures, we cover the tooth with a crown. The crown provides an extra layer of protection to prevent future damage. It can be colored to match your surrounding teeth so your smile looks picture perfect.
In some cases, we may first apply a medicated filling to destroy deep infection. Then you’ll come back for a second visit to replace the medicated filling with normal filling material before applying your crown.
Losing a tooth has many side effects. First and probably most obvious is the way it affects your smile.
Even if the tooth is located toward the back of your mouth, it can still be noticed, especially when you laugh or yawn. Missing teeth can make you look older and less cared for — and even one missing tooth can take a big toll on your self-confidence.
In addition to maintaining your smile and your confidence, preserving your tooth can also help you maintain your normal bite balance. When a tooth is lost, it alters the way you bite and chew, and that can mean jaw pain, headaches, and nighttime grinding. An altered bite pattern increases wear-and-tear on your teeth, making it more likely they’ll break or chip.
Dentures and bridges can help, but they have a breaking in period and require special care to keep your gums and other teeth healthy. With your natural tooth, there’s no adjustment period, and you can continue to brush and floss as usual.
If you have tooth pain, swelling, or other unusual tooth or gum symptoms, don’t ignore them. That’s a sign something’s not right and you need dental care to prevent more serious problems.
Our team offers comprehensive dental care along with advanced pain management techniques so you can get the care you need without anxiety.
To schedule your root canal, call our office at 248-681-8100 or use our online form to book today.