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What to Expect During Root Canal Therapy

Root Canal Therapy Dentist Grand Rapids

Root Canal Therapy Dentist Grand Rapids

Root canal therapy is one of the last things we can do to save an abscessed tooth.

Your dental pulp resides in the innermost chamber of your tooth and is made of living tissue. Once a cavity is deep enough to penetrate your dental pulp, you may need root canal therapy to save your smile.

Who Needs Root Canal Therapy?

If you’re suffering from a toothache, don’t ignore it. Tooth pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Ignoring a toothache for too long can turn a minor cavity into a dental emergency, requiring root canal therapy to save your tooth.

You may need root canal therapy if you have:

  • Severe toothache
  • Prolonged tooth sensitivity to cold or heat
  • Tooth darkening
  • Swollen, tender gums
  • Dental abscess (looks like a pimple on the gums)

Four Steps of a Root Canal Procedure

1. Getting Dental X-rays

First, our root canal dentists will need to take X-rays of your teeth to determine how deep your cavity runs and whether the infection has spread to surrounding bone tissue. While your teeth may appear perfectly healthy on the surface, the inside of your tooth may tell a different story.

The X-rays will also reveal the shape of your root canals. This will help our dentists prepare for the procedure.

2. Prepping Your Tooth

Next, our dentists will give you a local anesthetic so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. To keep the area around the infected tooth dry and clean, we may place a special rubber sheet around your tooth.

Root canals have a historical reputation of being painful procedures, but with today’s modern technology, most patients don’t feel hardly any pain at all. In fact, most people say the sensation is similar to getting a common tooth filling.

3. Removing the Infected Pulp

To remove the infected pulp, we will drill an access hole through the top of your tooth. Next, we’ll use small files of increasing size to remove the infected pulp. Every so often, we may flush out the inside of your tooth with water or sodium hypochlorite.

4. Restoring Your Tooth

Once the inside of your tooth is clean, our dentists will seal it. Depending on your circumstances, this can be done the same day or during a later visit to our office.

If we decide to seal your tooth at a later date, we will place a temporary filling to prevent saliva and food particles from getting inside of your tooth. When you come back, we’ll remove the temporary filling and fill the inside of your tooth with a permanent filling.

Teeth are often fragile after a root canal and filling. Our dentists may decide you need a dental crown to restore your tooth to its natural appearance and strength.

Save Your Smile With Root Canal Therapy

Our Grand Rapids, MI, restorative dentists use root canal therapy to save patients’ smiles from serious infections. Call Contemporary Family Dental today at (616) 209-3969, or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

This blog post has been updated.