What's a Root Canal and When Is It Needed?
March 11, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Do you know what really happens during a root canal? Despite the jokes about root canals, this tooth-saving procedure isn't a painful root Canalordeal. Your St. Clair Shores, MI, dentist, Dr. Sam Malouf, offers root canals and other services and procedures that help you maintain good dental health at Malouf Family Dentistry.

Why are roots canals needed?

Root canals are recommended if you have an inflammation or infection in your tooth's pulp. The pulp consists of tissues, nerves and blood vessels in the center of the tooth. Signs of inflammation or infection may include:

  • Tooth Pain: Intermittent or constant pain in a tooth can be a warning sign. Pain may increase when you chew or press on the tooth. Does your tooth ache or throb after eating certain foods? Eating or drinking hot, cold or sugary foods and beverages can irritate your tooth and worsen pain.
  • Discoloration: Changing tooth color is never a good sign and should always be investigated.
  • Red Gum: The gum surrounding the tooth may become red and swollen.
  • Abscess Symptoms: Abscesses can cause severe pain that radiates to your jaw and ear, fever, swollen lymph nodes, pus or a bump on your gum, and facial swelling. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your St. Clair Shores dentist immediately.

Root canals may also be needed if the tooth is damaged, or loosened by a blow to the face.

How are root canals performed?

Before your root canal begins, you'll be given a local anesthetic to ensure that the procedure is pain-free. Your dentist will remove the infected pulp. After the pulp is removed, he'll clean the interior of the tooth and use tiny files to shape the root canals that extend from the top of the tooth into the roots.

You'll probably go home with temporary filling in order to allow time for the tooth to heal. In a week or two, you'll return to the office and receive the permanent filling. Gutta percha, a durable material made from the sap of gum trees, is often used to fill teeth after root canal procedures. Your dentist may also recommend covering the tooth with a dental crown to strengthen and protect it.

Root canals help you keep your smile intact. If you're concerned about a tooth, schedule an appointment with your St. Clair Shores, MI, dentist, Dr. Sam Malouf of Malouf Family Dentistry, by calling (586) 772-9020. Also serving the St. Clair Shores, Grosse Pointe, Harper Woods, Eastpointe, Roseville, Warren, Fraser, Mt. Clemens, Clinton Township, Harrison Township, and neighboring areas.