What Are Root Canals Like?

Root canals Ann Arbor MI dentists

To start, the root canal procedure is not nearly as bad as you might think. That’s because over the years, root canals have garnered a certain reputation and many patients fear them. Fortunately, the process is much smoother than it once was and our Ann Arbor, MI, dentists are able to make sure you remain as comfortable as possible.

Here’s the reasoning behind why root canals are needed and what you can expect if you’re due for one.

Confronting the Myths: Root Canal Edition

To help set the record straight about root canal therapy, it’s important to take a look at a few common misconceptions.

First off, every instance of a toothache does not mean a root canal is in your future. Our dentists will only perform the root canal procedure if the inside portion of your tooth, the pulp, is infected. On the other hand, not every infected tooth causes pain so it’s a good idea to visit our Ann Arbor dental office regularly for a checkup.

Root canal therapy is also not insanely painful to undergo. Thanks to modern dental technology, treating an infected tooth is similar to having a cavity filled. The procedure itself is very common and recovering fully only takes a few days with minimal discomfort. Most of the time all a patient needs is over-the-counter pain medication.

Lastly, many people think it would just be better to remove the infected tooth. This is not true. Saving a natural tooth is always preferred when possible. Our dentists will not resort to tooth extraction unless the damage done is beyond repair. Prematurely removing a tooth without a dedicated plan involving restoration like a dental implant can lead to crowding and possibly, further tooth loss.

What is the Purpose of the Root Canal Procedure?

The core purpose of root canal therapy is threefold. First, it’s designed to get rid of existing bacteria located within a tooth’s root canal. Once the tooth is cleaned out, the goal is to now prevent any future infection and thirdly, to save the tooth.

Above all else, our dentists performing a root canal procedure means less pain for you and healthy teeth. It’s not something to be afraid of, it’s a good thing intended to keep your smile in good condition!

What You Can Expect 

Before the tooth is treated, our dentists will apply a local anesthesia to properly numb the surrounding area. Many times the nerve inside the tooth is dead which limits feeling, but anesthesia is applied nonetheless for a more relaxing experience. A rubber dam will also be placed around the tooth at this time to keep saliva out and everything dry.

Next, a hole is drilled into the tooth. Through this hole, our dentists will remove the infected pulp and bacteria from inside the tooth’s root canal. Files designed for the root canal are used within the tooth to scrub the sides and clean out any remaining debris. Water or another cleaning solution is also used periodically during this stage.

Our dentists will then seal the tooth with a material called gutta-percha, a rubber compound and sealer paste. A tooth-colored filling is then placed over the exterior access hole that was drilled at the start of the procedure. If necessary, a dental crown may also be placed over the tooth for extra protection and strength.

Make an Appointment 

Don’t let fear get in the way of your oral health. Our dentists in Ann Arbor, MI, assure you that the root canal process is not that dissimilar experience-wise from a standard filling. Call Liberty Dental today at (734) 994-0909 today to request an appointment.