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How do you know if you might need a root canal treatment? If you are experiencing a persistent toothache, have tooth pain when hot or cold food or drinks touch a tooth, or if your tooth hurts when you bite down or chew your food, these can all be indications that your tooth may be inflamed or infected.  This can occur when the inside of your tooth – the pulp which contains the roots and nerves– has experienced severe decay. And this is important, while most people think root canals are a painful procedure, they actually relieve the patient of pain. The procedure is very similar to receiving a dental filling and can be done in one or two visits.

A root canal may be performed by your dentist or endodontist. A root canal is the procedure which is done to remove the tooth pulp. Underneath your tooth enamel lies a layer of hard material called dentin. Beneath that lies your tooth pulp, which consists of nerves, connective tissue and blood vessels that nourish a growing tooth. When you are growing a tooth you need the pulp to supply blood and nourishment to the tooth to keep it healthy. Once your permanent teeth have grown in, you no longer need the tooth pulp, because the surrounding tissues nourish the tooth. So when it becomes infected, it can be safely removed without harming your smile.

During a root canal procedure, the infected pulp will be removed. Our dentist will then clean and disinfect the area to prepare it for the placement of gutta-percha. This is a material which is similar to rubber consistency, and will seal and protect the hole left behind after the pulp is cleaned out. The last step in the process will be placing a dental filling material over the gutta-percha. If the area is too big, or if too much of the tooth required removal, a crown may be placed instead.

And there you have it. At Root Canal Specialists, PC, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Stephen T. McInerney if you are having any issues with your smile, or to schedule your next visit. Please call 248-540-9191 today!