By Franklin L. Gordon, Jr., D.D.S., M.S., M.S.
September 29, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tooth pain   root canal  

Why would a damaged tooth require root canal therapy? Why not just extract the tooth? Well, even a sickly tooth deserves a second tooth achechance, particularly when you think about the disadvantages of losing a tooth. Dr. Frank Gordon, experienced endodontist in Flint, MI, performs root canals that are comfortable, quick and effective. He can tell you if your tooth is a candidate for this reliable procedure.

Just what is a root canal?

Actually, a root canal is located inside your tooth and contains soft, innervated pulp. In addition, it holds important blood vessels and connective tissue that anchor and develop your tooth during adolescence. In adulthood, your tooth does not need this interior pulp to stay strong and functional. There can be up to four root canals in a large tooth such as a molar.

Also, a root canal is the nickname for the procedure that cleans and seals these interior chambers after injury, extensive decay or a dental abscess occurs. Endodontists and other dentists perform about 15 million root canal treatments annually in the US, says the American Association of Endodontists, and the majority succeed.

Rather than causing discomfort, root canals relieve it and the other symptoms (swelling, drainage, red gums, bad breath) associated with a dental abscess or fracture. Plus, you keep your tooth, avoiding costly replacements or the gum and bone deterioration that happen with tooth loss.

Can you get a root canal in Flint?

If you are in good health, you probably can. Much depends on what damage was done to your tooth and underlying bone. To determine if your tooth is a candidate, Dr. Gordon will examine your tooth and take digital X-rays to look at the roots and bone. If he feels the tooth would be viable, he'll recommend root canal therapy. Typically, the procedure takes two visits, and most patients need only local anesthesia.

How does the procedure go?

Don't worry. Root canal therapy is painless and straightforward. After ensuring your tooth is numb and installing a protective dam around it, Dr. Gordon drills a hole into the first root canal. Using tiny files, he removes the pulp and smooths the walls of the canal. After placing antimicrobial medication, he fills the chamber with a sealant called gutta-percha. This material supports and protects the tooth from the inside.

After all canals are treated, the dentist covers the tooth with a temporary filling or crown. You go home to heal, eating a soft diet for a day or two. In about a week, you return to Dr. Gordon's office where he removes the temporary restoration and installs a custom-made porcelain crown. With that, the root canal is finished, and that tooth will function for years to come.

Concerned about a tooth?

Please contact Dr. Gordon's office in Flint, MI for an appointment. You may need a root canal or other restorative treatment to keep your smile intact and healthy. Call (810) 230-0990.

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