Dental pulp is the soft area in the center of a tooth where the veins, nerves, and connective tissues are located.

Causes of Tooth Infection

A tooth’s pulp can become irritated or infected as a result of:

  • Deep decay
  • Repeated dental procedures on the tooth
  • Large dental fillings
  • A chip or crack
  • Trauma to the face

Root Canal in Shelby Township

If the dental pulp becomes infected or diseased, Drs. McKinley and Holloway may recommend a root canal to restore the tooth. Root canal therapy is the procedure by which our dentists remove the infected dental pulp from a tooth, then clean and seal it. There are not always symptoms, but if you experience any of the following, root canal therapy may be necessary:

  • Severe toothache
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Discoloration of a tooth
  • Swelling and pain in the gums
  • A recurring pimple on the gums

When dental pulp becomes diseased, bacteria forms and multiplies in the pulp chamber, which can cause an infection. A pus-filled pocked called an abscess may also form at the end of the tooth roots. Bone loss may occur around the tip of the tooth’s roots if infected dental pulp is not removed.

By removing the injured and infected tissue, our dentists can save your tooth and prevent the need for an extraction. This allows you to retain your original tooth, promoting better long-term oral health and helping you avoid the need for more extensive and costly restorative procedures to replace the tooth. Following the root canal procedure, our dentists will cap the tooth with a dental crown to complete the treatment and protect the tooth.

While root canals have a reputation for being painful and uncomfortable, advances in sedation and in treatment techniques have made them much more comfortable. Our dentists will also take every possible step to minimize discomfort and make your treatment as pain-free as possible.

To schedule an appointment with our dentists and learn more about root canal therapy in Shelby Township, Michigan, call us today at 586-685-0880.

Dr. Brittany Holloway received the American Association of Endodontics award as she graduated from dental school. This ward tis presented to the graduating student who has demonstrated outstanding interest and exceptional ability in the field of endodontics.

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Root Canal Treatment FAQs

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a type of endodontic treatment performed with injury, infection and decay reach the inner tissues of the tooth. This treatment involves cleaning out the infected pulp tissue, sterilizing the canals of the tooth roots, and filling them with medicated material before sealing the capping the tooth with a crown.

Does a root canal hurt?

Thanks to advances in dentistry, root canals can now be performed with minimal or no discomfort. Our dentists are highly trained in the latest treatment techniques, and provide sedation dentistry options to help you feel comfortable during your procedure.

Does a root canal take multiple appointments to complete?

Not usually. The majority of root canals can be completed in just one or two visits.

How can a root canal save my tooth?

By removing the inflamed and infected dental pulp from your tooth and carefully cleaning and sterilizing it, our dentists can restore the full function of your tooth. This means that you can retain your original tooth and continue using it without worry. A crown or other restoration will be placed atop the treated tooth to ensure that it can function without discomfort for many years.

If I receive a root canal will my tooth need to be removed?

No. If your tooth is properly restored, you maintain good oral hygiene and you continue to visit our dentists regularly, your natural tooth can last for the rest of your life. Your tooth would only need to be removed if it became re-infected or was damaged beyond a point where restoration was possible.

What are the alternatives to a root canal?

The only alternative to a roto canal is an extraction. We try to avoid extractions unless the tooth is beyond the point where it can be repaired. If our dentists recommend a root canal, it is because they think that your tooth can still be saved.

What are some signs that I need a root canal?

Some symptoms that may indicate the need for a root canal treatment are:

  • Sensitivity to temperature
  • Throbbing or aching sensations in or around the tooth
  • Toothaches or other oral pain
  • Pressure
  • Discomfort or pain when you bite
  • Swelling
  • An abscess
  • Tooth infection
  • Fractures, cracks or breaks in your tooth structure

Do children ever need root canals?

Occasionally a child may need a root canal if their dental pulp is infected or decayed. When performed on children, this treatment is known as a pulpotomy, or baby tooth root canal. Our dentists may recommend several other conservative treatments if your child needs endodontic care.