Don’t Can It, Canal It

canalRoot canals have gotten a bad rap over the years. Many people would rather just get their tooth pulled than to get a root canal. If you don’t need your tooth pulled, however, you should always try to save it. It is important to keep as much of the natural tooth structure in place when it comes to dental treatment. You should try to avoid extraction if you can. When a tooth is extracted and a space remains, problems can form. Saving the tooth is preferable, so don’t can it, canal it.

Q and A’s

Question: How is a root canal performed?

Answer:  A root canal consists of drilling an access hole into the tooth, removing the tooth pulp, cleaning and disinfecting the inside of the tooth, filling the tooth with a rubber-like material called gutta percha, and sealing the tooth by placing a filling in the access hole.

Question: It sounds complicated. Does it hurt?

Answer: A root canal procedure is not much more involved than a regular dental filling. The discomfort level is not much different than receiving a filling either. Your dentist will anesthetize the area before beginning treatment.

Question: Why would I need a root canal?

Answer: If you have a badly decayed, damaged, or infected tooth but your dentist feels it can still be saved he or she will recommend a root canal.

Question: Can your tooth live without pulp?

Answer: The pulp of the tooth is the only living part of the tooth. It consists of nerves, blood vessels, and living cells. However, because the rest of your tooth is not alive it can exist without the pulp. The fact that the tooth can exist without the pulp is what makes root canals viable.

About your Des Moines Dentist

The Gateway Dental Group provides comprehensive dental treatments including general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. As a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Burds also has extensive experience helping his patients suffering from sleep disorders obtain restful sleep via oral appliance therapy. You can contact Dr. Stephen J. Burds office at 515-442-5659. We welcome patients from River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and neighboring communities.