Root Canal Therapy | Farmington Hills, MI Dentist
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Everything You Need to Know About Root Canal Treatment

Everything You Need to Know About Root Canal Treatment


Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure that is often feared and misunderstood by patients. However, it is a safe and effective way to save a tooth that has become infected, damaged, or affected by deep decay. The procedure involves removing the damaged or infected pulp from the tooth and filling the resulting space with a dental filling. In this way, root canal therapy can help prevent the need for tooth extraction, alleviate pain and discomfort, and restore the function of the affected tooth.

If you’re experiencing any signs of dental infection, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our Farmington Hills, MI dentist, Dr. Roman Shlafer. With years of expertise and compassionate care, Dr. Shlafer offers safe and effective root canal treatment to help you save your natural teeth and alleviate pain and discomfort.

What Is Root Canal Therapy?

Root canal therapy is a dental procedure that typically involves removing the infected or damaged pulp from the tooth and replacing it with a dental filling. This helps save the tooth and prevent further damage or infection.

Anatomy of a Tooth

Each tooth consists of three main parts:

  • Crown: The crown is the visible part of the tooth above the gum line. It is covered by a protective layer called enamel, which is the hardest substance in the human body.
  • Dentin: Beneath the enamel lies the dentin, a yellowish layer that forms the bulk of the tooth structure. Dentin is not as hard as enamel but still provides support and protection.
  • Pulp: The innermost part of the tooth, known as the pulp, is made up of soft tissue, including nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues, playing a vital role in tooth development during childhood.

Each tooth has a soft inner layer known as the pulp. The pulp, consisting of soft tissue such as nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, keeps the tooth healthy and alive. When the pulp becomes infected or damaged, it can lead to pain, sensitivity, and even tooth loss.

When Is Root Canal Therapy Necessary?

Root canal therapy may be necessary for several situations, including:

  • Dental Decay: When a cavity is left untreated, it can spread to the tooth’s pulp and cause infection.
  • Dental Trauma: A tooth that’s been fractured or chipped can allow bacteria to enter the pulp and cause infection.
  • Gum Disease: Gum disease can cause pockets to form around the tooth, allowing bacteria to enter and infect the pulp.
  • Infected Tooth: An infected tooth can cause significant pain and discomfort, necessitating root canal therapy to remove the infection and save the tooth.
  • Repeated Dental Procedures: Undergoing repeated dental procedures on the same tooth can lead to inflammation or infection of the tooth's nerve and pulp, potentially requiring a root canal to address the issue.

If left untreated, an infected or damaged tooth can cause pain, swelling, and other complications. Root canal therapy is often the best way to treat these issues and prevent further damage to the tooth and surrounding tissue.

Root Canal Treatments

There are several types of root canal therapy, known as root canal procedures, and the type you receive will depend on your specific dental needs. Understanding the root canal cost is essential, as it can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the procedure and the tooth affected. Here are some of the most common types of root canal therapy:

  • Standard Root Canal Therapy: This is the most common type of root canal therapy, and it involves removing the infected or damaged pulp and cleaning and filling the root canal. Once the root canal is filled, the tooth is restored with a filling or crown.
  • Apicoectomy: In some cases, standard root canal therapy may not be enough to treat the infection or damage to the tooth. In these cases, an apicoectomy may be necessary. This involves removing the root’s tip and any infected tissue and sealing the root to prevent further infection.
  • Pulp Capping: If the damage to the tooth is minor and hasn’t caused an infection, your dentist may recommend a pulp capping procedure. This involves placing special material over the damaged pulp to help it heal and prevent further damage.
  • Regenerative Endodontics: This newer type of root canal therapy helps the damaged pulp in young teeth heal and regenerate. This involves using special materials to stimulate the growth of new pulp tissue and blood vessels in the tooth.
  • Root Canal Retreatment: In some cases, a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy may become infected again. In these cases, non-surgical root canal retreatment may be necessary to remove the infection and restore the tooth.

Benefits of Root Canal Treatment

There are many benefits to undergoing root canal treatment, including:

  • Saving the Tooth: Root canal therapy can help save a tooth that would otherwise need extraction.
  • Relieving Pain: Root canal therapy can help alleviate pain and discomfort caused by infection or damage to the pulp.
  • Preventing Further Damage: By removing the infected or damaged pulp, root canal therapy can prevent further damage to the tooth and surrounding tissue.
  • Restoring Function: With a filling in place, a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy can be fully restored and function like a natural tooth.

Signs of Infected Tooth and Dental Infection

If you're experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have a dental infection that requires root canal therapy:

  • Severe toothache
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Swelling and tenderness in the gums
  • Discoloration of the tooth
  • Pain when chewing or biting

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shlafer as soon as possible to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! Root canal therapy is considered safe. The treatment involves removing the infected or damaged pulp from the tooth's root canal and then filling it with a biocompatible material.
Root canal therapy can be done on most teeth, but there may be some exceptions. Teeth with severe decay, extensive damage, or fractures may not be suitable for root canal treatment. In some cases, a tooth may need extraction instead.
During the root canal procedure, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area, so the patient won't feel any pain. Some patients may experience mild discomfort or sensitivity during or after the procedure, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
The duration of root canal treatment can vary depending on the tooth's complexity and the extent of the damage. Generally, a root canal procedure can be completed in one or two visits. After the root canal treatment, the tooth may need to be restored with a crown or filling to protect it and restore its function

Receive The Treatment You Need For Optimal Oral Health

Root canal therapy may seem intimidating, but with the right information and our qualified Farmington Hills, MI dentist, it can be a safe and effective way to treat various dental problems. Schedule a consultation today by calling (248) 781-0040 to keep your smile healthy and bright. Dr. Shlafer is proud to serve Michigan patients in Farmington Hills, Canton, Plymouth, Southfield, Franklin, Beverly Hills, and the surrounding areas.

Our Happy Patients

"Dr. Shlafer became my dentist 2 years ago when my fiance at the time recommended I use his dentist. From the initial consultation, I knew Dr Shlafer would be my long term dentist. Dr Shalfer and his team were very thorough which showed that they truly cared about my dental health. I highly recommend Dr. Shlafer."

Miller Yvonne Miller

"The staff here is stellar. I've been going here for years now and have never had a bad experience. The women at the desk greet everyone by name, and the doctor remembers everything you tell him about yourself. Everyone here knows what they're doing, a trip here is never a hassle, and they'll always keep your best interest in mind."

Marc B Marc B.

"Dr. Shlafer and staff are absolutely fabulous. So incredibly friendly and accommodating and Dr. is so gentle and very comforting. The office atmosphere is very relaxing as well!"

Tim C Christiana H.
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