Root Canals

Root canals can often save your natural teeth.

How Do Root Canals Work?

Your Tooth’s Anatomy

What is Root Canal?

We understand talking about root canals can make some people cringe. This is why we make sure you’re as comfortable as possible during the procedure. We start by explaining what it is and how it goes.

A root canal is a procedure that eliminates bacteria to prevent tooth infection and decay. Our dentist removes inflamed pulp, disinfects the inside of the tooth, and then fills and seals it. We make the procedure efficient and smooth, so you can get back to smiling and chewing in no time.

Why Get A Root Canal at Our Salt Lake City Office?

Teeth have several layers, including the protective enamel, the dentin and the inner pulp, which contains sensitive nerves and blood vessels. Cavities, fractures and traumatic injury expose the innermost layer to bacterial infection.

As a result, the pulp dies, you get a toothache and the tooth falls out. Prevent this from happening by visiting the dentist as soon as possible. We might be able to save your tooth with a root canal.

How Will You Know if You Need a Root Canal?

The truth of the matter is that you will not know if you need a root canal unless you are a dentist, or unless a trusted dentist tells you. There are, however, some symptoms that will tell you if you should get into a dentist to see if you need a root canal. Here are some of those symptoms:

  • Lots of pain in the tooth when chewing or other pressure is applied
  • Prolonged sensitivity to temperatures – even after they’ve been removed from your teeth
  • Swelling of the nearby gums
  • The tooth turns darker
  • Pimple in the gums

While these are some symptoms that can indicate that a root canal might be necessary, there are also situations where a root canal might be necessary without any of these symptoms. That is the reason that we encourage people to see their dentist and dental hygienist regularly to have their teeth cleaned and to have a dental exam performed.

What is the Procedure Like?

People often think of a root canal as painful. The pain, however, is due to the inflamed or infected pulp, and not the procedure. A root canal is no more painful than getting a routine dental filling. During a root canal procedure, your dentist will extract all of the infected tissue from the pulp of the tooth which should, in-turn, relieve a lot of the pressure and pain that can build up. After all the infected areas are removed the tooth is disinfected and sealed to help avoid a similar problem in the future.

Several steps are involved. Allow us to break down the process for your peace of mind:

  1. We examine the affected tooth and study your X-rays.
  2. We administer local anesthesia for your comfort.
  3. We place a dam over the tooth to keep it safe from saliva.
  4. We create an opening in the tooth to remove the affected pulp.
  5. We disinfect the pulp chambers and root canals.
  6. We seal the canals to prevent further damage.

After the procedure, we might put a crown over your sealed tooth to avoid any more fractures.

A root canal is as simple as that, and the results usually last a lifetime. With the help of modern technology, we shorten the time it takes for you to undergo root canal treatment. Our experienced dentists in Salt Lake City make sure that the procedure does not hurt any more than a normal filling does.

Your Tooth's Anatomy

A root canal is undesirable. We know! We don’t want you to need one either. While we want all of your teeth to be healthy, root canals can often save your natural teeth, and to be honest, they probably have a worse rap than they deserve. Let’s give you some information that will help you understand how to avoid root canals.

You have probably heard that your teeth are unique. It’s true! No two teeth are the same. There are some similarities between all healthy teeth though, which is great news for a treating dentist. For example, each healthy tooth in your mouth has three separate layers. The first layer (the one you can see), is called enamel. You can think of it as a protective layer that shields the more sensitive parts of the tooth. You should love your enamel for more reasons than just the fact that it keeps you out of a lot of pain. Enamel is also what gives your teeth their beautiful (hopefully) white color. If your teeth are less white than you would like, you can take some time to learn more about the teeth whitening options that we offer at Canyon Rim Dental.

The next layer, the middle, is called dentin. Dentin has a yellow color, so without the enamel your teeth would be a nice yellow color.

The final layer, the inside, is called the pulp. Your tooth’s nerve and live tissue are found in this final layer. If you are in need of a root canal, this is the part of your tooth that is being affected. The pulp is meant to be covered and protected by the other two layers. Occasionally the pulp can be exposed to the outside. Usually this exposure happens with a fractured tooth or a large cavity. When the pulp is not being protected, it is exposed to all sorts of different bacteria in your mouth. This can often lead to infection and inflammation which is usually the cause of the pain associated with root canals, When the tissue is infected from exposure, the typical treatment needed to solve the pain and infection is a root canal.


Canyon Rim Dental

Dr. Sam Delahunty and the team at Canyon Rim Dental are proud to serve the community of Salt Lake City, UT, with modern, comprehensive dentistry. We offer a wide range of advanced treatments for patients of all ages. Dr. Delahunty's affiliations include: 

  • American Dental Association
  • Utah Dental Association
  • American Association of Endodontists
  • Pierre Fauchard Academy

You can request an appointment by filling out our online form, or by calling: (801) 486-3887.

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