Endodontics Overview

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Root Canal Treatments in Spring Lake, Grand Haven & Muskegon, MI

At the office of Dr. Joe Arbutante, we strive to provide our patients with the highest quality dental and orthodontic treatments. Our board certified Spring Lake dentist and friendly staff treat every patient on a case-by-case basis, designing specialized treatments that are unique to each patient that sits in our chair. 

Endodontics is a dental specialty focusing on the study and treatment of dental pulp. This encompasses solutions for a wide variety of cases, including treating dental trauma, performing microsurgery on the tips of the tooth’s roots, and identifying the cause of some types of tooth pain. The most common endodontic treatment is root canal therapy, a procedure that eases pain deep within the tooth’s pulp tissue and ultimately saves the tooth, which can be lost if left untreated. At our Spring Lake dentistry, our endodontic services apply to patients of all ages in need of root canals, including children.

The Inside of Your Tooth

Healthy Tooth.Beneath the visible part of your tooth, called the enamel, lies a sturdy layer of inner tissue called dentin. Dentin makes up the bulk of your tooth’s structure, surrounding the inner tissue of your tooth all the way down to roots. Similar to bone tissue, dentin is composed of tiny tubules that transmit sensations to nerve cells when stimulated. 

At the core of your tooth, there are small, branching chambers called root canals. Root canals contain soft pulp tissue, which consists of nerves, connective tissues and blood vessels that extend upwards to the center of the tooth. This tissue exits down the root canals through the tips of your tooth’s roots. When problems such as inflammation or infection develop in your pulp tissue, your first indicator is usually tooth sensitivity or intense pain. As time passes and the nerves die, the pain may dissipate, but the problem will only worsen. If left untreated, infection of the pulp tissue could result in tooth loss.

The “Root” of the Problem

Root canal therapy 1What could cause the pulp tissue inside of your tooth to become diseased? One common cause for infected pulp tissue and eventual root canal problems is untreated tooth decay. As the enamel and dentin of your tooth deteriorate, bacteria from the tooth’s surface can work its way into the core of your tooth. Another common reason this happens is if an untreated crack or fracture offers another pathway for microorganisms deep inside the tooth.

Dental trauma may also damage or expose the inside of your tooth. As an example, many athletes experience dental trauma from sports-related injuries if they forget to wear a mouthguard. In these cases, extensive dental procedures (such as multiple fillings or restorations on the same tooth) may cause more harm than good. Occasionally, even routine procedures may eventually lead to root canal problems.

This is where endodontic treatment and root canal therapy come in to protect and save your teeth.

Endodontic Treatment & Root Canal Therapy

Root canal treatmentThe old joke “I’d rather have a root canal” may still get a laugh, but root canal problems are hardly a laughing matter. Most people are under the impression that root canal therapy is excruciatingly painful. However, it’s important to know that root canal therapy doesn’t cause pain, it relieves pain. Here’s what you can expect from a root canal treatment:

First, we will administer a numbing shot or another anesthetic to numb the area. This is the worst part for many of our patients. Next, Dr. Arbutante will make a small opening in the tooth to give access to the pulp tissue and root canals. Tiny instruments are used to remove dead and decaying tissue from the inside of the tooth. The tooth’s inner passages are cleaned, disinfected, and filled with a safe, inert material. Finally, the opening in the tooth is sealed with a temporary filling to prevent contamination or reinfection.

Following root canal therapy or another endodontic treatment, Dr. Arbutante will place a restoration (such as a crown) on the tooth to restore its full function and appearance. With proper care, the restored tooth should last for many years without issue.

Schedule an Appointment Today!

Endodontic issues are very treatable, but they can lead to tooth loss if left unaddressed by a professional. If you have a tooth that is sensitive or causing you great pain, contact our office as soon as possible. Our staff is more than happy to schedule an appointment or answer any questions you may have. You can also fill out our appointment request form online at any time. We hope to hear from you soon!

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