There’s so much that can be done these days to improve the appearance of a person’s smile — at any age. From powerful, professional whitening treatments to amazingly realistic porcelain veneers to state-of-the-art dental implants, there’s a wide range of exciting possibilities.
The first step in any smile makeover is a thorough dental examination to make sure that your cosmetic problems really are just that, and not a sign of underlying dental disease. Once your health has been established, your smile can be cosmetically enhanced in a variety of ways.
The Inside Story
The “Root” of the Problem
Root canal treatment. What could cause the pulp tissue to become diseased and lead to root canal problems? One potential source of infection is untreated tooth decay, which can allow bacteria from the tooth’s surface to work its way deep inside. A crack or fracture in a tooth could offer another pathway for microorganisms to infect the pulp.
Dental trauma — from a sports injury, for example — may also damage dentin or pulp, or expose it to infection. Extensive dental procedures (such as multiple fillings or restorations on the same tooth) may cause trouble; occasionally, even
The old gag line “I’d rather have a root canal” may still get a laugh — but root canal problems are no joke. It’s important to remember that root canal treatment doesn’t cause pain; it relieves pain. A typical root canal procedure is performed with local anesthetics, and doesn’t cause any more discomfort than having a filling. Here’s what to expect:
First, you will receive anesthesia (usually a numbing shot) — and for many patients, the worst is now over. Next, a small opening is made in the tooth surface to give access to the pulp chamber and root canals. Then, tiny instruments are used — often with the aid of a microscope — to remove dead and dying tissue from inside the narrow passages. These passages are then cleaned, disinfected, and filled with a safe, inert material. Finally, the opening in the tooth is sealed to prevent contamination.
Other endodontic treatments may be recommended for removing sources of infection and preventing future problems. Following an endodontic procedure, it may be necessary to have a restoration (such as a crown) placed on the tooth to restore it to full function and aesthetic appearance. After that, with proper care the restored tooth should last for many years.
Combined Root Canal & Gum Problems
When you experience pain in your mouth, it's sometimes abundantly clear which tooth is causing it. At other...
Root Canal Treatment FAQs
If you have been told you need root canal treatment, you may be feeling a bit nervous. Not to worry —...
Firmly anchored in your jaw and protected by an outer coating of tough enamel, your teeth are remarkably...
Root Canal Treatment for Children
Root canal treatment is a safe and effective way to stop many kinds of tooth pain, and to keep a tooth from...
If your teeth seem especially sensitive after you brush them or when you consume certain foods or beverages,...
Whitening Traumatized Teeth
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments — and it's easy to see why. Having...
Root Canal Surgery (Apicoectomy)
Occasionally, root canal treatment proves unsuccessful at resolving an infection in the tissues near a...
Root Canal Retreatment
Most of the time, root canal therapy is effective at permanently relieving tooth pain and halting infection...
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment — also called endodontics (“endo” – inside, “dont” – tooth) — is a set of specialized...