Root Canals In Green Bay

What is a Root Canal?

We get it, root canals have a negative connotation. They are often associated with dental discomfort. But did you know they actually relieve your pain and save your tooth?

This common dental procedure is intended to save a tooth that is severely infected or decayed. When a tooth's nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it breaks down, leading to the multiplication of bacteria in the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other decayed debris can cause an infection or abscessed tooth, which can lead to severe pain and swelling. A root canal procedure involves removing the nerve and pulp, and cleaning and sealing the inside of the tooth, thereby stopping the infection and preserving the tooth.

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Did you know…

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More than 15 million root canals are performed each year in the United States.

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The Root Canal Treatment Process

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X-Ray Examination

The first step in a root canal procedure is taking an X-ray to examine the shape of the root canals and determine the extent of the tooth’s decay. This crucial step allows Dr. Schmidt to accurately diagnose the problem and plan an effective treatment strategy. The X-ray also helps to detect any signs of infection in the surrounding bone.

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Anesthesia and Pulp Removal

Before the actual procedure begins, a local anesthesia is administered to the affected tooth to ensure the patient's comfort. Once the tooth is numb, Dr. Schmidt places a rubber dam around the tooth to keep it dry and clean. He then drills an access hole into the tooth and uses special tools to remove the damaged nerve and pulp tissue.

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Cleaning, Filling, and Sealing

After the pulp has been removed, the inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The root canal is then reshaped and filled with a biocompatible material, usually a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. The tooth is finally sealed with a filling to prevent further infection.

The Benefits Of Root Canals

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Pain Relief

One of the primary benefits of a root canal is pain relief. The procedure eliminates the discomfort caused by severe tooth decay or infection, providing immediate relief to the patient.

Preservation of Natural Tooth

Root canals allow for the preservation of the natural tooth, preventing the need for an extraction. Maintaining your natural tooth helps to preserve your natural smile and reduces the need for further dental work.

Prevention of Spread of Infection

By removing the infected pulp, root canals prevent the spread of infection to other teeth and the jawbone. This protects your overall oral health and prevents complications such as dental abscesses or systemic infections.

Did you know…

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Root canal procedures have over a 95% success rate.

Have questions about teeth whitening? Find answers here.

Can teeth whitening damage teeth?

Professional teeth whitening that is overseen and administered by a qualified dentist will never damage your teeth. Your dentist will ensure that you get the proper whitening products and that you do not over whiten your teeth.

However, it is possible to damage the teeth by over whitening them. The peroxide-based whiteners used in the teeth whitening process can weaken the teeth and damage the enamel if they are not used properly, or are used too frequently. 

For this reason, it’s a good idea to avoid over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening kits from sources like Amazon and other websites, which could contain dangerously-high levels of peroxide. 

If you do not want to pay for professional teeth whitening services from your dentist, make sure you only use ADA-approved whitening products like Crest Whitestrips. ADA-approved products have relatively low concentrations of peroxide, so the risk of enamel damage from over-whitening is much lower.

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Which teeth whitening products actually work?

There are two categories of teeth whitening products that actually work. 

The first are abrasive whiteners, such as toothpaste that contains baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and other very mild abrasives. These abrasives work similarly to sandpaper, rubbing plaque and surface stains away from your teeth. These abrasive whiteners work on minor stains, but the abrasive is not strong enough to damage enamel. 

It is recommended that you avoid charcoal toothpaste, which has abrasives that may be hard enough to damage your enamel with frequent use. Stick to an ADA-approved whitening toothpaste product.

The second category of teeth whitening products that actually work are chemical whiteners that contain peroxide. These are available both from dentists and over-the-counter, but it’s best to work with a dentist to get your desired results, and ensure that your teeth are not damaged by over whitening. 

To explore your options in further detail and make sure you choose a safe, effective teeth whitening product, get in touch with your dentist for a consult.

Why does teeth whitening cause sensitivity?

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The precise reason that whitening causes sensitivity is not fully known, but the leading theory is that it’s due to “dentinal microtubules.” These extremely small, microscopic channels in our teeth connect the exterior of the tooth enamel to the interior nerve, allowing us to feel sensations in our teeth.

The theory is that, since peroxide-based whiteners weaken the enamel very slightly, this exposes the microtubules, which become much more sensitive. Then, as the enamel remineralizes and becomes stronger after the whitening process is over, they are sealed up again, and no longer feel overly sensitive. This would explain why the sensitivity caused by teeth whitening typically only lasts for a few days.