Root Canal Services in Salt Lake City

Your Tooth’s Anatomy


Root Canal Therapy Salt Lake CityA 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.  

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 a Root Canal Procedure Like?

Remember how we talked about infection in the pulp of the tooth being the reason that a root canal needed to happen? 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.

After a tooth has come into your mouth, the nerve is no longer a necessity. That is why we are able to remove the nerve and save the tooth. Since the nerve is gone, you will no longer have the hot and cold sensations you are used to in that tooth. That can be a benefit for some people who have discomfort due to hot and cold sensitivity in their teeth.

Technology has come a long ways to help root canals take less time and be much more comfortable. If the dentists have the experience like ours here at Canyon Rim Dental do, and if your mouth gets numb the way that it should, a root canal should not be any more painful than a filling.

Once your root canal is completed, your restorative dentist will most likely put a crown over the sealed tooth to prevent a future fracture.  You will care for your tooth the same way that you did before your root canal.  Floss and brush daily to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy.  Root canals have a success rate of around 95%, so you can feel confident that the issue will be resolved.  Often, depending on the severity and situation, the root canal will last a lifetime.

If you are experiencing pain, or have been told that you need a root canal. Call Canyon Rim Dental today at (801)486-3887 and we will take great care of you!