Root Canal Specialist

Sylvan S. Stern, DDS

Dentist located in Southfield, MI

Modern dentistry techniques mean that root canals are no longer synonymous with dental pain. Sylvan S. Stern, DDS, of Southfield, Michigan, provides single-visit treatment for your root canal procedure, eliminating the need for temporary fillings and multiple appointments. Contact the office by phone, or request an appointment online to take care of your problem tooth.

Root Canal Q & A

What is a root canal?

The root canal is a space within each of your teeth that carries nerves, pulp, and blood vessels, the soft tissue necessary for the development and maintenance of a tooth. The procedure commonly called a root canal refers to treatment and removal of this soft tissue, due to infection, inflammation, or damage to a tooth. Once a tooth is fully grown, it can take nourishment from the gum tissue around the root and can remain viable when the soft tissue is removed.

Infection or inflammation can result from several sources. Damage to a tooth, such as chipping or cracking, may penetrate to the soft tissue within the root. Deep decay or repeated dental work on one tooth may also compromise the inner canal. Sometimes a tooth has no visible damage, but the pulp becomes infected, causing pain or an abscess at the base of the root.

When do I need a root canal treatment?

In the case of damage to a tooth, prompt attention by Dr. Stern can often save the tooth using root canal treatment, perhaps in combination with other restorative measures. You may not be in any pain, particularly if the damage is due to the failure of previous dental work.

Symptoms that may indicate the need for a root canal procedure include sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink, tenderness when chewing, or when pressing on your cheek at the base of the tooth, or swelling, usually at the base of the tooth.

How does a root canal procedure progress?

Dr. Stern creates an access opening through your tooth so that he can remove all signs of decay, as well as the contents of the root canal. This space is then filled with a special material that’s much like rubber, then the root canal is sealed. The access is then filled or possibly capped with a crown, depending on the condition of the tooth. Finally, the tooth is polished and shaped for appearance and to match your natural bite.

If you experienced pain before your root canal procedure, you’ll feel relief once the procedure starts. With modern dental anesthetics, the procedure itself is typically painless. If there were an infection or abscess prior to treatment, your tooth may be sensitive after the anesthetic wears off, but this can be managed with medication.