Cosmetic Dentistry - Root Canals

Solving Common Smile Problems with Root Canals and Gum Surgery

Cosmetic Dentistry - Root Canals

Dentist have various tools available to help solve common smile problems. These include veneers, crowns, bridges, dental implants, porcelain (for veneers), posts, inlays, Cerec, dental contouring, and whitening. Now, we uncover a few more for your learning and reading pleasure. (Taken from my book, A Guide to the Perfect Smile.)

Root Canals

“As painful as a root canal” is a commonly used phrase. But root canal procedures, when done properly, are not painful at all.

What causes the need for this procedure? The tiny canals in teeth may become infected, which can lead to an infection in the pulp of the tooth. A dentist or endodontist performs the root canal procedure, removing the infection and later giving the tooth a filling or crown.

It is a widely held myth that a tooth that has undergone a root canal procedure has no feeling. However, the only nerve removed from the tooth in a root canal is the one that discerns heat or cold. The remaining nerves – those surrounding the tooth, where they are joined to bone and gum – continue to give the tooth feeling. So when you tap your teeth you should not be able to tell the difference between a natural tooth and a root-canalled tooth.

Gum Surgery

Traditionally, gum surgery was performed to correct health issues such as gingivitis or periodontal disease – diseases that cause teeth to become infected and loosen. Correcting the gums allowed people to maintain their teeth. Today, however, gum surgery may also be used to treat aesthetic problems, without weakening the long-term viability of the teeth.

Gums will often change their shape and placement due to the crookedness of teeth or as a result of gumminess existing from birth. Sometimes it’s not enough, in correcting a smile, to place the teeth in the proper position – the gum line has to be corrected, too.

Edward S. Philips, D.D.S.