What is a Root Canal?
A root canal treatment is a procedure that aims to relieve dental pain and save your teeth. Root canals are generally required when decay reaches the pulp, or nerve, of a tooth, or when the nerve itself dies due to a sudden traumatic event or fracturing or cracking of the teeth.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you may need a root canal:
- Increased pain while biting or chewing
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Increased sensitivity to hot or cold, even after the hot or cold sensation leaves the mouth
- Swollen and sensitive gums
- Darkened gums
- Pimples of the gums
- Decayed tooth surfaces at the gums
Since the nerve and pulp may be infected from deep dental decay, one way you can prevent a root canal is by practicing good oral hygiene. You can also avoid physical and sports-related trauma by wearing a mouth guard to protect your teeth.
Risks of an Untreated Root Canal
Leaving a damaged nerve or pulp untreated can lead to more complications down the road. The damaged nerve or pulp will eventually break down and the bacteria will multiply within the pulp’s chamber. This bacteria, along with other debris from the decayed nerve or pulp, can cause an infection or abscess. An abscessed tooth is an infection that spreads to the end of the root of the tooth and, in some cases, and in the worst situation can be life threatening.
Root Canal Treatment in NYC
During the procedure, our endodontist will remove the decaying pulp of the affected tooth, then fill and seal the canals with an inert material. Pulp is a soft tissue that contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue that gives the tooth its ability to feel pain to hot, cold and sweets. It also provides nutrition to the root of your tooth.
This procedure is done with local anesthesia, and thanks to recent advances in surgical technology and equipment, the pain is usually minimal. At DP5th, we are proud to offer the latest in rotary instrumentation and cone beam CT imaging which helps to provide optimal results. If necessary, a surgical root canal, or apicoectomy can be done to save teeth that have failed to respond to traditional root canal.
After the Procedure
Patients may feel some discomfort in the first few days following the procedure due to tissue inflammation. This is a normal feeling that will subdue after the first few days. Generally speaking, most patients can return to their normal daily activities the day after a root canal.
A root canal can preserve function of a tooth for many years to come. However, like all teeth, the treated tooth is still subject to problems like decaying, fracture, or gum disease in the surrounding tissue. Root canaled teeth can be more subject to fracture. To keep your restored tooth clean and healthy, visit your dentist regularly for a thorough cleaning. Even if you haven’t had a root canal procedure done, it’s important to visit your dentist to prevent this kind of problem.