A root canal is a common dental procedure that treats inflammation and infection inside a tooth. Root canals can relieve discomfort and save natural teeth from extraction.
If you need a root canal, you may have these symptoms, among others:
- Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, especially if the sensitivity persists after you remove the food or beverage
- Severe pain when biting or chewing on the tooth
- Swollen and tender gums that may have pimple-like areas
About Root Canals
When a tooth's interior becomes infected, significant pain can result. This pain may occur because the tooth has extensive decay or nerve damage. Any time the pulp chamber or nerve inside the tooth becomes exposed, you may need a root canal to relieve discomfort and stabilize the tooth.
The Root Canal Procedure
Root canals have an undeserved reputation for discomfort. Today, root canals are gentle and painless thanks to technological advances and local anesthesia.
The first step in a root canal is taking digital X-rays of the tooth and surrounding area. X-rays allow the dentist to see the problem areas and plan your treatment. Next, your dentist will administer local anesthesia to ensure your comfort.
When you are ready, the dentist makes a small opening in the crown of your tooth. They use tiny tools to remove the affected tissue from the pulp chamber and nerve canals inside the root.
After the tooth is clean, the dentist reshapes the canals' interior to make a recurrence less likely. They then fill the root canals and seal the tooth with a biocompatible plastic material called gutta-percha.
After Your Root Canal
After you receive a root canal, you must have the tooth restored. In some cases, a filling is enough to repair the tooth, but most of the time, you will need a dental crown. Dental crowns are ceramic or metal caps that fit over a prepared natural tooth, protecting it and providing excellent chewing function.
Manhattan Dental Spa offers same-visit restorations so you can receive your crown in one appointment.
Preventing Root Canals
The best way to avoid getting a root canal is to manage tooth decay at early stages. Visit your dentist regularly to detect and fill small cavities before they can cause problems. To prevent tooth decay, brush and floss as your dentist recommends, especially after eating sweet, acidic, or starchy foods.
Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canals
Can I be sedated for a root canal?
Many patients do not need sedating medication when receiving a root canal. Still, our practice offers multiple sedation options if you feel uneasy or simply want to relax during treatment.
How long will I experience discomfort after a root canal?
You may have some soreness and minor swelling after a root canal, but you will feel much better than before the procedure. Most patients need only over-the-counter pain relievers to help recover from the procedure. Some patients also need antibiotics.
Call Manhattan Dental Spa
If you have noticed any of the three signs listed above, call us as soon as possible. The longer you put off a root canal, the worse the problem will become, and you may need a tooth extraction and a costly restoration. Please call our Murray Hill, Manhattan office at 212-683-2530 or book your appointment online.