Root canal treatment is also known as root canal therapy, is a safe, effective procedure that can save and repair teeth that have become severely infected. An endodontist removes infected pulp and nerve from the tooth’s root, cleans and shapes the inside of the root canal, then fills and seals the space. This treatment helps relieve painful toothaches and preserve the appearance of your smile. With this procedure, root-treated teeth can be fully restored and function for years. Recovery after the root canal is quick when you visit our endodontist, who also the best-rated root canal specialist in Yonkers.
A root canal infection may require emergency treatment. If you have a toothache and suspect you might have an infected tooth, don’t delay root canal therapy and see your local dentist immediately.
An untreated tooth infection can become life-threatening when the infection spreads beyond the tooth roots. When a tooth infection becomes particularly bad and develops into an abscess, often the only solution is to remove the tooth, allowing the abscess to drain and getting rid of the infection.
Seek emergency care if you:
- Develop facial swelling
- Feel feverish and unwell
When Would You Need a Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is needed if your tooth nerve inside the tooth pulp has become diseased, infected, or is severely inflamed. The tooth pulp is located right in the center of the tooth, but it can become damaged through trauma or because a tooth has deep decay.
A healthy tooth is protected by a strong enamel that covers the entire tooth surface, and any damage to the surface will let in bacteria.
Signs that signify the need for a root canal include:
- Tooth has a visible injury
- Tooth or the gum surrounding it is painful
- The gum around the tooth look swollen and red
- Tooth sensitive to changes in temperature
- Severe discoloration of the tooth
Our dentists perform various diagnostic tests to determine if root canal treatment is an effective solution in your case. The procedure removes all damaged and infected tissue from deep inside the tooth including:
- Tooth pulp
- Connective tissues
- Blood vessels
It’s necessary to visit a root canal dentist when you have deep decay from inflammation or infection within your teeth. If the inflammation or infection continues too long without treatment, it can cause pain, lead to an abscess and eventually result in tooth loss. The result of the procedure is to relieve any pain the tooth is causing and make your teeth healthy again.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
To understand root canal therapy, it’s necessary to talk a bit about the structure of the tooth.
Healthy teeth are protected by tooth enamel, which is an extremely strong substance covering the crown of the tooth, which is the part you can see in the mouth. Directly underneath the enamel is a layer of tooth structure called dentin and which consists of microscopic tubules all tightly packed together.
Dentin is much softer, and if there is a breach in the enamel, for example, a chip or crack, it lets in bacteria that are naturally present in your mouth. These bacteria will gradually erode the dentin, creating a hole or cavity. In time, the bacteria will reach the very central part of the tooth called the pulp cavity containing the pulp, which consists of nerves and blood vessels. The pulp tissue extends into the root canals. Each tooth has one or more tooth roots, and each root contains a root canal.
When the bacteria reach the dental pulp, they infect and inflame it, and not surprisingly, this is pretty painful. Sometimes the dental pulp can become inflamed if your tooth takes a blow or knock, and this can also cause toothache.
When the pulp becomes infected or inflamed, it’s necessary to remove it. You don’t need the dental pulp once your teeth have finished growing and developing and your tooth can function reasonably well without it.
What Is the Procedure for Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy is an intricate procedure that will remove the infected and inflamed pulp tissue. Initially, your root canal dental specialist will want to examine the tooth, and they may test its reaction to hot and cold, comparing this with a healthy tooth.
They will almost certainly want to take dental x-rays, which will show the extent of the infection and whether it has damaged the surrounding tissue. To do this, your local root canal dentists will numb your tooth and access the pulp chamber through the crown of the tooth.
Often the tooth in question will be badly decayed or damaged. Once the pulp chamber is exposed, they use specialized instruments to remove all the infected material. Each root canal is cleaned thoroughly and is shaped using a series of tiny files. Your dentist will use your x-rays to ensure each root canal is cleaned thoroughly as the x-ray will show the number of root canals and their shape and size. Afterward, the entire area is disinfected, and if the infection was especially severe, your dentist might want to place antibiotics topically, just to help eliminate all the bacteria.
Once they are sure that the tooth is entirely free from bacteria, it is permanently sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Next, the tooth must be permanently restored.
Because most teeth that received root canal therapy are quite severely damaged, it’s usually necessary to place a dental crown that will cover the tooth entirely. The crown will restore the tooth to its proper shape and size, and afterward, it will be strong enough so you can eat without fear of the tooth crumbling. Also, modern dental crowns can look amazing and especially if you choose one that is made entirely from ceramic materials. All-ceramic crowns closely replicate the appearance of natural teeth and may even look better than your original tooth.
Root canal treatments are no fun; however, they’re now common and nearly painless.
Your family dentist, open on Saturday, has extensive experience to get you through the endodontic treatment such as root canal treatment with little or no pain or side effects.
How long does a root canal procedure take?
In most cases, the treatment can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. After the procedure, your tooth won’t be sensitive to heat or cold, but the area around the tooth may be sore for a few days.
Often, people worry needlessly about possible pain during the procedure or pain after endodontic treatment. The pain you feel is from the infection; the root canal procedure itself is painless. A local anesthetic is used to numb the tooth and surrounding area. Your dentist may offer sedation dentistry to make the procedure even more comfortable for you.
Before the Root Canal Procedure
Prior to your endodontic procedure, our qualified dental providers may prescribe antibiotics for the infection. The antibiotics take four to five weeks to work and lessen the severity of the infection. Once you find out that you need a root canal treatment, the procedure must happen as soon as possible because the infection can get worse.
Get plenty of rest before the procedure. Be sure to eat something beforehand as well — you’re going to be in the dentist’s chair for up to an hour, and your teeth may be sensitive after the procedure. There’s nothing to be anxious about; you’re in the hands of a specialist. The procedure relieves the pain that’s caused by the infection.
After the Root Canal Procedure
Typically, you shouldn’t feel any pain after an endodontic procedure. Tenderness can occur in your jaw from being open for a long time during the treatment, and the area of the root canal is going to be sensitive. Follow the instructions of your specialist to ensure the best root canal recovery.
Locating a dentist open Sunday or a dentist open Saturday is important to the healing process in case you run into an emergency. Going to a dentist helps ease your healing process to give you a day to rest if needed. And you don’t have to take time off work or school to undergo the root canal treatment.
Postponing the procedure can have serious consequences.
Root Canal Infection
It’s not common to pick up an infection after endodontic treatment, but it is possible.
Root canal infections can develop anywhere from a week to even a decade after a root canal procedure has been performed.
Reasons why an infection may occur include:
- The canal was left uncleaned because the tooth had a severe number of infections that weren’t seen.
- There was an undetected crack in the tooth’s root.
- Bacteria got in during the procedure and recreated an infection.
- The crown placed over the tooth breaks down over time and allows bacteria to re-enter and contaminate the tooth.
You need to be re-treated if a root canal infection appears. You’re required to go back to your dentist to save the tooth. The re-treatment of a root canal relieves the inflammation or infection in the tooth. Your dentist places a sealant over the root canal to stop further infections.
In rare cases, it may be better to remove the tooth entirely and to put the money toward replacing it, perhaps with a dental implant that will provide a long-lasting solution.
Root canal procedures are usually successful, though, and the need for re-treatment is rare, especially when you visit our dental clinic in Yonkers, NY.
Do you have any questions about the root canal procedure? Would you like to schedule an appointment with the best-rated dental specialists of Park Avenue Smiles in Yonkers, NY? Please contact our dentistry center for a consultation with our root canal dentists.