Root canal therapy is also called endodontic therapy and is a series of procedures to remove the pulp of a tooth when it gets infected. The process involves eliminating the infected part of the tooth as well as defending it from future infection with the application of a protective crown. A root canal is a crucial treatment for the health of all your teeth and gums, and must be completed as soon as possible. At Tribeca Smiles in New York, NY, we pride ourselves on our root canal procedures. We want our patients to know about the quality care that goes into having a root canal via our general and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Frederick Solomon.
If you suspect you may need to have a root canal, we understand if you have reservations about this procedure. A root canal is a very common dental therapy, yet many people put off going to see a dentist for a toothache because of dental anxiety. Dr. Solomon and his team will do their very best to make sure you are at ease and relaxed. We offer several methods of relaxation dentistry to assist you in getting this treatment complete. No need to suffer any longer. Let Dr. Solomon take away the pain and infection of your afflicted tooth so you can have the healthy smile you deserve.
Good candidates for a root canal are people experiencing pain from an infection. If tended to in a timely manner, the tooth should be viable enough to receive the therapy. However, some people wait too long (or avoid going to the dentist), in which case the tooth may need to be extracted altogether. This is a complicated process and depends on a lot of variables, so patients are always advised to have realistic expectations about the process.
Some warning signs of a potential root canal issue are tooth pain, jaw pain, gum swelling around the tooth in question, gum discoloration, and discoloration of the tooth itself. If the infected pulp is not removed, it will just get increasingly painful, and the infection will start to spread to other parts of your mouth.
What To Expect
Before starting the procedure, you will discuss your sedation and/or anesthetic options with Dr. Solomon. We want you to feel at ease and relaxed as we provide your endodontic care. Many patients request nitrous oxide sedation (laughing gas) or oral-conscious sedation to get them through a root canal. Dr. Solomon is very understanding about dental anxieties and will help you make the appropriate decision on how to proceed.
During an endodontic procedure, Dr. Solomon will carefully assess the inner chamber of your tooth and start to remove the infected pulp. From there, the inside of the empty chamber will be thoroughly sterilized to be certain all infection has been removed. After this has been confirmed, it’s time to fill the empty and sterilized chamber with an inert substance to reinforce the structure of the tooth and to make it suitable for a crown. You may be going home with a temporary crown or bridge if your new restoration has to be sent to a laboratory to be made. Not to worry, your temporary restoration (if a same-day crown is not appropriate) will be replaced by a smooth, porcelain crown fitted for your bite.
The function of a crown is to reinforce the structure of the tooth and to have consistency in your smile. Before the root canal, you may have had trouble chewing on that side of your mouth. The new restorative crown or bridge may be sensitive at first, but you will soon experience easier chewing with the infected pulp gone. It will also help guard against damage to the rest of the tooth and to provide bite protection when you chew.
After your root canal is complete, your jaw or tooth may be very sensitive, but any gum sensitivities or pain in the area can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers. Discomfort typically subsides after a couple days. Besides a bit of pain management, there shouldn’t be a need for much follow-up after the placement of your porcelain crown. If the procedure was successful, you shouldn’t feel any additionaly pain from your tooth, especially after a few days. Your new crown will ideally last many years. Dr. Solomon will give you detailed instructions on how to care for the crown during recovery.
Plan Your Procedure
The Root of the Problem
Dr. Solomon at Tribeca Smiles knows when you need a root canal, time is of the essence. To wait will only increase the decay of the tooth and the extent of the infection. If too much time passes, a root canal may no longer be possible and a tooth extraction may be the only option. Since an extraction is more invasive, requires more anesthesia, stitches, follow-ups, and cost, we urge you to see us soon when your tooth starts to hurt.