Don’t let the thought of having a root canal leave you feeling stressed or anxious. At Kate Brayman DDS in Woodbury, NY, we specialize in providing quality dental care and comfort. If you’re feeling any signs of a dental infection, such as swollen gums, pain, or sensitivity, get early treatment to prevent it from worsening. However, if a root canal is necessary, rest assured that your visit to Dr.Kate Brayman’s dental office will stay comfortable and pain-free.
A root canal is a type of dental procedure that targets the soft tissue inside your tooth. This soft tissue, called the pulp, includes blood vessels and nerves that are housed in a canal-like area in the center of the tooth. Since it’s surrounded by hard enamel, the pulp is normally protected from bacteria. When tooth decay or an injury breaks the enamel, bacteria can travel into the pulp and cause an infection. That’s when you need dental intervention in the form of a root canal because the infected pulp won’t heal on its own.
Due to severe pain caused by infected nerves, or when the infection spreads into the gums and forms an abscess, many patients discover they need a root canal as suggested by their emergency dentist. Other signs that you may need a root canal include:
The purpose of a root canal is to remove all of the pulp and infection from inside the tooth and make sure that the canal is completely clean and free of bacteria. Dr. Brayman, at her Woodbury dental clinic, uses specially designed dental tools that go through the enamel to the pulp and remove the infected soft tissue. After cleaning the canal, it’s filled with a rubbery material that supports the tooth’s structure.
If the tooth is in good shape, a natural-looking filling to cover the small opening may be all you need. However, if you’re in pain and the infection developed due to a broken or decayed tooth, it’s best to call your emergency dentist, he or she may suggest a dental crown to restore the strength and appearance of your tooth.
A root canal is a relatively simple procedure. The process is as follows:
After a root canal, the restored tooth can last a lifetime, but several issues can arise that may require treatment. For example, the tooth may get chipped or cracked down the road, whether you got a crown or still have the natural tooth. Also, over time, the tooth is more susceptible to damage because it’s no longer living after the pulp is removed.
Good oral hygiene is the best way to be sure the treated tooth lasts a long time. Getting a regular dental checkup every 6 months is essential to be sure plaque and tartar are cleaned away from the tooth and to be sure there aren’t any signs of a problem.
Yes, you can eat before you go for a root canal. However, just as any other dental procedure, your dentist would expect you to brush before your appointment.
As much as possible it is best to maintain your natural teeth and smile. Extraction is not only more expensive, it is also a longer procedure and might even have an impact on the surrounding teeth and gums.
Contrary to popular belief, because a root canal is done under anaesthesia, it is actually no more painful than any other dental procedure, such as filling or removing a wisdom tooth. In fact,more often than not when a root canal is being done, it is to relieve the sharp pain of a toothache caused by the infected pulp.
There could however be a bit of numbness and soreness for a few days after the root canal, which could cause some mild discomfort, and the tooth the procedure was done on might feel a little different from your other teeth for some time. If you feel severe pain or pressure after your root canal, this is out of the ordinary and you should contact your dentist immediately.
A root canal could be required because of a cracked tooth, genetic reasons, issues arising from previous fillings, or because of deep cavities. The primary symptom of needing a root canal is when you notice your teeth are particularly sensitive to hot and cold sensations. Other factors that you might need to keep in mind include:
Root canals don’t have a fixed cost and it varies depending on the tooth that is affected and the severity of the infection. For example, canines are easier to treat than molars and as such cost less. Check with your insurance provider – most dental insurance policies provide some coverage for endodontic treatments.
It is important to keep in mind that a root canal is less expensive than having the infected tooth removed, because after removal you also need to replace the tooth with a bridge or an implant to ensure that your chewing function is maintained, and that adjacent teeth do no shift into the gap. There is also the added advantage of retaining your natural teeth and smile.
A root canal is a relatively simple procedure and can be probably completed in two appointments. In the first appointment the actual root canal procedure is done and the infected pulp is removed. After a period of rest, in the second appointment the root canal is cleaned, disinfected and a filling is placed to prevent future infections. Each appointment can take up to approximately 90 minutes.
After your first procedure, and before your tooth is restored, your tooth is susceptible to fracture. As such you need to ensure that you do not chew on the tooth. So you should avoid food that require chewing and focus on foods such as yogurt, fish and eggs. Avoid foods that are hot, as well as crunchy or hard foods like nuts and cereals. As a best practice, you should wait for the numbness to wear off before eating anything.
Yes, you can smoke after a root canal. However this is not recommended as smoking increases the risk of you needing another procedure. Smokers need root canals at double the rate of non smokers and this risk only increases the longer you smoke.
Once the entire root canal procedure has been completed and the numbness has worn off, you can eat and drink normally, including alcohol.
Yes, you should continue to brush and floss after your root canal.
Most root canals are done using local anesthesia, so only the area being treated would be numb during the procedure. As such, after the root canal. you can drive or operate any machinery as you normally would, without any issue.
Generally teeth that are required for chewing such as the molars and premolars, placed at the back of the mouth, require crowns. Incisors or canines, which are not needed for chewing, generally do not need a crown after a root canal.
You should take care not to bite or chew on the tooth before it has been restored with a filling put in place. Before restoration, the tooth can fracture easily so check with your dentist soon after your first root canal appointment to get your filling done. Other than that, there are no extra steps to take, and you can continue your regular oral hygiene regime of brushing and flossing.
In most cases you will not feel any difference between your treated teeth and your regular teeth. In some rare cases the treated tooth might not heal, may continue to pain, or might get re-infected months or years after the initial successful procedure. In these cases, redoing the root canal can restore the tooth.
No, and after the procedure the tooth will continue as normal. root canals remove the pulp from the inside of the tooth which contains nerves, but they have no real function in a completely developed tooth and can be safely removed without any adverse effects.
It is possible for a root canal to fail because of various reasons -If the canal was not cleaned in the procedure, in case the crown breaks down, or if for some reason the tooth which had undergone treatment develops an infection and in turn infect the rest of the teeth. However, this would be out of the ordinary.
It is always better to get medical treatment when required. Without treatment, not only will there continue to be sharp pain, but an infected tooth can even spread its infection which can prove to be dangerous both your health and your life.
No. root canal treats a disease (infection of the tooth), and left untreated it can have severe impact on the health and functioning of the entire body. Any and all allegations that root canals result in cancer are absolute myths and should be completely ignored.
In some case, after a root canal procedure, the tooth can get a bit discoloured or develop specks called ‘intrinsic staining’. This is caused by internal bleeding in the tooth which turns darkens the interior of the tooth. However, this is nothing to worry about and, if you want, you can later whiten the tooth with internal (non-vital) bleaching.
While all dentists are trained in how to do root canals, in most cases it is performed by an endodontist. In Greek, ‘endo’ means ‘inside’ and ‘dontic’ means ‘teeth’ so an endodontist is a specialist in the treatment of the interior of a tooth.
Delaying getting a root canal can often result in the loss of the tooth. This mainly happens when the infection at the root of the tooth has remained infected for such a long period of time that the underlying bone has gotten affected. In such a case, often it is too late to get a root canal and the entire tooth will need extraction. As such, it is best to get a check up and an opinion as soon as you notice symptoms that you might need a root canal.
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Unfortunately we do not accept Medicaid, Healthplex, HMO, DMO and some other dental insurances.