Root canal: Many people shudder at the name. Although root canals have a reputation of being unpleasant, painful procedures, you might be surprised to find out they’re not as bad as you think. As with many things, people often fear what they don’t understand. But a little knowledge can go a long way towards soothing those fears, especially with Long Island, NY dental office, Bella Smiles.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal treatment, often referred to simply as a “root canal”, becomes necessary when the tissues inside your tooth, called the pulp, become infected. This usually occurs as the result of deep decay (cavities) or a chip or crack in the surface of your tooth. The infection in the pulp can spread down through the root canals (hence the name) of your teeth into tissues of your gums forming an abscess. This is a very severe and painful infection that can be dangerous to your overall health if it spreads to another part of your body.
When Do I Need a Root Canal?
Signs that a root canal may be necessary are sensitivity of the affected tooth and the surrounding area to hot and cold temperatures, sensitivity to touch or while chewing, and inflamed and sensitive gums around the tooth. Informing your dentist of these and any other symptoms you may be experiencing during exams will allow him or her to decide if a root canal is necessary and appropriate for your condition. Some dentists will perform root canals. Others will refer you to an endodontist, which is a dental specialist who specializes in treating the insides of your teeth.
The Root Canal Procedure
First, your dentist will thoroughly numb the tooth to be treated and the surrounding area. Then, your dentist or endodontist drills down into the crown of your infected tooth and removes the infected pulp from inside the tooth and the root canals. As adults, our teeth no longer need this pulp as they are nourished from the outside by the surrounding tissues.
Once the pulp has been removed, a biocompatible material will be used to temporarily fill the now-empty space inside your tooth until restoration can begin. In some cases, where tooth decay has compromised one of the roots and made the tooth unstable, a tiny metal rod may need to be inserted down into the root to hold the tooth in place in your gums.
Restoration is the process whereby a crown will be created and placed over your compromised tooth. Your dentist or specialist will create the crown, matching it to the natural hue of your teeth, and will use it to seal up the tooth. Within several days, the swelling of the inflamed tissues will go down and the “new” tooth can be used to chew and be cleaned just like your natural teeth.
Why The Bad Reputation?
Many people avoid root canals due to the belief that the procedure will be painful. Root canals might once have been painful in decades past but with the technology and anesthetics now available, the procedure is only about as painful as having a filling placed. Comfortable Root Canal Treatment on Long Island, NY
So root canals aren’t actually so scary, after all. Instead it’s a helpful procedure designed to alleviate pain and save your natural teeth, allowing you to chew properly and smile confidently. As with most illnesses, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Brushing twice daily, flossing daily and scheduling regular exams with your Bella Smiles dentist are all important steps to avoid needing a root canal, especially if your teeth have recently developed any chips or cracks. But if you do need a root canal, now you know there’s nothing to fear. Schedule with your Bella Smiles dentist at our Riverhead, Roslyn and Nesconset locations for a consultation today!