The tooth decay and infection causing your need for a root canal can be immensely painful. But the root canal itself is not. Plus, recovery is quick, and results are usually permanent. Over 41,000 root canals are performed in the United States every day. That’s over 15 million root canals annually.
Dr. Yuliya Kanatova and Dr. Kateryna Grytsenko at Union Square Dental perform countless root canals at their office in the Flat Iron neighborhood of New York City and want you to know the facts.
Who needs a root canal?
A root canal restores the strength and usefulness of a badly infected or damaged tooth. During the procedure, your dentist removes the tooth’s soft center (pulp), which contains the nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels that initially helped the tooth develop and grow. The hole is then filled with a biocompatible material, usually a rubber-like material called gutta-percha.
Causes of pulp damage that can lead to the need for a root canal include:
A chipped or cracked tooth
- Deep decay from an untreated cavity
- Multiple dental procedures on the tooth
- A blow or other injury that damaged the pulp
Depending on the amount of decay, your dentist may recommend capping the treated tooth with an artificial crown. Crowns are fabricated to match the size and shade of your natural teeth.
What happens during a root canal procedure?
First, you receive a topical numbing agent and local anesthetic injection to eliminate pain during the treatment.
Once the anesthetic takes effect, your dentist creates a small opening at the top of the tooth, exposing the infected or damaged pulp. Then the dentist carefully removes the pulp from the canals in your tooth. An adult tooth can continue to function without the pulp inside.
Next, your dentist may coat the area with an antibiotic to eradicate infection before filling the hole with a biocompatible material. If a crown is needed, you’ll initially receive a temporary one while your permanent crown is fabricated, which can take a couple of weeks.
Post-surgery, you may notice some tooth sensitivity for a few days, but the pain is minimal and generally managed with over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Most patients return to routine activities the day after a root canal.
How long does a root canal last?
A root canal can last a lifetime with proper oral hygiene (daily brushing, flossing, and routine dental exams). So don’t ignore tooth pain. You risk losing your tooth.
Instead, schedule a visit today with the experts at Union Square Dental. Call 212-675-7877, or request an appointment online today.