Hearing you need a root canal isn’t something you eagerly anticipate — many people imagine a painful or scary procedure. However, today’s root canals are no longer the dreadful procedures you may have heard about in the past. In fact, they’re comparable to routine fillings.
But if you don’t understand the importance of getting a root canal and what it entails, you probably still have concerns. At Union Square Dental in the Flatiron District of New York City, we understand and want to help.
Our team of dental specialists is experienced in performing this common procedure and aim to address any concerns or questions with this guide to root canals and what you can expect during the procedure.
What is a root canal?
Root canals get their name from the part of the tooth they treat. The tooth’s “root canal” is the space inside your tooth that contains the tooth’s nerve and a pulp chamber.
The procedure gets rid of dental decay or infection in the pulp before it has the chance to spread outside the chamber. If decay or infection does spread to your tooth’s nerve, having a root canal can end up saving your tooth.
How do I know that a root canal is what I need?
The surefire way to know that you need a root canal is by getting an examination from a trained professional, but there are signs to look for. Some include:
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Inflammation of the gum
- Pain while chewing
- Pus around or near the tooth
- Throbbing pain in your mouth or jaw
- Discoloration of the tooth
- A pimple-like bump on your gums
If you’ve noticed any of these signs, contact the team at Union Square Dental to schedule an evaluation as soon as possible. Delaying the treatment of an infected tooth can create a multitude of problems in the future. Getting a root canal can prevent the loss of the affected tooth or surrounding teeth.
What can I expect during a root canal?
Before the procedure, your endodontist administers local anesthesia to numb the area. This helps you feel more comfortable during the root canal.
Once the anesthesia fully numbs your tooth, your provider drills a small hole in the infected tooth to access the pulp chamber. Special tools remove the infected pulp and any other damaged tissue, along with any bacteria from the tooth. This part is called the pulpectomy.
For the next step, your provider fills the empty space in the tooth’s root canal with a material called gutta-percha, this seals and stabilizes the tooth. The last step is placing a crown to further seal and protect the tooth. We ensure you’re as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure.
Seeking early treatment of an infected tooth is extremely important. Not receiving treatment could cost you a tooth. If you think you might need a root canal, please call our office today at 212-675-7877 to schedule an appointment.