Did you know that the enamel on your teeth is the hardest substance in your body? It’s harder than your bones. However, under that tough layer of enamel, there are softer parts of your teeth that can become damaged or decay because of bacteria.
Bridges, crowns, dentures, and the other marvelous devices used in restorative dentistry are excellent, but your natural tooth is best. If you can save your tooth by having a root canal, it’s an option you should consider.
A root canal is a standard dental procedure that removes infection and decay from your tooth. This prevents further loss of tooth material and allows you to keep your natural tooth.
At Union Square Dental in the Flatiron District of New York City, our team has deep expertise in performing root canals. We work to save your tooth and ease your pain.
Who needs a root canal?
Commonly, your dentist will recommend a root canal when there is an infection in your tooth’s interior pulp, the soft layers under your enamel. Those inner layers can become infected due to damage or severe decay.
Symptoms of infection include:
- Inflamed gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- A change in the color of your tooth
- A small bump on your gums
Infection can cause pain, and it can cause damage to your nerves and blood vessels, leading to the death of tissue in your tooth. In some cases, an injury to the face can impact a tooth and cause it to die. Although the symptoms above may be associated with other problems, any of them may also indicate the need for a root canal.
Why you should have a root canal
If the pulp inside your tooth is damaged, decaying, or infected, a root canal is likely the best choice for treatment. Our staff evaluates your situation by examining you, taking X-rays, and determining the extent of your infection.
We use a local anesthetic around the tooth to numb the area and keep you comfortable. After the anesthetic takes effect, you’re unlikely to feel any discomfort during the procedure, which usually takes about an hour.
Once your mouth is numb, your doctor makes a small incision behind the affected tooth. He then cleans away the damaged and infected area. This part is the actual root canal, and once it’s complete, your doctor seals the opening so that bacteria can’t enter. They may place a crown over your natural tooth to provide extra protection if necessary.
Once the infection is removed, damage to the tooth stops. If your teeth were discolored because of the infection or the damage, they might even return to their natural color. In most cases, root canal treatment preserves the tooth and allows you to keep it for years to come.
Root canals treat tooth infections, and you may be surprised to learn that you feel less tooth pain immediately after a root canal procedure than before it. Your tooth may be sensitive for a few days, but that should get better quickly, and you’ll have a strong, natural tooth.
If you’d like to learn more about how root canals work and if it’s the most appropriate treatment for your problem, make an appointment online or over the phone at our office in the Flatiron District of New York City.