In the United States, dentists perform approximately 15 million root canals per year. Although urban legends abound regarding this common dental procedure, it’s actually one of the safest and most effective ways to save your natural teeth. At Westchester Smile Design, Shay Markovitch, DMD, and the team regularly perform root canals to treat infected and inflamed teeth. To learn more about root canal treatment, schedule a consultation online or call the Yonkers, New York, office today.
A root canal is a type of oral surgery designed to treat an infected tooth and prevent the need for an extraction.
Inside of each of your teeth lies a “root canal,” a hollow area beneath your dentin that contains pulp and nerves. Other than providing sensory cues, a tooth’s nerves aren’t vital; removing them can alleviate pain without causing further damage.
If you crack, chip, or damage a tooth, bacteria and food particles can enter your root canal and infect your tooth pulp. As the bacteria continue to multiply, an abcess, or pus-filled pocket can form.
Other complications associated with infected tooth pulp include swelling that spreads to your head, face, or neck; bone loss at the tip of your nerve roots; or drainage problems that impact your teeth and gums.
Root canals generally require two separate appointments at Westchester Smile Design.
At your first appointment, your dentist takes a series of X-rays to get a better look at your affected tooth. If signs of infection are present and you’re deemed medically fit to undergo oral surgery, your dentist moves forward with a root canal.
First, they inject an oral anesthetic to numb your affected tooth and surrounding gums. Next, your dentist applies an oral dam to your tooth, ensuring the area stays dry.
After the anesthesia sets in, your dentist drills a hole in the infected tooth and carefully removes all of the pulp and bacteria. Once your dentist eliminates the infection, they rinse your tooth and apply a temporary sealant.
A week after your first appointment, you’ll return to Westchester Smile Design where your dentist applies a permanent crown.
Thanks to modern surgical techniques and anesthetics, root canals are safe and generally well-tolerated. However, if you suffer from dental anxiety or have a low pain tolerance, Dr. Markovitch and his team offer sedation dentistry.
After your root canal is finished you may experience some swelling, soreness, and general discomfort, but this is perfectly normal. Make sure to follow your dentist’s recovery instructions accordingly and avoid biting down or chewing with your treated tooth.
To learn more about root canals, call Westchester Smile Design or book a consultation online today.