Gentle Root Canal Therapy Right Here in Yonkers!
While it is true that a root canal is not what most people call “fun,” the good news is that the painful reputation isn’t necessarily deserved, especially here at our Westchester County dental office!
If you have been told that you need a root canal, you should know that not only is it about as painful as having a cavity filled, but also that root canals are a vitally important part of having a healthy mouth.
What is a root canal?
Your tooth isn’t just made up of tough, bone-like material. Inside the tooth there is a pulp chamber, made up of soft tissue with nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. The nerves lie within the root canals, which run from the roots of the tooth into the pulp chamber. But although it is inside the tooth, the pulp can get damaged. This can happen when a cavity isn’t filled or if the tooth is cracked or broken, giving bacteria the chance to get into the tooth. The bacteria start to multiply, which causes an infection.
This can lead to an abscessed tooth (an abscess is a pocket of pus on the tooth root). A tooth infection or abscess can be very serious because it can cause bone loss around the root tip of the tooth and even swelling in the neck, face, and head.
How do I know if I need a root canal?
Of course, Dr. Morrow will let you know if you need a root canal! But, you might want to make an appointment if you have noticed these symptoms: severe tooth pain when you chew; sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, a tooth that has turned a dark color; unusually swollen and tender gums.
What is the procedure for a root canal?
The root canal procedure can take one to three visits to the dentist. Before the root canal, your dentist will take X-rays of the tooth to make sure there aren’t any signs of infection in the bone surrounding the tooth. He will numb the area with a local anesthesia. Then, he will drill a small hole in the top of the tooth and remove the infected pulp. He will clean out and disinfect the inside of the tooth. He will fill the inside of the tooth with an elastic material and an antibiotic medicine to fight infection. Then, he will place a crown or a filling to protect the tooth. The loss of the tooth nerve will not affect how your tooth functions at all. The nerve is important before the tooth emerges from under the gums, but after that it is really not necessary to the health of the tooth.
Root canal recovery and aftercare
Most patients who have had a root canal can get back to their regular activities within a day. Because Dr. Morrow will use a crown or a filling, no one will even be able to tell that you’ve had a root canal. You should try to get back to your regular oral hygiene regimen as soon as possible, although your gums will be sore for a few days after the procedure. You can try an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen if the pain is too much, and you can try to eat soft foods and to only chew on the opposite side of your mouth. Dr. Morrow may prescribe an antibiotic to help your body fight infection.
Sometimes, after a root canal, a tooth can become discolored. This can be fixed with a tooth whitening treatment. Speak to the dental team at the office if you notice your tooth changing colors after a root canal.
Root canals have a very high success rate. A tooth that has had a root canal will last just as long as your other teeth do, as long as you practice good oral hygiene habits.
Root canal pain
Root canals are notorious for how painful they are. However, most people who have had a root canal say that it was hardly painful at all. And, because a root canal cleans out infection, it can actually provide relief from pain!
A root canal also rescues your tooth from even more damage and decay, which would mean more dental work in your future. An infected tooth that is not taken care of will have to be pulled and replaced with a false tooth.
You may not be looking forward to a root canal, but you should know that this is an important procedure that can prevent pain and trouble in the future. And when you have to have a root canal, it can set your mind at ease to have a dentist that you know and trust right here in Yonkers, Westchester County, NY. You can depend on Dr. Ira S. Morrow, DMD, for a gentle, caring procedure. Give us a call at (914) 476-4040 today!