Know Before You Go: Root Canals | Best Dentist Near Me
If you’ve been told you need a root canal, you may be feeling anxious right now. There’s a common misconception that root canals are serious and risky surgical procedures — that may have been true several decades ago. Still, modern root canals are simple and safe in-office procedures. Most patients who get root canals describe the process as no scarier than a filling. However, if you’re feeling anxious, it may help to understand exactly what you can expect from the root canal procedure. This article aims to provide detailed information on root canals, so you know before you go.
Why do I need root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is a simple procedure necessary to treat infected or inflamed pulp, i.e., the soft tissues within the tooth’s root canal. The tooth’s inner pulp chamber can get inflamed or infected due to various reasons, including dental decay, bacterial infections, improper oral hygiene, cracks or chips on the teeth’ surface, etc. If left untreated, root canals can eventually lead to a dangerous dental abscess, leading to general health problems and possible tooth loss. During root canals, the dentist removes all the infected pulp tissues to save the infected tooth from complete decay.
What damages a tooth’s nerve and pulp in the first place?
As mentioned above, several factors can inflame or infect the tooth’s nerve and pulp tissues, paving the way for bacterial infection. Bacteria may enter and infect your pulp tissues because of poor oral hygiene, chips or cracks on the tooth’s surface, repeated dental treatments on a single tooth, etc. However, bacterial infections are the direct catalysts for pulp tissue infection and inflammation.
What are the signs that a root canal is needed?
The fact that you need a root canal indicates that you’ve probably had dental issues for a while that you didn’t address. Most people only need root canals due to neglected gum disease or dental cavities. If you go for regular teeth cleanings and dental exams once every six months, your dentist can identify the early signs of gum disease, dental decay, bacterial infection, and plaque accumulation to prevent you from ever needing root canals. However, if you don’t go for regular dental cleanings, the gradual accumulation of plaque and tartar leads to dental cavities, leading to the need for root canals.
As such, you should go for regular dental cleanings to avoid needing root canals in the future. Barring that, you should get your dental cavities filled as soon as you notice them. The only issue is that dental cavities on the enamel don’t cause any discernible symptoms — they can only be identified through dental exams or if they’re large enough to be visible to the naked eye. And if your dental cavities are large enough to be visible, then it’s probably too late for a filing, and you need a root canal anyway. Once a dental cavity is large enough to penetrate the pulp chamber, you’ll start noticing several symptoms.
The following are the signs and symptoms indicating you may need a root canal:
- Persistent toothaches that go deep into the bone.
- Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.
- Tooth discoloration due to insufficient blood supply or pulp discoloration.
- Swollen or sensitive gums.
- Extreme pain when you eat or chew.
- Visibly chipped or cracked tooth.
- Loose teeth.
What happens if you don’t seek a root canal?
You must not delay getting a root canal. If left untreated, the infection from the root canal can spread to other parts of your body and lead to life-threatening situations and dental problems. The infection can also enter your bloodstream, leading to general health problems, like heart problems, diabetes, etc. Dental infection can also lead to complete dental decay, necessitating emergency tooth extraction. As such, you must get a root canal the moment you’re told your pulp tissues are infected or inflamed.
Why does my root canal take 2 visits?
Root canals can be done in one sitting, but it’s far better to complete them over two or even three visits. During the first session, the endodontist or dentist removes all the infected pulp tissues and nerves and clears your root canal. At this point, some dentists fill the access hole immediately, but it’s far better to apply a disinfectant medicine, place a temporary filling, and schedule a second session. During the second session, the dentist will ensure all the infection is gone before placing the permanent filler material. Some dentists also use the second session to provide the dental crown, while others provide the final dental crown during the final session. You must get a dental crown because it protects your weakened tooth from complete decay.
Who is the best dentist around me for root canals?
When you’re selecting the best dentist around me for root canals, you must ask the following questions:
- Why is the root canal absolutely necessary? The best dentists only recommend root canals if the cavity is too large for fillings, and the bacterial infection has reached the pulp chamber.
- Can the tooth be recovered without root canals? Again, the root canal should be the last resort approach to saving your tooth.
- What are my treatment options? The dentist may recommend possible treatment alternatives for prosthesis or restoration.
- How predictable is the treatment?
- What are your dental crown options after the root canal? The best dentists should recommend porcelain crowns after the root canal.
Studio Smiles is the nearest dental clinic for root canals for patients living in New York City. Our dental clinic is located at 41 Park Ave, Suite 1C, making it highly accessible. For more information, please schedule an appointment online or call 646-470-1376.