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A Definitive Guide To Root Canal

by Daniel Pauly

A root canal is a dental procedure used to treat and save a badly decayed, damaged, or infected tooth. It aims to remove the pulp from the tooth and replace it with inert material, such as bone substitute and gutta-percha points. The process usually requires local anesthesia because it can be excruciating. The procedure then requires one or two days in the dentist’s chair, half a day to prepare the tooth, and another half day to do the root canal treatment. It is a lengthy and painful process and can lead to further complications such as loss of the tooth if not done correctly, which is why you need to find the best dentist offering root canals in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY.

Who Needs a Root Canal?

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to get a root canal immediately after the tooth starts hurting. If your tooth is still sensitive and painful but no longer has an open nerve, then you can probably save it with a filling instead of getting a root canal. Some common symptoms that may require root canal treatment include;

  • Severe pain that does not respond to over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen
  • Visible, bleeding pulp (open nerve)
  • Swelling of the gums surrounding the tooth
  • Toothaches with a throbbing sensation
  • A tooth that has recently been hit or subjected to a lot of pressure
  • Decay, profound decay that extends out towards the nerve of the tooth
  • A broken tooth with pieces pressing against the pulp

What To Expect During A Root Canal

After the local anesthetic has taken effect, your dentist will remove any decay from around and including the tooth’s nerve. If the visible pulp remains after this process, your dentist may opt to perform a root canal instead of a complete extraction. Once the decayed tissue is removed, your dentist will drill a small hole into the top of the tooth and into the root itself. They will then remove all debris with tiny files and irrigate to clear any remaining particles.

Next, your dentist will fill up the space left by removing the nerve with gutta-percha points, which act as a barrier and keep the filling in place. If they need to, they may add a few antibiotic and pain-relieving medications to speed up the recovery process and ease any discomfort they feel during the procedure. It should be painless with modern anesthesia, so don’t worry about that. After about an hour or two, it’s all done. Your dentist will then splint the tooth with a temporary filling and prescribe you some antibiotics if needed.

Recovery

It can take up to six months for your tooth to fully heal. During this time, you will need to follow all of your dentist’s instructions carefully and schedule any further appointments they may request. It can also be possible that the root canal has not worked correctly, in which case the tooth will need to be removed.

In summary, a root canal is a dental treatment for severely damaged, decayed, or infected teeth. You may need it if you experience severe pain that does not get better with medication, toothaches with a throbbing sensation, or a visible bleeding pulp. Your dentist will administer local anesthesia before treatment. You should recover completely in 6 months or less.