Harold Krinsky, DDS

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Root Canal Therapy

When disease, decay or infection affects the root of a tooth, root canal therapy may be necessary. In root canal procedures, the living tissue inside the tooth (pulp), bacteria, nerves, and decay are removed and the pocket is filled with a specially made dental medication that restores the tooth’s health.

A root canal can save a tooth that is dead or dying. Patients sometimes feel that it would be easier to remove the tooth, but this is not always the best choice. But often time, extracting (pulling) a tooth is more costly in the long run and can create spacing and other problems for surrounding teeth.

Occasionally, a tooth with a root canal will need to be maintained, but on the whole, the root canals procedure has a high success rate and will last a lifetime.

You may need a root canal if you experience one of more of these signs:

  • An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
  • Hot and cold sensitivity.
  • Severe toothache pain.
  • Inflammation and/or sensitivity.

Sometimes, patients needing a root canal will not experience any symptoms, so regaulr check-ups are encouraged.

Why a root canal?

  • Decay has reached the live tissue inside the tooth (pulp).
  • Infection or abscesses have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
  • The tooth has experienced trauma or injury.

What is the procedure for a root canal?

Your dentist or an endodontist (root canal specialist) may preform a root canal. It is usually done in one appointment may sometimes requires more.

The tooth is numbed, and a protective rubber sheet (dam) is placed around the tooth to keep it dry and clean. An opening is made on top of the tooth, and the pulp, tooth decay, nerve tissue and bacteria are removed using a series of specialized dental instruments called root canal files.

A temporary filling may be placed into the tooth if additional appointments are required. If not, the tooth will be thoroughly cleansed and sealed with a permanent filling made of porcelain or composite material.

If multiple appointments are required, during the second appointment, your dentist will use special materials to fill and seal the inside of the tooth. To completely restore the tooth and prevent it from breaking, your dentist will place a filling over the top of the tooth and seal it with a crown or cap.

As your tooth heals, swelling will diminish and any sensitivity you feel will subside. After your root canal, you will receive complete home care instructions. Regular dental visits and good oral hygiene will aid in the preservation of your root canal. If you feel you are a good candidate for root canal therapy, contact our dentist today. 

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