Root Canal Treatment in Midtown
Many people cringe when they hear the term "root canal." However, this tooth-preserving dental service has an undeserved reputation.
Modern root canals, more accurately termed root canal therapy or endodontic therapy, are simple, painless and take just 2 dental appointments with a skilled dentist such as Kara Mason, D.M.D. in Midtown, Manhattan. Most importantly, root canal therapy preserves an infected, decaying tooth so it can function normally, providing years of:
- normal speech
- jaw bone density and strength
- gum tissue density and viability
- tooth alignment
The Root Canal Procedure
Dentists perform root canal therapy when a tooth is injured, severely decayed or abscessed. With a dental abscess, the patient often experiences a throbbing toothache with swelling, gum redness and bad breath. This infection occurs when the soft pulp in one or more root canals or inner tooth chambers is invaded by bacteria.
Comprised of a blood supply, nerves and connective tissue, the pulp is important during tooth development, but in adulthood serves only to signal pain. As such, a tooth can function well for years without the pulp.
To determine the appropriateness of endodontic therapy, Dr. Mason examines and x-rays the tooth. She then administers a local anesthesia and drills a hole into the tooth chamber. Using a series of small files, she removes the diseased pulp and other debris, applies an antimicrobial medication and seals the chamber. The sealant is a rubbery substance called gutta-percha. Then, the dentist proceeds to the other root canals if necessary and finishes the job with a temporary filling or cap.
The dentist takes an impression of the refurbished tooth and sends it to a dental lab for fabrication of a dental crown to cover and support the remaining tooth structure. Both the initial root canal appointment and the crowning procedure take about one hour each, dispelling the myth that endodontic therapy involves an extended period of time.
Most root canal procedures are successful, and restored teeth last for many years. Endodontic therapy a great way to retain all the benefits of natural tooth structure.
Signs and Symptoms of Root Canal Problems
How do you know when you need a root canal? Sometimes, it's painfully obvious. If you feel constant and severe pain and pressure in your mouth, or noticeable swelling and extreme sensitivity in your gums, then it's clear you need an evaluation and treatment right away. Another telltale symptom of pulp tissue damage is sharp pain when you bite down on food. Lingering pain after eating hot or cold foods is also an indication of potential trouble. If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to have an examination as soon as possible.
For more information on Root Canal Treatments in the Midtown, Manhattan area call Dr. Kara Mason at (212) 355-2195 today!