Teeth can become damaged due to a variety of causes, including periodontal disease, trauma, and untreated cavities. There are numerous ways of treating these conditions, but surgery is sometimes needed. This normally means that a root canal procedure is necessary.
Although root canals are fairly common, safe and effective, there is still a good bit of misunderstanding about them with the general public. For this reason, we have put together this guide to the root canal procedure so that you can understand it, why it is performed, and how it works.
The root canal is a dental procedure involving the removal of the dental pulp - the soft tissue found at the center of the tooth. When a patient undergoes a root canal, we do not have to extract a tooth that has been severely infected, damaged or decayed. Most root canals are performed as an outpatient procedure without the use of general anesthesia or a lengthy recovery.
Most patients find, often surprisingly, that a root canal procedure is no more uncomfortable than what they experienced during a dental filling. You will be provided with anesthesia so that you remain comfortable throughout the procedure.
If the pulp of one of your teeth has become infected or damaged, either due to gum disease, tooth trauma, or tooth decay, it will become painful and inflamed. When more conservative treatments are not sufficient, we may recommend that you either have the tooth extracted or undergo a root canal.
Although a tooth extraction may sound simple, it has some negatives that come with it. Even if the missing tooth is not noticeable by others, it can lead to problems with chewing your food. Your surrounding teeth can also eventually shift into the resulting space, leading to serious problems with alignment and bite. In that case, we may advise that you have a dental implant placed.
Not only can a root canal procedure save your tooth, it may allow you to avoid the expense and complications surrounding a tooth extraction. It can also help prevent the need for an eventual denture or dental implant. If you are confused about what choice makes the most sense for you, schedule an appointment with Aesthetic Dental Center of Hackensack so that we can go over your treatment options and answer any remaining questions that you may have.
Besides learning that root canals are not painful, the second most surprising thing that many patients find out is that root canal procedures are fairly simple and straightforward. We use a local anesthetic to thoroughly numb the area. We will then remove the dental pulp, sculpt the interior of the tooth, and pack it using a special medicament that acts as a filling for the root canal. Next, we will seal your tooth with a temporary crown to protect it. Following your root canal, you may need to have a permanent crown placed to preserve the tooth.
Expect your mouth to be somewhat numb for a few hours while the anesthesia is wearing off. Avoid eating anything requiring chewing, or drinking anything hot during this time. You don't want to risk biting down hard on the tooth or burning your mouth.
If you are prescribed pain medication, this is a good time to begin taking it. In the next couple of days your pain and discomfort should be minor.
Continue taking your medication as prescribed for the next few days. Focus on eating foods that are soft, like yogurt, Jell-O, scrambled eggs or potatoes. It may help to chew on the other side of your mouth from the area of the root canal. When you brush your teeth, do so carefully and gently.
Any pain that you experience should begin subsiding in a few days. If you should experience pain for an extended period, please contact us so that we can follow up.
If you have not visited a dentist in some time, contact our Aesthetic Dental Center office in Hackensack to schedule an appointment. We are also available to answer any questions that you may have about any of our dental procedures and treatments. Keep in mind that the longer you put off needed treatment, the greater the risk of losing your tooth.
We take our patients’ privacy seriously. Please refrain from providing any personal health or sensitive information. Call us at (201) 488-8866 to schedule your appointment over the phone.
“I have been using this service for years, they recently moved to a new lovely office. I was just there for a toothache and my regular dentist was not there, seen by Dr Meskin, who was so nice and helpful. Explained everything so I would understand.”
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“I have been going to Aesthetic Dental Center for the past year. I am very pleased by the 5 star level of dental care (excellent facilities and equipment) and the efficiency and friendliness of all the staff at Aesthetics Dental Center.”
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