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The Dental Patient's Guide to Root Canals

Root canals are popular dental treatments that address internal issues. Contrary to popular myths, the discomfort experienced during a root canal is comparable to that of a dental extraction. Here is the dental patient’s guide to root canals.

Purpose
The purpose of a root canal is to treat the inside of a tooth. This procedure is done on teeth that suffer from a significant amount of decay that has led to infection, which is typically painful. When a decaying tooth is left untreated, it becomes more and more appealing to bacteria and food debris. This allows an infection to occur in the inside of the tooth, which is where the nerve and pulp are located. The damage of these interior materials can cause pain and allow bacteria and infection to spread. Fortunately, a root canal can remove the infection and save the natural tooth.

Tooth ouch

Treatment
Either a dentist or an endodontist will perform your root canal. He or she will first examine your tooth, typically using an x-ray, to get an idea of the severity of the infection. After giving you a local anesthetic, a sheet of rubber will be used to maintain dryness around the area of the infected tooth. Once this is in place, your dentist or endodontist will drill a small access hole into the tooth in order to evacuate the pulp, thereby removing bacteria, debris, and dead nerve tissue. Then the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and any remaining debris will be removed before it is sealed. During a separate visit, your dentist may add a crown or other supportive structure.

Post-Treatment
If your dentist recommends finishing the procedure with a permanent filling or crown in a separate visit, avoid heavily using your newly treated tooth until that time. Your tooth may be sensitive after the procedure, but this can be addressed using over the counter medications.

If you think that a root canal is the right treatment for you, contact the dental professionals at Park 56 Dental. We provide the New York City area with high quality dentistry. Find out what makes us the best dentistry practice in NYC by visiting our website or calling us at (212) 826-2322.

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