Root Canal

NYC Cosmetic Dentists Serving Manhattan and New York, NY

Inside of each of your teeth is a pulp chamber in which can be found the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that help the roots of your teeth grow during development. When the pulp in this chamber becomes infected – known as an abscess tooth –  it becomes necessary to remove the infection in order to prevent tooth loss and other potentially serious consequences. The procedure to remove infection is known as root canal therapy or, more commonly, a root canal, and it is a safe, effective, and quick way to preserve the quality and appearance of your smile.

To learn about root canal therapy or any other general, preventive, restorative, or cosmetic dentistry service offered by our experienced dentists, please contact NYC Smile Designs today. If you suspect you need a root canal, you can schedule an appointment faster by calling our Manhattan office at 212-452-3344.

Symptoms of Tooth Infection

Symptoms that indicate a root canal may be necessary include:

  • Throbbing toothache
  • Pain when chewing or biting
  • Heightened sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Swelling of lymph nodes in the neck
  • Facial swelling
  • Fever

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you likely have an abscessed tooth. Left untreated, the infection can spread to the jaw and throughout the face, resulting in systemic infection. An untreated tooth abscess can also result in tooth loss, necessitating advanced restorative services to preserve the quality and function of the smile.

Is a Root Canal Painful?

Only in stories. The truth is, a root canal is not painful at all. When a root canal becomes necessary, the nerve in the tooth is already dead. There may be the sensation of work being done, but there will not be any pain during the root canal procedure.

If you are nervous about pain or feel uncomfortable with the idea of a root canal, we would be happy to discuss safe and comfortable sedation options that can allow you to feel completely at ease during your procedure.

How Long Does it Take to Recover from a Root Canal?

It only takes a few days to recover from a root canal. Some residual soreness may be present for 24 to 48 hours, but this can be dealt with through OTC medications and proper aftercare. Most people can resume work within 24 hours, though it may take a few more days before strenuous and demanding exercises can be resumed. In addition, foods that are sticky, chewy, hard, crunchy, or very hot or cold will need to be avoided for the first 48 hours to help prevent issues with the dental crown.

Will I Have to Take Special Care of My Teeth After a Root Canal?

After the first 24 to 48 hours, a root canal will not require any special care. Simply brushing after every meal, flossing at least once a day, and visiting our office every six months for cleaning and examination should be all it takes to care for your smile following treatment.

During a root canal, a porcelain crown is placed over the affected tooth to help prevent future problems. However, porcelain crowns can become scratched or stained, making it important that you use a non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. There is no need to change your routine, but you will need to use the appropriate tools to help prevent damaging your restoration.

What are the Alternatives to a Root Canal?

Pulp capping, pulpotomy, and tooth extraction are the alternatives to a root canal. Pulp capping protects healthy tooth enamel and will not serve a tooth that has already become infected. Pulpotomy is reserved exclusively for babies and children’s teeth. Tooth extraction is the most common alternative to a root canal for adults.

Is Root Canal Therapy Permanent?

Once a tooth has been cleaned and sealed, infection should not come back. This can make root canal permanent. However, dental crowns, used to cap teeth treated through a root canal, are not permanent and will need to be replaced over time. Most crowns last for 10 to 20 years, though the care you take of yours will play a direct role in their longevity.

Dr. Elisa Mello and Dr. Ramin Tabib recommend you call our NYC dental office right away if you notice any of the above symptoms. We can perform an examination, determine if infection is present, and take appropriate action to protect your smile and your body from the dangers of untreated tooth infection.