A root canal is required when the nerve of a tooth is infected by bacteria and decay. To save the tooth, the pulp, nerves, decay, and bacteria are excavated, and the resulting space is filled with gutta-percha, which restores the tooth and its function.

Having a root canal done on a tooth is the standard of care to keep a tooth that otherwise would get infected and would have to be removed. A lot of patients in Brooklyn think that extracting a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause bigger problems for surrounding teeth.

A Root canal is very successful and commonly lasts a lifetime, although, on occasion, a root-canaled tooth will have to be treated again due to recurring infections.

Signs indicating the need for root canal therapy:

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold.
  • A fistula (or bump) on the gums.
  • Sometimes no pain or symptoms.
  • Swelling and/or tenderness.
  • Excruciating toothache.

Reasons for root canal therapy:

  • An infection has developed at the root tip or inside the tooth.
  • Dental caries have penetrated the pulp of the tooth.
  • A necrotic tooth after getting braces.
  • Injury or trauma to the tooth.

What does root canal therapy entail?

A root canal requires one or two visits and can be done by a Brooklyn NY endodontist, a root canal specialist, or a dentist.

Once the tooth is anesthetized, a rubber dam (an isolating sheet of rubber) will be placed on the tooth to keep it clean and dry. An access opening is made on top of the tooth and different-sized root canal files are used to clean the root canals, one by one, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria. If there is tooth decay, it will also be excavated with special dental instruments.

Once the tooth root is completely cleaned, it will be covered with either a tooth filling or, if more steps are required, a temporary material will be applied.

At the next visit, usually, a week or two later, the roots of the tooth will be filled and sealed with a special filling called gutta-percha. A tooth filling will be placed to seal the opening on top of the tooth. In addition, any tooth that has had root canal treatment should have a dental crown (cap) placed. This will literally hug the tooth and prevent it from cracking under pressure, and restore its function.

After treatment, your tooth may still be tender, but this will diminish as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.

At Brooklyn Dentist, you will be provided with post-operative instructions after each visit. Good oral hygiene habits and bi-annual dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.