Root canals are the subject of many scary stories, but the truth is far less frightening. If you’re experiencing a toothache, don’t wait to have it checked out. At Rene Horvilleur, DDS, in the Midtown East area of New York City, the caring team regularly performs root canal procedures to preserve their patients’ permanent teeth. To request your consultation, call or use the online booking tool today.
What is a root canal procedure?
A root canal procedure is a type of oral surgery designed to remove infected tooth pulp and prevent further decay. Ultimately, the goal of a root canal is to save your natural, permanent tooth and avoid an extraction.
What is tooth pulp?
Tooth pulp is the medical term used to describe the nerves and blood vessels in the center of each tooth. After your teeth break through your gum line, their nerves are no longer necessary.
Removing your tooth’s pulp doesn’t impact its function or chewing ability, it only eliminates sensitivity to hot and cold sensations.
Will I know it if I need a root canal?
Tooth pain affects everyone differently. However, common signs you may need a root canal include:
- A severe toothache after biting or chewing
- Prolonged sensitivity to changes in temperature
- Swollen or tender gums
- Bumps or pimples forming on gums
A tooth that’s brown, black, or darkening in color can also indicate the need for a root canal. If you experience these or other similar symptoms, contact the team at Rene Horvilleur, DDS, right away.
What happens during a root canal?
A root canal usually takes two separate appointments.
At your first appointment, your dentist performs an oral exam, reviews your medical history, and asks you a series of questions about your symptoms. Next, a series of digital X-rays are taken to get a better look at your root canals and jawbone.
If your dentist determines you’re a good candidate for a root canal, a rubber dam is placed around your affected tooth, ensuring it stays dry during treatment. Your dentist then administers a local anesthetic, numbing your teeth and gums, and drills an access hole in the top of your tooth. After removing the infected tooth pulp, your dentist rinses your pulp chamber with an antiseptic solution and seals the access hole. Your dentist provides you with a list of recovery instructions and you return home.
About a week later, you return for your second appointment. Your dentist fills your root canal with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha and then seals your tooth with a permanent crown. The second appointment typically takes no longer than 60 minutes.
How painful is a root canal?
Thanks to modern dental techniques and anesthetics, root canals are safe and generally well tolerated. Following your procedure, you may experience some bruising, swelling, and general discomfort. This is perfectly normal and should subside within 24-48 hours.
Follow your dentist’s recovery instructions as closely as possible and use cold compresses and over-the-counter pain medications as needed. If your symptoms persist for more than a day or two, or they get worse, reach out to the team right away.
Are you worried you may need a root canal? If so, the caring providers at Rene Horvilleur, DDS, can help. Call or use the online booking tool to request your consultation today.