in Edison, NJ
What Is A Root Canal?
When the pulp in the root canal becomes diseased and it’s already starting to cause the patient pain, root canal therapy, or endodontic therapy, may become necessary to get rid of the infection and protect the tooth from further contamination. This procedure is composed of a series of steps that are designed to remove the pulp, decontaminate the hollowed out chamber, desensitize the remaining nerve endings, and seal the cavity. This process essentially “kills” the tooth to save it from extraction.
When is a root canal needed?
When the tooth becomes cracked, chipped, or has an extensive cavity-causing part of the pulp is exposed, the patient will start to feel discomfort. As this condition is left untreated and the pulp remains exposed, the infection process will progress and the pulp will become inflamed and damaged, this results in varying levels of pain when the patient talks, bites down, eats, or closes his mouth. At this point, root canal treatment could be recommended by the dentist to relieve the pain being experienced by the patient, and also to avoid extracting the tooth and compromising the overall structure and functionality of the patient’s mouth.
What are the benefits of having a root canal?
There are two main benefits to having a root canal: you relieve the extreme pain that accompanies an infected tooth, and you keep the tooth. Once decay has entered the interior, the dentin, of the tooth, the infection spreads through the tooth. The nerve’s roots in the interior of the tooth will become inflamed; this can create significant pain. By removing all of the material inside the tooth — the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue — the source of the pain is removed.
The second benefit is that you can keep the tooth. A tooth where decay has entered the dentin is in real danger of needing extraction. A root canal removes the decay and infection. In many cases, the patient is able to keep the tooth for years, decades, even the rest of his or her life. This is a better option than having to replace the extracted tooth with a dental implant or a bridge.
what to expect during treatment
Prior to a retail treatment, our doctors usually conduct an x-ray examination to assess the full extent of damage to the tooth. A local anesthetic will be administered to the patient to eliminate discomfort during the procedure. The dentist starts by removing the decayed parts of the tooth and creating an opening that will give him access to the root canal. The pulp, blood vessels, and all other cellular structures will be removed to hollow out the chamber, after which it will be clean and reshaped in preparation for the filling material. The empty root canal will be filled with a sealer composite compound to protect it from becoming wet with saliva. And, optionally, to restore the tooth, a dental crown may be placed on top of it.
Root Canal Treatment
Anatomically speaking, a root canal is a chamber inside the root of the tooth that is made up of the pulp chamber, the main canals, and smaller canals that branch out to connect the main root canals to one another, or to the surface of the root. These chambers are hollow spaces that run through the center of the roots and contain soft tissues including the blood vessels, nerves, and other connective tissues. These structures are known collectively as the pulp of the tooth and are important for the nourishment and sensory responses of the tooth. Gentle Dental Care provides full root canal treatment at our office in Edison, New Jersey.
What should I expect after my root canal?
As mentioned above, you may have some soreness in your jaw joint but not your tooth. Your tooth no longer has any nerves, so it is incapable of feeling any pain. This doesn’t mean it cannot successfully stay in your mouth, as teeth only need the blood supply and other tissues when they are developing as children and teens. You can immediately begin chewing with your tooth and expect it to remain a part of your smile for the duration.
Is there anything to do to prepare for a root canal?
There isn’t anything you need to do to prepare for a root canal. If you’re opting to have sedation, you will need someone to drive you home. That’s about it.
How long does it take to have a root canal?
A simple or minor root canal usually will only take from 30 to 60 minutes. More complex situations may need 90 minutes.
Is a root canal performed under sedation?
Root canals are performed with the patient under local anesthesia that numbs the tooth and the surrounding gums. If you prefer, we can also provide sedation to help you relax.
What will recovery be like after my root canal?
Root canals are surrounded by so much misinformation, as people associate the pain that dictates the need for a root canal with the procedure. Reality is, a root canal with us at Gentle Dental is no more painful than having a routine filling placed. There really isn’t any recovery necessary after having a root canal. There can be some soreness for a day or so afterward, but this is usually simply due to having your mouth open for an hour or more. This is a soreness, not acute pain, and can be easily handled with ibuprofen. If your infection was great enough that you had an abscess, your inflamed gums may need to calm down a bit for a couple of days.
It’s important to remember that a root canal removes all of the infected matter from within the tooth, and this includes all of the nerves. Your tooth is a hollow chamber that no longer has any sensation. It can’t be painful any longer.
How long with my tooth with a root canal last?
Once your Gentle Dental dentist removes the infected pulp, fills the tooth, and places the crown your tooth should last as long as the other teeth in your mouth. People assume that the pulp is critical to the lifespan of the tooth, but the pulp is really only important during the growth and development of the tooth. Once the tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp, as the surrounding tissues provide nourishment. With good hygiene, a tooth that has had a root canal can last for the rest of your life.
Can I drive myself home after having a root canal?
Yes. These are not difficult procedures. In most cases, nothing beyond local anesthetic is required so patients can easily drive themselves home. However, if you opted to also have a sedative to help you relax then someone would need to drive you home.
Needless to say, going to the dentist was not something I looked forward to over the years. That all changed when I found Gentle Dental and my dentist Brad Strober and his caring staff. He not only took care of my teeth, he took care of my self esteem. A better, brighter smile, led to a better, brighter me. The staff was patient, explaining every move. I now know a trip to the dentist…meaning a trip to Gentle Dental is a trip to a better me. I highly recommend Gentle Dental. THANK YOU!!!
Before I even start this review, let me say this: I am a wuss. Wuss, whiner, nightmare patient. I needed an emergency root canal, and, not only did they fit me in, they made sure that I was comfortable with the procedure. It was explained to me, in detail, what was to be done, and what to expect afterward. Dr. Strober was gentle and encouraging, Stephanie was just so sympathetic and amazing. My lifelong fear of dentists was put to rest in about an hour. I am so thankful that my husband found this practice. Thank you so much, Dr. Strober and Steph!!
Schedule Your Consultation
To schedule an appointment for a root canal consultation or procedure in Edison, Piscataway Township, New Brunswick, Metuchen, or Woodbridge Township, NJ, please call Gentle Dental Care at (732) 549-5660 or visit our office.