A survey by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics has reported that approximately 91% of Americans aged 20–64 have some form of dental cavities.
According to the American Dental Association, over 15 million people receive root canal treatments annually. However, people are sadly misinformed when it comes to understanding the process of root canals.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure used to repair or save a tooth. The method focuses on the internal parts of the tooth where the sensory nerves are located. Just below the outer tooth, there’s a pulp that contains the nerve endings. The process of root canal removes the pulp and the nerve endings to preserve the tooth from decaying further and infecting the surrounding jaw bone.
Why get a Root Canal?
Sometimes, the inner pulp or nerves of the teeth get damaged. This can happen due to many reasons, tooth decay, injury, gum disease, chipped or cracked tooth, etc. Once the pulp gets damaged, it breaks down and starts filling with infection causing bacteria. This leads to inflammation of the roots and supporting bone and forms pus-filled pockets in the bone. If left untreated, this can result in complete loss of the toothand possible abscess in your bone and gum tissues.
Who can perform a root canal?
A root canal is usually doneby a dentist who is licensed to perform this procedure. For a more professionaltreatment, people can visit an Endodontist. An endodontist specializes in treatment of human dental pulp and nerves of the teeth and any associated jaw infection.
How is it done?
It is an outpatient treatment and is done in a couple of appointments. Here are the steps of a standard root canal:
- An X-ray is done to identify the extent of decay and shape of the canal and identify the cause and area of infection.
- A local anesthetic is then applied to numb the tooth and surrounding area.
- A small hole is drilled through the top mid or side of the tooth to reach the pulp area.
- Special tools are then used to extract the nerve, pulp and any other debris compromising the integrity of the tooth.
- After a thorough internal cleaning of the tooth, a permanent root canal filling is placed inside to sea the tooth and prevent re-infection.
- A temporary crown or filling is placed for a few days to protect the tooth while you wait to see your general dentist for a permanent filling and/or crown.
- At the end of the procedure the tooth is covered with a permanent crown or filling by your general dentist.
Does the process hurt?
This is a common misconception among people that root canals are extremely painful. This prevents many Americans from getting proper treatment.
Modern dental technology ensures that the pain is at a minimum and you can resume activities shortly after the procedure. Over-the-counter pain-killers are prescribed by dentistsand Endodontists to help minimize discomfort during the recovery.
Not everyone is the right candidate for this process. Only a professional can recommend getting a root canal. At Midtown Root Canals in Manhattan, NYC, you can get professional advice from leading endodontist Dr. Alen C. Jakob. Conveniently located near Time Square, and Bryant Park, they provide expert, painless root canal services with precision, care and focus.
Contact us today to book a consultation.