Root Canal Treatment in Astoria, Queens
When the nerve of a tooth is infected by due to decay, a root canal is needed in order to clean the canals of the root of all the decay and infection. This usually saves the tooth by removing the pulp, nerves and bacteria inside the tooth and replacing it with medicated dental material that fills the space allowing the tooth to be saved.
Patients choose to have root canals when they wish to save a tooth that would otherwise have to be removed. Most patients believe that extracting the tooth is the best idea. However, pulling a tooth is costly and leaves a space that may cause problems for other adjacent teeth. The removed tooth should be replaced by a dental implants, which is also costly.
Root canals performed at Steinway Family Dental Center have a high success rate.
Possible signs of a root canal needed:
- There may be an abscess or pimple on the gums.
- The tooth may be become sensitive to hot and cold.
- The patient may experience severe tooth ache.
- There may be swelling or tenderness around the tooth.
Reasons for root canal therapy:
The decay inside the tooth has reached the pulp of the tooth (the living tissue inside the tooth); the infection may have become an abscess which has developed at the root tip, or there may have been injury or trauma to the tooth.
What happens during root canal therapy?
The root canal procedure will require one or more appointment that can be performed by one of the dentists at Steinway Family Dental Center.
When the tooth is numbed, the dentist will place a rubber dam (rubber protection) around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva. An opening is made at the top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed inside the opening one at a time. These remove the pulp, the nerve tissue and any bacteria inside here. If there is decay inside it will be removed with special dental instrument.
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned of all bacteria and debris it is then sealed with a permanent filling. The patient may need additional appointments.
The dentist usually waits one week and then he fills the roots and the cavity with special dental materials taking care to seal the tooth completely. The dentist places a filling to cover the opening on the top of the tooth. This prevents the tooth from breaking and protects it restoring the tooth to its full function.
Once the root canal treatment has finished the tooth may still be sensitive for a while. Eventually this sensitivity will subside as the inflammation inside the tooth reduces and the tooth begins to heal.
The patient must practice good oral hygiene practices and regular visits will aid the life of the root canal.
What is the process during a root canal?
Initially the dentist will administer local anesthesia in order to numb the tooth that is to be treated and the tissue in the surrounding area. If the pulp in the patients tooth is inflamed it may be very painful. If this is the case the dentist will take his time to get it numb and will not start treatment until it is actually numb.
An access hole is drilled by the dentist through the biting surface of an affected tooth or he may go in through a front tooth. This will allow access to the pulp chamber and the actual root canals that will be treated.
The dentist will remove the diseased and deal pulp tissue in the root canals of the tooth using an instrument that is used to clean out the root canals and pulp chamber. This will not be painful to the patient given the fact that the area will be numb and that the material being removed is already dead or decaying. The pulp is then removed along with the nerves contained in it and the patients can no longer feel pain in this tooth.
The dentist will then disinfect with antiseptic and anti-bacterial solutions the canals of the tooth making sure that there is no debris or decaying matter left in the root canals.
The canals of the tooth are then shaped with tiny flexible instruments. This allows the root canals to receive fillings. The root canals are washed and sealed one last time in order to remove any debris. Afterwards they are then sealed using a special material.
Fillings that will exactly fill into the freshly prepared root canals are selected. The dentist uses a special material called ‘gutta-percha’ that is used to fill in the canal space. This thermoplastic material is heated and then compressed into the walls of the root canals forcing them to be sealed. The dentist then used adhesive cement and combined with the 'gutta-percha' the prepared canal space becomes filled. The sealing of the root canals is a critical part of the treatment and can prevent them from becoming re-infected with bacteria.
The dentist will then place a temporary filling material that will seal the access hole made by the dentist that he used to treat the root canals. If the patients tooth lacks sufficient structure to hold a restoration (filling) the he will place made of metal or a very strong plastic into one of the canals inside the tooth to help retain it.
What happens after the root canals are treated.
The root canal filling that is used (gutta percha) is placed into the root canals and then the tooth is sealed with a temporary filling to protect it from contamination. Then a crown is placed over the tooth to seal and protect it from recontamination and future damage.
Once the procedure has been completed, an antibiotic is prescribed that will treat or prevent infection. The dentist or endodontist will give you specific instructions that you must follow carefully. Patients will experience minor discomfort after the treatment including slight soreness. This can be alleviated using medications or prescription painkillers.
Once your treatment has been completed you will need a permanent restoration – either a filling or a crown – that will provide a complete seal to the top of your tooth. The dentist or endodontist will determine which type of restoration will be best for you. The reason why this is so important is that many studies on root canal procedures show that if the root canals are recontaminated from bacteria in the mouth then there could be the chance of a recurring infection on the patients tooth again.