Getting a root canal sounds about as fun as, well, getting a root canal. Wait, so what do you compare a root canal to when you’re talking about something that’s not fun?
We know that getting a root canal isn’t high on anyone’s list of fun things to do. But sometimes root canals are necessary to restore patients to good oral health. And to be fair, dentistry has come a long way since the days of painful root canals.
In fact, thanks to modern techniques, getting a root canal today is both common and painless. Here’s what you can expect when you visit the endodontic experts at Smile Design Manhattan in New York City for a root canal treatment.
What is a root canal?
Bacteria inside your mouth sometimes make their way inside a tooth, where they can infect the pulp. The pulp consists of connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves.
If this infection is left untreated for too long, a root canal may be necessary to remove the infected material and save your tooth (as well as your mouth) from a more serious infection.
The procedure is called a “root canal” because your dentist cleans out the canals inside the tooth’s root. More than 15 million root canals are performed in the United States each year, an average of more than 41,000 a day.
What should you expect from a root canal?
A root canal procedure takes 1-2 appointments, depending on your individual case. Your dentist first administers pain-free local anesthesia before drilling a small hole in the crown of your tooth to access the infected pulp.
They then remove the pulp with tiny dental instruments before cleaning, disinfecting, and shaping the root canals inside your tooth.
The next step is filling your tooth with a special dental cement before adding a temporary crown or filling to cover the tooth and prevent bacteria from re-entering.
In most cases, you need a dental crown to protect your tooth and give you a normal bite. Dental crowns are customized to your mouth and usually take a couple of weeks to manufacture. You’ll come back to the office at that point to have your dental crown installed.
The sooner you’re treated for a tooth infection, the better. A root canal can keep the infection from spreading to your jawbone and possibly causing you to lose your tooth.
If you think you may need a root canal, contact Smile Design Manhattan to schedule an appointment. Call the Midtown West office or fill out our online request form today.