“Root canal”–two words misunderstood more than most! Because of confusion and misinformation, so many people needlessly fear root canals. Sadly, many of these fearful patients are the ones who need treatment the most.
At Northport Family Dental, our job is to help our patients avoid the fear of the dentist and keep their smiles healthy for life. Sometimes, when a tooth gets injured or has too much dental decay, we need to perform treatment on the tooth to restore it to full or near-full function. One such treatment is root canal therapy.
Root canal therapy is a routine procedure performed to save a damaged tooth. Root canal treatments are a vital tool in the dental world because they are often the last defense against tooth extraction. In almost all cases, the removal of a tooth is less desirable.
If you have a painful toothache, an untreated cavity, or a fractured tooth, you may need root canal treatment. To speak with a member of our dental team or to schedule an appointment with a Northport dentist, please call us today at (631) 754-1107.
While there are many reasons your tooth might need a root canal, you really only need one reason to consider the procedure: without it, you’ll likely lose your natural tooth.
Saving a natural tooth is preferable to losing it in nearly every circumstance. Dentists typically save tooth extraction as the last resort or the worst-case-scenario for most patients, and most will try every other tooth-saving therapy before resorting to removal.
Why? Because your mouth works best with all of your natural teeth, and you jeopardize the health of your jaw bone when you begin to lose them.
Your tooth crowns, or the portion of your teeth that’s visible when you smile, are only part of the big picture. Your teeth extend far beyond your gum line with roots that anchor deep into your jaw bone below the surface. These tooth roots play a vital role in keeping your jaw bone healthy and active — which, in turn, maintains your facial structure and gives you a healthy, youthful appearance.
Without tooth roots to stimulate your jaw bone, you will experience bone loss and a sunken, collapsed facial appearance.
When you have a failing, infected, or damaged tooth, root canal therapy in Northport offers that tooth a second chance at a healthy, productive existence. A root canal allows you to keep your tooth roots firmly planted within your jaw bone, which is precisely where they belong.
Without root canal treatment to save them, many compromised teeth wouldn’t have the opportunity to thrive—which is why at Northport Family Dental, we recommend root canal therapy to many of our patients who need a tooth saved.
We see many damaged teeth here at our dental office, but the ones that require root canal therapy typically fall into two different categories: decayed teeth and damaged teeth.
Teeth that need root canals are typically very painful, so the immediate goal of our root canal therapy in Northport is to relieve your pain.
When the outer surface of a tooth is breached, the breakdown (decay) continues inward toward the pulpal (nerve) tissue space. Bacteria enter and invade that space and cause inflammation, which, if caught early on, is what we call reversible pulpitis.
The tooth can become sensitive, but it can still heal and function normally. If too many bacteria overwhelm the nerve, however, it is irreversible pulpitis and will require root canal treatment.
During root canal treatment, our Northport dentists use specialized instruments to remove the decayed interior of your tooth. This treatment is a delicate process, as the inner canals of your tooth roots are quite small.
After we remove the damaged tooth matter, we then seal off the tooth canals and typically restore your tooth using a dental crown.
A tooth that is overly sensitive to temperature or partially painful while chewing may also signal underlying damage. After a tooth experiences trauma, the nerve inside the tooth can die.
Often, a nerve “dies” slowly, without symptoms. A traumatic blow to a front tooth can also result in a nerve dying years or even decades later. Many patients who need a root canal on a front tooth complain that the tooth has darkened and can recall an incident from years past.
Teeth grinding and clenching may not seem like a severe problem, but this repeated and persistent assault on a tooth overloads its ability to stay healthy. Micro-fractures result, opening up an alternate pathway for bacteria to enter the tooth. This process will lead to tooth decay and typically result in the need for root canal treatment down the road.
Excessive clenching often propagates these fractures deeper and deeper into the tooth, ultimately reaching the nerve. Often, large pieces of teeth break, sheared along these planes, often into the nerve itself. Recognition of this pattern on multiple teeth by Dr. Rubin and Dr. Quinn will prompt the recommendation of a protective occlusal guard.
Routine x-rays may show changes in the bone surrounding the root of the tooth, indicating a chronic irreversible problem. When we find the problem soon enough, we can remedy it and help you avoid the discomfort of a root canal infection.
At Northport Family Dental, we always promise to put your comfort and safety first. Root canals have a bad reputation for being painful, but the treatment will actually relieve your pain and make chewing, speaking, and brushing much more comfortable.
Typically, we can complete your root canal treatment in only one visit to our dental office. A local anesthetic allows us to remove the damaged and infected pulpal (nerve) tissue from the tooth without discomfort.
Understanding that everyone has a different pain threshold and that we are often dealing with an inflamed nerve, we are acutely aware of how important it is to maintain your comfort. Although this concept applies to all procedures we perform, we know that often the reason that this procedure is undertaken is that the tooth is painful to begin with. The good news is that the pain goes away once your Northport root canal is over.
It’s no secret that people see root canals as an unpopular procedure. Regardless of rumors or misunderstandings that exist, the truth is that root canals don’t cause pain; they relieve it!
If you think you may need a root canal, please don’t put off treatment, as this may eventually result in the loss of the tooth. Please contact our Northport Family Dental office at (631) 754-1107 to arrange an appointment so we can get you the relief you need as quickly as possible.
"I don't think about smiling anymore. I just do it."
In this video, Kathy relates her experiences throughout her treatment and how she was able to go about her social ... Read More