Root Canal Therapy in Buffalo, NY
Todd Shatkin DDS is an experienced Buffalo dentist providing affordable root canal therapy for patients throughout Western New York. Contact Aesthetic Associates Centre today to arrange your free consultation with Dr. Shatkin and let him get to the root of the problem.
Root canal therapy is a form of endodontic dentistry that deals with the pulp and root of the tooth. With root canal therapy, the inside of the tooth is treated in order to maintain the tooth’s structural integrity. It is used everyday to help save millions of teeth each year. Because damage occurs inside the tooth, it is not always noticeable and does not always cause symptoms, so regular dental visits are essential to catch potential problems and the need for root canal therapy.
Your Tooth Structure and How a Root Canal Helps
When you look at your teeth, you see the outside structure. You see the surface enamel and the hard layer of tooth known as dentin. What you don’t see is the tooth pulp that lies within. This pulp contains blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. The pulp is responsible for helping your teeth grow during development, but once the teeth are established, it is not necessary because the tooth receives nourishment from the surrounding tissue and gums.
Deep decay on the outside of a tooth can penetrate into the pulp, resulting in inflammation and infection. When this occurs, a root canal is necessary to remove the infection and the pulp. By doing this, the dentist is able to save the structural integrity of the tooth.
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When Are Root Canals Necessary and How Would I know if I Need One?
Root canal therapy is necessary when the pulp of the tooth becomes infected. Bacteria can enter the pulp through cracks in the tooth, deep decay that penetrates into the pulp, an injury to the face that can cause unnoticed internal damage to a tooth, or around the gum line entering into the root itself.
Not all infections and inflammation in the pulp cause symptoms, so you won’t always know there is a problem. If you do experience symptoms, they can include pain and tenderness of the tooth, pain when chewing, new sensitivity to hot and cold, a discoloration of the tooth, an abscess in the gums around the tooth, or painful and red gums. Regular dental checkups can catch inflammation and infection in the teeth if you don’t experience symptoms, making them an essential part of good dental care.
What to Expect with a Root Canal?
When your dentist determines you need a root canal, you can expect at least two or more appointments to take care of the tooth. In the initial appointment, the dentist will make a small opening in the crown of the tooth, exposing the pulp and the various canals within it.
Using small tools, the dentist will work to remove all the pulp from the main chamber and each canal, leaving an open cavity. Once all the pulp is removed the dentist will fill the canals and main cavity with gutta-percha, a rubbery material that is sealed into place with an adhesive cement. If the structure of the tooth is unstable and unable to support a crown, the dentist may opt to place a metal post inside the tooth cavity as well. At this point, a temporary filling is put into place while you wait for the crown to be created in our dental lab.
Once we create the crown in our in-house dental lab, you will return for another appointment. At this point, the temporary filling will be removed, and the permanent crown put in place.
During and after the procedure, you may experience pain that can range from a dull ache to a more pronounced sharp pain. This pain is typically short lived and will resolve within a few days following the procedure. In some cases, not all of the pulp can be removed in one appointment and you may need additional appointments before the crown is placed. In very rare cases, a small canal can be missed during root canal therapy and the infection can return. If this occurs, the dentist will remove the crown and gutta-percha and remove the pulp in the missed canal.
Caring for a Root Canal
With good oral hygiene, a root canal and crown can last for years, maintaining healthy tooth structure and stability. Regular brushing and flossing, along with regular checkups help to ensure there are no problems or allow the dentist to catch potential problems before they become bigger. Because the root canal is covered with a crown, it is best to avoid hard foods, such as ice or candies, that could crack the porcelain crown.
If you would like to learn more about how root canal therapy can help save your tooth, contact Todd Shatkin DDS at the Aesthetic Associates Centre to arrange your free consultation. Let his 30+ years of experience in dentistry work for you!
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