Root Canals Specialist

CHW Cares

Medical Center & Comprehensive Dentistry located in Washington Heights, New York, NY

Root canals might have a negative reputation as an inconvenient dental treatment, but they resolve much more pain than they cause. CHW Cares, a multi-specialty practice serving New York City patients living in and around Washington Heights, Manhattan offers root canals in addition to other dental treatments and services.

Root canals Q & A

What are root canals?

Root canals are minor dental procedures to remove a tooth infection or to relieve inflammation within a tooth. 

Root canals can preserve teeth that are otherwise at risk of needing an extraction or eventually falling out on their own. Plus, they prevent tooth infections and bacteria from spreading beyond the confines of the teeth where they originate.

The dental professionals at CHW Cares offer safe, pain-free root canals that can relieve intense tooth pain. Before a root canal, your dentist uses X-ray imaging to see how deep the tooth infection goes. Then, they numb the area with local anesthesia injected into the gums around the tooth.  

Once your tooth is numb, your dentist drills a hole into its biting surface. They remove the pulp or soft tissue from the pulp chamber within the tooth. The pulp is where the inflammation originates. Without its pulp, the area within the tooth is ready for deep sanitizing. 

Your dentist prepares the space for a rubber-like filling called gutta-percha, which they place with adhesive cement. At another visit, your dentist may place a crown over the tooth for more reinforcement. 

How can I tell if I need a root canal?

Having a tooth infection, or experiencing inflammation within the pulp, results in uncomfortable symptoms that worsen the longer you go without treatment. You should consider booking a dental exam to see if you need a root canal if you experience:

  • Pain when you bite or chew
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Gum swelling
  • Dark coloration on the gums
  • Pimples on the gums
  • Deep chips or cracks in a tooth

Breaking a tooth doesn’t always result in enough trauma to cause inflammation in the pulp, but getting an exam after a tooth injury might be a good idea to settle your concerns. While chips or cracks can indicate internal tooth damage, the tooth doesn’t have to break at all for inflammation to occur. 

How long does it take to recover after a root canal?

Recovering from a root canal doesn’t take as long as you might think. You can go back to work or run errands when finished with your root canal. However, due to the local anesthesia, your mouth will stay numb for 2-4 hours. 

As you wait to get a crown, you should avoid biting down with full pressure on the tooth as it’s weaker than usual. Before you get a crown for it, you should continue brushing and flossing like normal. If your tooth pain returns, call CHW right away for another evaluation. 

 

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