The mere thought of a “root canal” makes most of us wince in pain. But what is really going on with that tooth and how does a root canal help to preserve a tooth, saving it (and you) from extraction. Dr. Solow and his staff are happy to keep you informed and educated, so be sure to ask. His work prioritizes the patient experience, aesthetically pleasing results and lasting outcomes.
Here are the basics of root canals
At the center of each of your teeth is soft tissue, or “pulp,” which includes nerve tissue and blood vessels. The pulp runs from the top of the tooth all the way down through canals in the tooth roots. If the pulp is damaged, it can become infected and possibly form an abscess. The result may be the classic “very very painful toothache” which requires immediate attention and often causes patients to use our emergency support system (which will work!) to get that ASAP appointment.
The procedure to relieve pain is called a root canal. Very simply, eliminating the inflamed nerve from the tooth canal (“root canal”) usually eliminates the severe pain and begins the process of healing. Using a dental anesthetic to keep you comfortable, Dr. Solow will remove the tooth nerves, clean, shape and then fill the open canals. The procedure can be performed by drilling through an existing crown followed by a “filling” to the crown so further restorative treatment may not be necessary. If a natural tooth is involved, removing the tooth root (s) will tend to make the tooth more brittle, and placement of a crown will required in a follow-up appointment.
While the root canal tooth might be sore and sensitive to pressure for a couple of days after treatment, the treatment should not affect any other teeth or your overall appearance. If the process began with an infection, removing the involved nerve will relieve the pressure (which was a cause of your pain) and Dr. Solow will likely prescribe an antibiotic to complete the recovery.
How many appointments for this root canal? Dr. Solow is often able to complete the procedure in a single visit. We know that some patients live with the fear of “root canal stories.” Don’t let that be you. We are here to answer all your questions.