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Root Canal Therapy
in NYC

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Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy in NYC

Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection.  In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.

Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed.  Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth.

Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections.

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Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:

  •  An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
  •  Sensitivity to hot and cold
  •  Severe toothache pain
  •  Sometimes no symptoms are present
  •  Swelling and/or tenderness

Reasons for root canal therapy:

  •  Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth)
  •  Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip
  •  Injury or trauma to the tooth

What does root canal therapy involve?

A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist).

While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva.  An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria.  If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.

Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.

At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials.  A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth.  In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed.  This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.

After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.

You will be given care instructions after each appointment. Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.

What Is the Recovery Time for Root Canal Therapy? 

Despite the invasive nature of the root canal procedure, it often takes less than a week to recover. You can expect some swelling and sensitivity when chewing, but you should feel normal within a couple of days of your root canal. Our NYC office will provide care instructions that include how to manage discomfort. You may need to eat a soft-food diet for several days, such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, smoothies, and pasta. Try not to chew on the side of your mouth with the treated tooth. 

Do not smoke after a root canal. Smoking makes it harder for your tooth and root system to heal and may cause additional discomfort and healing complications. Use an antibacterial mouthwash to keep bacteria away from the site and brush your teeth after every meal. 

Your oral tissues may heal faster if you avoid hot liquids until the anesthetic wears off, because you won’t be able to sense if the temperature is too high. Take medications as recommended and avoid inflammation-causing foods, such as heavy spices and alcohol. 

How Long Does a Root Canal Last? 

root canal dentist NYC

Root canals have a high success rate, and most teeth treated with root canal therapy function normally for many years and may even last a lifetime. The success and longevity of your root canal depend on a few factors, though. If any bacteria remain in the canal, you may experience a new infection. Sometimes, saliva may get into the tooth during treatment, allowing bacteria to grow again, and an incorrectly placed crown may also affect results. Facial trauma or tooth injury can damage the crown and let bacteria into the tooth again. 

Make sure you have your temporary crown replaced with a permanent restoration to avoid putting the tooth and root at further risk. The tooth is still vulnerable if the permanent crown is not placed or positioned correctly. 

Good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist can help your root canal results last long-term and may avoid issues with your other teeth. If a root canal does fail and a new infection develops, you will need retreatment, which involves removing the crown and filling material, cleaning it out again, and fitting a new crown.

Learn More About Root Canal Therapy at New York Smiles Institute

If you’re experiencing tooth pain or other symptoms of infection, schedule a dental exam with our outstanding dentists at New York Smiles Institute. Our dentists have helped many patients in NYC improve their oral health with root canal therapy. Schedule a consultation at our New York, New York office at (212) 319-6363.

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The Dr. Dean Experience
Dentist of the Dentists

Dr. Dean Vafiadis is the Founder of New York Smile Institute and a respected Prosthodontic specialist in New York and around the world. He also serves as an Associate Professor of Prosthodontics at NYU College of Dentistry and routinely lectures around the world on dentistry. His mission is to serve his patients’ dental needs while also helping to advance dental care treatments and therapeutics on an industry level.

American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Accredited Member
California Dental Association
American Academy of Implant Dentistry
American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons

Contact Us

693 Fifth Avenue
@54th Street – 14 Floor
New York, NY 10022

Phone (212) 319-6363