Forest Hills Root Canal Treatment

A root canal is a filling-like restoration that extends deeper into your tooth and seals off the nerve chamber on the inside.

When you get a root canal at Forest Hills Dental, the nerve and pulp tissues inside of your tooth are removed (because they’re dying or infected.) The hollow chamber is then carefully cleaned out, medicated, and filled. Once your root canal treatment is over, your tooth is less likely to get re-infected or fall out.

Root canals also eliminate the source of your painful toothache.

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Why do I Need a Root Canal?

Endodontic therapy is a type of restorative treatment used to prevent tooth loss. It’s necessary when the inside of your tooth is infected or dying because of previous trauma. Otherwise, your tooth will start to deteriorate from the inside-out.

Getting a root canal prevents Dr. Mark from having to extract your tooth, which would open space in your smile and leading to a host of other concerns. Preserving your natural tooth as it is allows you to continue biting and chewing normally, and reduces the extent of additional treatments you need in the future.

Some of the reasons why our Forest Hills root canal dentist might recommend treatment include:

• A past injury, such as athletic accident or car wreck
• Abscess at the root of the tooth
• Severe decay, extending into the nerve chamber
• Hypersensitivity or severe pain
• Cracked tooth

Trauma to a tooth (such as being hit in the mouth) can cause the nerve to die over time, but it may not be noticeable until years or decades later. The first sign is usually darkening of the tooth, causing the color to stand out from its neighbors.

Gentle Root Canals in Forest Hills

Do root canals hurt? Thanks to modern techniques, they don’t have to! In fact, endodontic therapy is meant to relieve your toothache and dental discomfort, not cause it.

One of the biggest sources of discomfort during a root canal is when teeth are difficult to numb because of the inflammation around them. If your tooth has a severe abscess, Dr. Mark may recommend taking an antibiotic leading up to your root canal treatment, so that the anesthetic can work better. That way you won’t have to feel a thing during your appointment!

After your root canal, your tooth will no longer have a vital nerve supply, so it won’t be sensitive or hurt anymore once the endodontic procedure is completed.

After Your Root Canal

An endodontically treated tooth is no longer alive. As such, the enamel and overall structure tends to be a bit more brittle. To prevent any premature wear or chipping with use, Dr. Mark will place a full coverage crown over your tooth following the root canal.

Crowns are protective restorations that are made to look like natural teeth, but are strong enough to withstand everyday chewing pressure.

Will I Need to See an Endodontist?

Endodontists are root canal experts. In fact, it’s one of the main procedures that they perform day in and day out. In most cases, our Forest Hills root canal patients are only referred to an endodontist if there are significant barriers that might interfere with completing the treatment in our office. Examples might include a curved or twisted tooth root, which requires special instruments to access, or a root canal re-treatment from a previous office.

Otherwise, Dr. Mark completes most root canals right here in our Forest Hills dentist office.

Alternatives to Root Canal Treatment

One of the most common questions we hear at Forest Hills Dental is, “Do I have any alternatives to getting a root canal?”

Usually, people ask because they’ve heard stories or rumors about root canals hurting. But with more effective pain relief strategies, that’s no longer the case.

Still, usually the only alternative for an abscessed or dying tooth is to have it extracted. In some cases, dental extractions are the best solution, especially if the extent of tooth deterioration is severe.

But when you remove a tooth, it creates extra space in your smile. The gap can pose an aesthetic concern, but even if the opening isn’t visible to others, the additional room can throw your bite off. Gradually, the surrounding and opposing teeth will start to drift out of alignment, affecting your overall smile. Issues like irregular wear patterns and crowding soon become evident.

If you need to have the tooth extracted instead of getting a root canal, our Forest Hills dentist recommends replacing it as quickly as possible. Usually this means getting something like a dental implant, bridge, or partial denture.

Root Canal Second Opinions

At Forest Hills Dental, Dr. Mark and our staff treat each guest like a member of our own families. If you have questions about getting a root canal or have been told that you may need to see an endodontist, we’re happy to provide you with the information that you need to make an educated decision about your smile’s health.

Diagnosing Abscessed Teeth

Dental abscesses are often painful — but not always. Sometimes, the symptoms of a dying or abscessed tooth are completely unnoticeable. Your fistula (the small pimple on your gums) may even tend to come and go over time, making it appear as if your dental infection has resolved on its own.

The only way our Forest Hills root canal dentist can be sure of what’s going on with your tooth is to take a special X-ray called a periapical film. This image will extend down around the tip of your tooth root, capturing the areas around it.

If an abscess is present, we will be able to see a small circular radiolucency (dark area) around the tip of your tooth root. This anomaly happens when infection seeps into the bone out of the root, when there’s nowhere else for it to go.

Visit Forest Hills Dental Today

Dr. Gregory Mark has over 30 years of experience caring for smiles. We’ve proudly served Forest Hills families since 1995! Call today for an appointment.