Dr. LoPresti is one of the leading dentist serving patients in the Upper West Side and throughout the Staten Island area. Dr. LoPresti offers specialized care to his patients including root canals and other treatments which focus on the health of the tooth’s interior.
Endodonticts Q & A
What Is Root Canal Treatment?
Deep inside each tooth, beneath the enamel and the hard surface, or dentin, is soft tissue known as "pulp," which extends into the roots. The pulp contains all the blood vessels and nerves that nourish the tooth during development. While mature teeth no longer need the pulp because they are nourished by surrounding gum tissue, the pulp remains and can be inflamed or infected due to injury or decay, causing severe pain and potentially leading to an abscess.
During a root canal treatment, the endodontist opens the tooth to expose and remove the pulp, clean the root canals, and prepare them to receive adhesive filling material to seal them off. Once the canals are sealed, the doctor places a temporary filling to cover the opening and prepares it to receive a crown at a later appointment.
How is a root canal performed?
Root canal uses techniques similar to a regular filling, but with special instruments designed to reach the deeper layers. Once the decay and debris are removed, the area will be cleaned and sealed to prevent future decay, then the tooth will be covered with a crown to provide additional protection and strength. Root canal therapy can be performed using local anesthetics with little to no discomfort. Any discomfort you may feel afterward can be treated with over-the-counter pain medicines.
Why is it better to have a root canal than to have the tooth pulled?
Generally speaking, it's always better to preserve a natural tooth whenever possible to avoid disrupting the natural bite pattern. Just one missing tooth can trigger a cascade of events that can potentially cause additional tooth loss over time. Plus, removing a tooth and then replacing it with a denture, bridge, or dental implant can be a much more complex and costly procedure.