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Root Canal / Endodontics

When a tooth becomes so infected that it will never heal, the source of the infection must be removed through root canal therapy. Root Canal therapy usually takes about two appointments to complete.

At the first appointment, we make a small hole in the tooth to access the infected tooth pulp. Using a small dental file we remove all decay and infected tissue hollowing out the canals. We place medication to kill the infection causing bacteria. A temporary filling is placed in the tooth until the next visit. In between visits it is normal for the temporary filling material to wear away or even lightly chip off.  If it falls out completely, do not hesitate to let us know.

During the second appointment, the temporary filling material is removed from the canals.  The tooth is cleaned once again to remove any remaining infection. Once the tooth is cleaned we then permanently fill the canals.

Once a root canal procedure is complete, the tooth will then need to be restored. There are several options available to restore the tooth. The most common restoration procedure is the crown, which protects the tooth from breaking in the future. Sometimes a tooth may need added retention and strength, from a post and core build up, before a crown is placed.

Root Canal Post-Op instructions:
Some discomfort is normal after a root canal procedure is completed, especially when chewing. Although the tooth itself is dead, the surrounding gum tissue is very much alive.

To aid in the prevention of pain and swelling:

  • Rinse with warm salt water (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water).
  • Avoid eating hard or sticky foods
  • Chew on the opposite side of your mouth
  • Brush and floss regularly, to prevent the removal of a temporary filling when flossing, floss down to the gum and pull through the teeth. Do NOT pull up through the teeth from the gum.
  • Take pain medications as needed. If you were prescribed antibiotics, continue taking them as prescribed (even if you are no longer in pain, and the infection seems to be gone).

Sometimes after a root canal, the infection can still spread into the root tip and manifest. When the infection spreads into the bone, this is called an abscess.  The abscess can damage the bone and surrounding soft tissues. To restore the health of the tooth, bone, and tissue, a minor surgical procedure (called an Apicoectomy) will be needed.

During the Apicoectomy, the root tip (apex) is removed through a small incision in the gums next to the affected tooth after the thin bone covering is removed. The area is then carefully cleaned, and the root tip is sealed and stitched (sutured) back into place.

Mitchell Sabbagh, DMD and the staff of ADNY would be happy to discuss this procedure with you. Please feel free to Schedule an appointment online or contact our office for a private consultation.
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