Root Canals – Somerville, NJ
Root Canals Keep Your Smile Healthy
At Somerset Dental Arts, we always focus on prevention to help you minimize major dental work. Unfortunately, teeth can still become severely damaged and at risk for needing an extraction. In these cases, we can use root canal therapy to quickly relieve pain from a toothache and save the tooth at the same time. If you’re experiencing any pain or sensitivity, give us a call right away to schedule an exam with Dr. DiGrazia. Root canals are much easier than you might expect and, as an emergency dentist in Somerville with years of experience, she makes the process comfortable from start to finish.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal, also called endodontic treatment, is a procedure in which an infected nerve (located in the center of a tooth) is removed in order to save the rest of the tooth structure. This prevents it from needing to be taken out and replaced with a prosthetic like an implant, bridge, or partial denture. Everyone needs a full set of teeth for good oral health and, when necessary, a root canal allows you to restore a damaged tooth so you can use it for many years to come.
What Are the Signs That I Need a Root Canal?
Every situation is different and symptoms can vary. In fact, sometimes there are no noticeable signs because the nerve has “died” without causing any pain. These cases are often caught during routine checkups and, since the nerve tissue is still infected, the tooth still requires treatment.
However, in most cases, people notice one or more of the following signs before needing a root canal in Somerville:
- Swollen gums or a pimple-like bump
- A toothache that prevents you from sleeping, eating, or going to work
- Lingering pain that lasts after your tooth is exposed to hot or cold
- Severe pain or discomfort when chewing
- Swelling of your cheek or lip
What Is a Root Canal Procedure Like?
One of the first questions people often have about the procedure is, “Will it hurt?” This surprises many people, but the short answer is no! Dr. DiGrazia will start by making sure you’re fully numb before starting. With today’s modern anesthetic, you won’t feel any discomfort and may even begin to doze off during your visit.
Root canals are typically done in just one appointment. We’ll create a small opening in your tooth so we can access the inner layers and remove the damaged or infected nerve tissue. Then we’ll clean out the root canal and fill it with a material called gutta percha. Finally, we’ll seal the opening in your tooth with a tooth-colored filling material.
Also, since a root canal removes the blood supply of a tooth, it becomes brittle and weak. This is why we usually recommend a dental crown fairly soon after the procedure to restore the tooth’s strength.
What Can You Expect From the Recovery Process?
For the first few days after your procedure, you may have mild sensitivity as the inflammation that was previously in the tooth goes away. This is well managed by taking over-the-counter pain medication as directed and avoiding chewing on that side. It’s also important to keep the tooth clean with good brushing and flossing habits and continue seeing us for regular checkups to make sure all your teeth stay healthy.