Root Canal Therapy, or RCT for short, is painless if the tooth is sufficiently numb. If a tooth is very infected or has been irritated for a long time there is a possibility that getting numb may take longer than you are normally used to. After the treatment is completed it is not uncommon to have some soreness when biting, similar to a bruised feeling.
In the center of the tooth is a delicate tissue called the pulp or the nerve. If this tissue becomes irritated beyond repair or infected then it needs to be treated with a root canal. The nerve can become irritated by a large cavity that has entered the nerve tissue; a trauma, such as a fracture or being hit very hard; or from a very large restoration.These factors can cause the nerve to die, which in turn can cause the tooth to become infected as the body tries to remove they dead or dying nerve.
Once the nerve of the tooth begins to die, or has died there is no treatment to regenerate the nerve. If left untreated the tooth, over time, can become painful and infected. Once a tooth has become infected it can make treatment more difficult or in some cases, if the infection has progressed, can limit our treatment options.
Root canal therapy, depending on the amount of canals in the tooth, can take between 1-2 visits ranging from an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes per visit.
After the root canal has been completed we recommend that the tooth be rebuilt to its natural contours and bite with a crown, or cap. This process usually takes about 2-3 visits after the root canal has been completed.
If you choose not to treat the tooth with a root canal you can choose to have the tooth extracted. However, depending on where the tooth to be extracted is, pulling out a tooth and then replacing it with another restoration such as a bridge or an implant may be a more time consuming and costly treatment in the long term.
Our non-invasive methods allow patients to receive needed dental care with minimal interrupting to their daily lifestyles. In many cases, we can perform cosmetic or restorative dental treatments in just one visit to our Manhattan dental office.