Root Canal FAQs

Commonly Asked Questions about Root Canals

Help! My tooth is killing me. Why am I experiencing such pain? What can I do to fix it?

Maybe you’ve been told you need a root canal but have no idea what that means. Not to worry. Root canals are simple, routine procedures that Drs. Bruckner and Goziker perform in our Roslyn, NY office every day. At New York Endodontic Associates, we know that dealing with dental issues and tooth discomfort can be stressful, so we’ve designed this guide—a list of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to root canals—to help you navigate next steps.

What is a root canal?

A root canal, also referred to as root canal treatment, is a procedure that is used to save a tooth when its pulp, the soft tissue at its center, is infected. Your tooth is made up of narrow passageways that extend from the pulp chamber, a hollow space in the center of your tooth, to the ends of the tooth roots. A root canal involves the removal of decayed or infected tissue from the pulp chamber.

Why do I need root canal treatment?

Chances are you’re reading this because you’re experiencing some sort of tooth pain and you’re looking for help with fixing the irritating problem. If the pain is being caused by an infection or inflammation, the tissue in question will need to be removed in order to stop the infection from spreading and the pain from worsening. This process is called root canal treatment.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

If your dentist has not already diagnosed a need for endodontic treatment, the best way to find out if your toothache warrants a root canal is by scheduling an appointment with us in which Drs. Bruckner or Goziker can evaluate your situation. In the meantime, symptoms that may indicate a need for a root canal include:

  • Discomfort when biting or chewing
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Dull ache/severe pain
  • Pain that disrupts your sleep

Is there an alternative to getting a root canal?

Extraction is the alternative, but it’s always best to try and save your tooth rather than remove it. Root canal treatment is a common procedure that has an extremely high success rate of over 90%. Removal of your tooth should be your last resort. Keeping your tooth can help prevent dental troubles, such as bite problems from drifting teeth, difficulty eating, and loss of jawbone mass and structure, down the road. The benefits of root canal therapy versus extraction come down to the fact that no matter how good a teeth replacement option might be, nothing is as good as your natural tooth.

Can I just take antibiotics for my dental infection?

Although antibiotics help your body’s immune system reduce the number of bacteria present in the tissues surrounding your tooth, the infection will persist until the diseased tissue inside your tooth are removed.

What will happen during the procedure?

Once we’ve numbed the area with a local anesthetic, we isolate the tooth with a rubber dam and begin to clean the canals through an opening we make in the crown. After the cleaning, we shape the canals and fill them with a filling and sealer. Finally, we place a temporary filling that will eventually be removed by your dentist when he or she provides the final restoration.

Does it hurt to get a root canal?

No. Thanks to modern technology and local anesthetics, our patients rarely feel a thing during a root canal procedure. If you experience any discomfort or sensitivity in the days following treatment, simply manage the pain with over-the-counter medications, like ibuprofen.

For more details about root canal treatment, call our Long Island practice today! New York Endodontic Associates Phone Number 516-869-0111