Your teeth are designed to last a lifetime, but gum disease, tooth decay, and trauma can change things. In each of these cases, our primary goal is to save your tooth because, as with most things in life, nothing beats the original. So, should tooth decay lead to an infection that threatens your tooth, we will make every effort to save your tooth and preserve your dental health. And the best way to do that is with a root canal.
At Downtown Dental Studio in New York City’s Financial District, our team of highly trained dental experts offers an extensive suite of services that tackle both dental health and cosmetic concerns. When it comes to root canals, they may not be as sexy as whitening your teeth, but the results will give you something to smile about.
Here’s a look at how a root canal can preserve your tooth and why that matters.
Inside each tooth is a canal that is filled with pulp, a soft tissue that houses blood vessels, nerves, and critical connective tissues. If tooth decay and harmful bacteria manage to get inside this canal, they can wreak havoc on the tissues inside, often leading to a very painful infection. Left unchecked, these bacteria can slowly eat away at the internal structures, threatening your entire tooth, right down to its roots.
The obvious threat is that the infection can spread. But, the potential side effects of losing a tooth are a big deal as well.
When you lose a tooth, you lose much more than meets the eye, because you also lose the roots that go down into your jawbone. These roots are anchored in place by bone that’s constantly regenerating itself to keep your tooth stable. Without a tooth, your body registers the inactivity and ceases to renew the bone in the area. This can lead to bone deterioration, which can cause your neighboring teeth to shift.
The cascading effect of bone loss can even lead to a change in your outward appearance as your jawbone collapses inward where the tooth once was.
In other words, a simple infection inside your tooth can quickly snowball into a fairly major problem unless we intervene.
A root canal is the simplest and best way to save your tooth. After we make you comfortable with a local anesthetic, we drill a small hole to the canal, clear out the infected pulp, and thoroughly clean and disinfect the canal. We then fill in the area with a rubber-like compound called gutta percha, which should prevent bacteria from making their way inside again.
Once we finish, we protect your tooth with a filling or crown, depending upon how much tooth you have left to support a restoration.
The net effect of a root canal is twofold. First, we relieve your pain by eliminating the infection. Second, we save your tooth and save you from the side effects of having a missing tooth.
If you need a root canal or want to see if you need one, book an appointment online or over the phone with Downtown Dental Studio today.