Endonontist Suffolk County Long Island
Root Canal Treatments in Long Island
Endodontic therapy — more commonly referred to as “root canal” treatment — is an essential service we offer at our Suffolk County dental practice.
As a multi-specialty clinic, we’re able to provide in-house root canals that might have to otherwise be referred out to an endodontic specialist on the other side of Long Island.
What Exactly is a Root Canal?
When your tooth has suffered moderate to severe damage that extends into the nerve, it’s not possible to cover the enamel with a filling or crown. Such a situation would trap swelling and infection inside of the nerve chamber, leading to recurring pain and possible abscessing.
With a root canal, we remove the traumatized dental nerve, clean the hollow chamber left behind, and then seal the tooth from the inside-out (preventing recurring infection.) Afterward, a crown is placed on top of the tooth, so that the non-vital and brittle enamel does not chip away from everyday wear.
Fact or Fiction: Do Root Canals Hurt?
For years, there has been an assumption that needing a root canal inevitably means a long and painful experience for the patient. That’s actually not the case! The pain from abscessed teeth is usually due to the swelling and infection of the nerve before treatment; trying to numb the tooth when the infection is severe can be challenging, if possible at all.
To eliminate the possibility of pain during a root canal, our Long Island dentists will evaluate the extent of swelling and infection prior to the procedure. If needed, an antibiotic may be recommended to minimize any of these symptoms. Doing so ensures that we are able to numb the tooth efficiently during your root canal treatment, giving you the same level of comfort that you would have if you were getting a filling or crown.
Risks of Delaying Endodontic Treatment
It’s natural for some of our Suffolk County dental patients to feel hesitant about getting a root canal, especially if they’ve never had any type of endodontic procedure before. But thanks to modern technology and resources, having your treatment completed with our Long Island dentists is a straightforward process.
Still, many people wonder if they can avoid root canal treatment altogether. While it’s always a personal choice to refrain from treating an infected tooth, putting off a root canal could lead to serious consequences. Some of the most common side effects of untreated, traumatized teeth include:
• Facial swelling
• Severe pain
• Broken teeth
• Spread of infection
• Emergency extractions
• Heat sensitivity
In rare situations, abscessed teeth can allow the infection to spread deeper into the face — and even the brain — requiring hospitalization. Although teeth with dying nerves are not always painful, hypersensitivity is an indication that something significant is affecting the nerve of your tooth.
The Purpose of Root Canals
Choosing to have a root canal allows our Long Island dentists to help you preserve your natural tooth for as long as possible. If the infection went untreated, the tooth would ultimately need to be extracted. Losing the tooth can change the bite alignment of your entire mouth, not to mention trigger bone loss in the jaw. Preserving your tooth with a root canal extends the length of time you’re able to eat and smile comfortably.
When well cared for, your endodontically treated tooth can potentially last for the rest of your life. Even though it is no longer “alive,” caring for it like it is (including daily brushing and flossing) will help preserve your investment.
Is it Expensive to Get a Root Canal?
A root canal will cost more than having a filling, but ultimately it’s a smart return on investment, as it allows you to preserve your tooth (avoiding an extraction, implant, and/or bridge.) In most cases your dental insurance will pay for a portion of the treatment, but you can also choose to finance any balance that isn’t included in your coverage.
The total cost of your root canal can depend on things like:
• Which tooth is being treated (some have more roots than others)
• If there was a previous root canal that needs to be re-treated
• The technology being used during treatment
• If you choose to have sedation during your procedure
• The type of crown you choose after endodontic treatment
Candidacy for Root Canal Treatment
Root canals are typically reserved for adult teeth that are fully developed. While a child’s tooth can become abscessed, there are other forms of pediatric dental treatments such as pulp-capping and pulpotomies that are the equivalent to root canal therapy in a primary (baby) tooth.
In order for a tooth to require a root canal, there must be evidence that the nerve has been compromised in some way. This may be due to a cracked root, deep cavity, or previous trauma that has caused the pulp tissue to die. Surprisingly, dental trauma may take years — if not decades — before the symptoms of a dying nerve become evident. Being hit in the mouth with a baseball during college could result in a dying tooth after you’ve sent your youngest off to college himself!
Unfortunately, there are also times when a root canal cannot be performed, simply because the tooth has suffered from too much structural damage. In order for an endodontic procedure to be effective, there must be enough healthy tooth to work with. If extensive fracturing, cracks, or decay prevent the opportunity to crown the tooth after root canal therapy, then it may not be worth it at all.
Giving You the Options Your Smile Deserves
Find out if you’re a candidate for root canal treatment by scheduling an exam with our multi-specialty dental providers. At Sachem Dental Group, our Long Island dentists will carefully explain their findings and treatment recommendations, so that you can make an educated choice about your smile’s future.
If you decide that a root canal is in the best interest of your oral health, we’re able to take steps to ensure your treatment is as comfortable as possible!
Schedule your next visit with our Suffolk County oral health providers today. We’ve been serving our patients and their families for over 35 years!