As a progressive issue, tooth decay (the disease that causes cavities) grows more intensively the longer it is left untreated. In its mild to moderate stages, decay only affects the main structure of your tooth’s crown, known as dentin. In more severe cases, it can reach the chamber at the center of the dentin, called the pulp. When decay infects the nerves and blood vessels in the pulp, it may spread through the root canal that connects the tooth’s pulp to the jawbone. In such cases, known as internal tooth infection, a dental filling will not be enough to remove the infection and restore the tooth. Instead, Dr. Lerner may recommend endodontic (root canal) treatment as a last resort to save the tooth from having to be extracted.
What is Endodontic Treatment?
Endodontics is a field of dentistry that involves treating and maintaining the health of a tooth’s internal structures, particularly the pulp and root canals. The nerves and blood vessels in the pulp are a tooth’s only “living” tissues, and when they become infected, the pain can become significantly more severe than a moderate cavity. Root canal treatment involves removing these tissues to alleviate the pain, stop the infection from spreading through more of your tooth’s structure, and restore the tooth’s strength and integrity. After root canal treatment, Dr. Lerner may suggest placing a dental crown over the tooth for improved long-term protection.
Complex Root Canal Procedures
At Dr. Lerner’s practice, Dr. Lerner and our team can perform most routine root canal treatments in our office. However, some cases may require more complex root canal procedures at the hands of an endodontic specialist. Therefore, we work closely with trusted endodontists in the Midtown Manhattan, NY, area who we can refer our patients to for the highest quality treatment.
The Benefits of Root Canal
Treating tooth decay in its more severe stages may be more complex than simple dental filling procedures, but the benefits are also more profound when it comes to your long-term oral health. If left untreated, internal tooth infection may cause a tooth to fall out or require extraction, or from a painful abscess on the surface of its root. By undergoing root canal treatment, you can enjoy a number of immediate and long-term benefits, including:
- Immediate relief from severe tooth pain.
- Reduced risk of tooth decay in nearby teeth.
- Reduced risk of infection in nearby periodontal tissues.
- Preservation of your tooth, rather than needing tooth extraction and replacement.