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Reasons to Not Be Anxious about Getting a Root Canal

Reasons to Not Be Anxious about Getting a Root Canal

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It’s hard for anyone to hear the word “root canal” and not cringe. The words alone project an image of in-depth surgery, instruments poking at your mouth, and gratuitous pain for days afterward. Even though it’s done to save a tooth, some people would rather deal with the implications of a rotted canine.

However, there really is no reason to be afraid of a root canal. We’re going to jump into the three biggest reasons why you should not be so anxious about getting a root canal to put your mind at ease. First, let’s quickly define what a root canal actually is.

What is a Root Canal?

Beneath the white enamel of your teeth and the ultra-dense dentin layer, there sits a soft kind of tissue known as the pulp. The pulp tissue contains blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerves that help your teeth grow during development. An adult tooth does not necessarily need pulp anymore because it can survive by using the tissues around it for nourishment. The pulp is essentially the leftover materials from the growth stages.

Sometimes abscesses or inflamed ligaments in the gums can enter the root of the tooth and cause infected or inflamed pulp. This is often extremely painful and dangerous for the rest of the teeth in one’s mouth as the infection can spread. A root canal or endodontic treatment is essentially the process of removing an extremely diseased tooth in order to prevent the spreading of disease. It is also done to scoop out the infected pulp to save the tooth itself without full removal. Millions of teeth are saved through root canals every year.
These three facts about root canals may shock you!

1. You might not experience any pain whatsoever.

Like we mentioned above, when people think of root canals, they think of pain. It makes sense why, of course. Sometimes there is pain associated with root canals. However, there’s a good chance you won’t experience any pain whatsoever.

Since the procedure for root canals has improved and changed in recent years, the approach taken often results in little pain. Before performing the surgery, your endodontist will inject a numbing anesthetic around the tooth, which at most will feel like a light prick to the gums. From there, you won’t feel much else.

2. Post-surgery pain isn’t that long lasting.

Sure, pain in surgery probably isn’t that bad. But what about afterward? Luckily, you won’t really have to worry about that either.

You may experience some discomfort after the procedure that over-the-counter pain medication can treat. You’ll more than likely be able to go back to your normal routine the next day.

3. Your tooth will be rescued!

Root canals save so many teeth. It’s really surprising how intense the myths about this procedure are when the results are so incredible!

How was our list of reasons not to be anxious about getting a root canal? Tell us about your experience with root canal procedures in the comments below!

Why You May Need to See an Endodontist

Why You May Need to See an Endodontist

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You already know that it’s important to see your dentist regularly for checkups. In addition to giving your teeth a thorough cleaning, regular checkups allow the dentist to check for signs of gum disease, cavities, oral diseases, and oral cancer.

And many times, when minor issues come up, your regular dentist can handle those. Like getting a cavity filled or a tooth extracted.

But sometimes you need a specialist and that’s where endodontists may come in.

This article covers what an endodontist is and why you might see one for a tooth problem. Read on to get information that could save your teeth.

What is an Endodontist?

An endodontist is a specialist who is qualified to diagnose and manage tooth pain, tooth restoration and root canals.

Although endodontists are known as root canal specialists, their extra training actually covers multiple procedures related to tooth roots and interiors.

Because the nerves are on the inside of a tooth, that’s where tooth pain comes from. An endodontist can better diagnose and treat painful tooth issue because of their knowledge of tooth interiors.

Why see an Endodontist?

It’s not uncommon to see a specialist for bodily health needs, so it should be no surprise that there are specialists for your teeth and gums. After all, orthodontists are specialists who specialize in tooth alignment and oral bone structure.

Endodontists are skilled in a variety of tooth surgeries. And if you treat an issue early on, it’s much more likely that you’ll be able to keep the affected tooth or teeth.
In addition to root canals, endodontists treat traumatic dental injuries, such as from sports, falls, or car accidents.

They also place dental implants. Although they try to save natural teeth as often as they can, they do have other options when that’s not possible or not the best course of action.
You may be wondering why you need a specialist when your regular dentist provides these procedures. Practice increases skill in any field, and an endodontist performs root canal procedures about 25 times per week. General dentists typically only perform a couple of these procedures a week.

You’ll be getting more experience and specialized knowledge in pain management, which honestly is a big deal when it comes to any procedure.

If you’re having tooth pain, make an appointment with NYC Endodontics today.

Benefits of Endodontics

3 Benefits of Endodontics

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Endodontics is a lesser known area of dentistry and, as a result, many folks are unsure of its overarching purposes.

In short, endodontics is a branch of dentistry that concerns itself with the treatment of diseases and injuries which occur in the soft tissues inside a tooth (also referred to as dental pulp).

Your friendly neighborhood endodontist specializes in the removal of inflamed, infected dental pulp. They’ll fully clean the canal system while sealing the tooth so no further infection can take place. The procedure mentioned above just so happens to be the Root Canal procedure, which is the best known treatment an endodontist performs.

An endodontist can also help treat teeth that are cracked or have experienced trauma due to injury — all in the name of saving your natural smile.

Below are a few benefits you can glean from seeing the endodontist.

1.) Rid Yourself of Unwanted Tooth Pain

If you’re experiencing a toothache there are often only 2 ways to deal with the problem: either endodontic therapy or tooth extraction. Endodontics always aims to be as conservative as possible and to save as much natural tooth structure as possible. Root canal therapy has saved many teeth for patients not wanting to undergo a tooth extraction.

2.) Maintain your Bone and Jaw Structure

If you lose teeth, this means that your jaw bone isn’t getting proper stimulation in that area, which can lead to further tooth and bone loss. Endodontics will keep your natural tooth in place, which helps preserve the natural shape and curvature of your jaw and face.

3.) Endodontics is Safe and Effective

Root canal procedures alone have been done for decades and they are a routine procedure we specialize in at NYC Endodontics. We work hard to remove any infected pulp and seal the tooth to greatly reduce chances of further infection. We help prevent tooth loss and tooth removal in a safe, clean, and supportive environment.

If you have any additional questions about how endodontics can possibly benefit you, contact NYC Endodontics today. We’ll schedule your initial consultation and help put you back on the footpath to amazing oral health!

Happy Couple Smiling

3 Health Conditions Linked to Periodontal Disease

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Gum disease is widely known to cause problems beyond aesthetic. In fact, more and more studies keep finding that periodontitis and bacteria that infect the mouth have far wider reaching consequences that spread throughout the body.

Below are a few health conditions that have been shown to be linked to gum disease, which serve as a few more reminders and reasons for everyone to stay on top of their oral health. After all, your oral health in closely linked to your overall health.

1.) Diabetes

Diabetes has an inextricable link to gum disease because patients who have poor blood sugar control are more susceptible to getting diabetes and gum disease. Bacteria in the mouth thrive on sugars, which includes glucose, the sugar primarily linked to diabetes. High levels of glucose and other sugars in the mouth set the stage for diabetes and gum disease.

2.) Heart Disease

Inflammation, which is one of the telltale signs of gum disease, can lead to infected pockets in the mouth, which allows for bacteria to spread, one of which is Streptococcus sanguis, which is a bacteria found in periodontal disease and a bacteria that plays a role in heart disease and stroke.

3.) Alzheimer’s Disease

A paper published by peer-reviewed journal Science Advances recently suggested that Alzheimer’s disease could be linked to gum disease and infection. Porphyromonas gingivalis, a bacteria found in periodontal disease, can spread and destroy gum tissue and move on to colonize the brain, increasing the production of amyloid beta, one of the plaques that are associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

If you have any questions about gum disease and how to treat it, contact NYC Endodontics today to schedule your consultation. We’ll help you treat any oral health problems you live with now and help you avoid any costlier problems that can occur down the road from neglecting your teeth and gums. We’re now treating patients in New York, NY and its surrounding communities.

Woman with Healthy Teeth

5 Common Causes of Cracked Teeth

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Even though tooth enamel is the hardest substance in our bodies, we often see some unfortunate souls who suffer from chipped, cracked, or broken teeth. Generally, it takes a sizeable amount of tooth trauma to chip, crack, or break our teeth, but there are also situations where someone was hit a certain way with just the right amount of force that results in severely damaged teeth.

Below are some of the most common causes of chipped or cracked teeth. At NYC Endodontics we believe just as much in preventive dentistry as we believe in providing comprehensive care in the event our patients experience a damaged tooth.

1. Piercings

It’s true for tongue and mouth piercings in particular. Those hip piercings you’re thinking about getting can do a number on your tooth enamel. Think about it, having a hard metal object hit and rub against your teeth isn’t good for your grill.

2. Chewing on Hard Foods

This especially counts for ice and any sort of hard candy, especially jawbreakers! When you chew on ice and other extremely hard foods, you’re putting a tremendous amount of pressure on your teeth.

3. Using Your Teeth as a Bottle Opener

Please, just stop doing this, people! Your teeth were not made to open beer and soda bottles. What might start out as a fun party trick that gets you attention could end up getting you the wrong sort of attention — there have been many social media videos of people breaking their teeth doing reckless acts, even as seemingly innocuous as opening a bottle top with their teeth.

4. Sports and Extreme Activities

Basketball, combat sports, snowboarding, skateboarding — what do they all have in common? They’re risky for your teeth. Make sure you always wear a mouthguard while engaging in sports and activities that come with a risk for your teeth. Some of them require it!

5. Having a Misaligned Bite

If your bite is misaligned, this means that some of your teeth will be subject to far more force than others. The importance having having a good bite is not only aesthetic, it’s also functional.

If you experience a chipped, cracked, or broken tooth, please contact NYC Endodontics immediately. We have a long track record of repairing damaged teeth through root canals and additional procedures. Now serving the Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan areas!

3 Qualities to Look for in an Endodontist

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Endodontics is one of the nine specialty areas in dentistry that are recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA).

An Endodontist is a dentist who focuses exclusively on treating issues affecting dental pulp – the inner part of a tooth composed of living connective tissue and cells. The most common endodontic procedure is the root canal. Because of the difficulty of working inside the tooth, special training is required to become an endodontist. While all endodontists are dentists, only three percent of dentists are endodontists!

For patients seeking specialized dental treatment, here are three qualities to look for in an endodontist:

1. ADA-Accredited Training and Board Certification

To practice endodontics, a specialist must complete first four years at an accredited dental school, and then two additional years of specialized education at an accredited postdoctoral endodontics program. Look for a specialist who has completed all of these studies at an American Dental Association-accredited program. You may want to ask if each endodontist is a diplomat of the American Board of Endodontics – a separate, voluntary process indicating high level of dedication to patient care, ethical practices, and continuing education.

2. Offers the Latest Treatment Techniques and Technologies

Endodontists that remain on the cutting edge of their profession are making a conscience effort to continually improve their skills, and the experience and outcome of their patients. Look for endodontic practices that have invested in and practice with the latest treatment techniques and technology. Specifically inquire about the use of advanced endodontic microscopes, imaging technology, and sedation options.

3. Specializes in Your Specific Treatment Needs

Ideally you want to select and be referred to an endodontist who has built a successful practice through years of experience. A highly-experienced endodontist has often built a reputation for focusing on a particular area, or areas, of specialization within their field. For example, some endodontists focus on offering emergency dental interventions while others may dedicate almost their entire practice to performing root canals. When searching for an endodontist, be sure to ask about his or her experience performing the endodontic treatment you need.

Endodontists are specialists in saving teeth. By helping you keep your natural teeth, you are spared additional interventions such as dental implants, bridges, or dentures. If you are in need of endodontic treatment, contact New York City Endodontics to schedule you consultation and let us help you enjoy a restored, happy, healthy smile.

Cracked Teeth - Causes and Treatment

Cracked Teeth – Causes and Treatment

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Teeth are incredibly strong, but they are not indestructible. Cracked teeth are a common occurrence in dentistry. Diagnosing a cracked tooth and developing an appropriate treatment plan to preserve the tooth, when possible, and ensure its longevity are critical to helping dental patients maintain their natural smile.

Causes

There are several reasons why a tooth may crack. Often, a tooth will crack if its structural integrity has already been compromised by previous trauma or invasive dental treatment. For instance, an tooth with a large filling is more prone to cracking. Grinding your teeth at night also increases the wear and tear on your teeth, increasing the chances that one may crack. Eating hard foods, such as ice or hard candy, can cause a weakened tooth to literally crack under pressure.

Some of the most common symptoms of a cracked tooth include:

  • Sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Pain when chewing
  • Spontaneous shooting pain
  • Excessive pain when eating sour or sweet foods

Treatment

There are many different types of cracked teeth. The treatment and outcome for your tooth depend on the type, location, and extent of the crack. In some situations, the crack in the tooth is not visible to the naked eye and can only be seen on a dental x-ray. But whether the dentist can see the crack or not, dental x-rays must be taken to examine the exact degree and location of the crack.

For minor cracks, your general dentist will be able to treat the tooth by removing the weakened area and place a filling in the tooth. For more severe cracks, your dentist may refer you for treatment by an endodontist. Endodontists are dentists specially-trained in saving diseased, damaged, or decaying teeth. If there is more than one cusp compromised, you might need a crown. In severe cases, your dentist may recommend a root canal due to the pulp of the tooth becoming damaged through the crack.

There are a number of ways to prevent cracking in teeth, such as avoiding hard foods and wearing a mouthguard while playing sports. Taking proper care of your teeth and going to the dentist for regular visits will help your keep your teeth healthy and in good shape. However, accidents do happen. In which case, if you are experiencing the symptoms of a cracked tooth, contact your dentist right away. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment of a cracked tooth is essential for preventing further damage and perhaps the loss of the tooth entirely.

If you are suffering from a cracked tooth or multiple cracked teeth, schedule your appointment with New York City Endodontics today.

Apicoectomy Blog

Apicoectomy

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An Apicoectomy (a Microsurgical Procedure) is performed when tissues of the gum or mouth remain infected after a root canal. In such cases, the root tip (or the apex), needs to be removed as well as the surrounding infected tissue.

The Apicoectomy procedure must be performed by an oral surgeon, an endodontist who uses a special endodontic operating microscope (in addition to other microsurgical equipment).

New York City Endodontics has the cutting edge technology and the expertise gained from decades of experience to perform successful Apicoectomy procedures in New York City.

More on Endodontic Surgery

Endodontic (Greek for “inside the tooth”) treatment (often simply referred to as root canal surgery) is generally performed in cases where infection has occurred within the pulp cavity of the tooth.

Your tooth is made up of Enamel, Dentin, and Pulp — that’s 3 layers that all need protection and care. If an infection penetrates into the root canal (which many times happens in conjunction with tooth decay), a root canal surgery will likely need to be performed to carefully clean out of infection. Then the tooth is sealed and, often, a crown will be placed over that to strengthen the tooth underneath.

What Happens When the Root Canal is Not Enough?

Endodontic microsurgery just might be the best option when a tooth continues to experience or exhibit the qualities of recurring infection. Although the root canal procedure has an extremely high success rate, inflammation or infection can still persist.

Root-end resection (or Apicoectomy) is an effective treatment option which involves a small incision near the gum line. The gum tissue is shifted temporarily as a way to better gain access to inflamed or infected regions.

Next, the root tip is removed, then cleaned (we use a high tech ultrasonic instrument). A root-end filling is then placed as a way to seal the actual canal. We finish up the Apicoectomy by placing a few stitches to facilitate and quicken the healing process.

Apicoectomy Specialist in New York City

If you’d like to learn more about the Apicoectomy procedure, contact New York City Endodontics today. Together, we’ll discuss your treatment options with you and help you decide the best course of treatment for you. From the moment of your initial consultation and beyond, we’ll help you make the best choices and implement the best practices that will help you enjoy a healthy smile for the long haul.

Teeth Extractions Blog

Teeth Extractions

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Many of us might experience a wisdom tooth extraction, but some of us might be wondering what happens when a normal tooth needs to be removed (also called a tooth extraction).

For those of us who have a tooth which might be broken or even damaged by tooth decay, tooth extraction may be the only option. Of course, your dentist will always try to fix whatever problems arise by being conservative with natural tooth and gum structures. In many cases that might mean treating a tooth with a filling, perhaps a crown, or some other type of conservative treatment.

However, sometimes tooth loss and tooth extraction is inevitable. Sometimes there’s simply too much damage that has occurred and the tooth can no longer be repaired. In such cases, the tooth will require extraction if it is rendered unable to be saved.

Most Common Reasons for Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction most often comes as a result of tooth decay, injury or emergency, or sometimes when a person has extra teeth that impede other teeth from coming in. Baby teeth might not always fall out in time for the arrival of the adult teeth, for instance.

Patients who opt for braces might need to have teeth extracted as teeth rearrange in the mouth to create a healthier, more symmetrical bite (and appearance).

Sometimes tooth extraction occurs due to other issues, for instance if teeth have become infected after an organ transplant operation due to the high risk of infection and lowered immune system that comes as a result.

Types of Tooth Extractions

If a tooth extraction procedure is deemed necessary, then it will fall under one of 2 types of extraction procedures.

There’s the simple extraction, which is performed on visible teeth that have already grown into place. This is a simple procedure that even general dentists can do — hence the name. The dentist will loosen the tooth with a specialized instrument (in this case called an elevator). The the dentist then uses forceps for tooth removal.

The other kind is called a surgical extraction, which is obviously going to be the more complex procedure. This method will be used when the tooth has been broken at the gum line or when the tooth has not yet fully erupted. Surgical extractions need to be performed by oral surgeons, endodontists like New York City Endodontics. During this procedure the dentist will make a small incision into the gum. Sometimes bone will need to be removed to facilitate the process, and sometimes the tooth will need to be cut into sections for easier removal.

Tooth Extraction Specialist in Queens, New York

If you have any additional questions about the tooth extraction procedure, contact New York City Endodontics today. We’ll go over all of the details during your initial consultation. Together, we’ll set you on the path to oral health wellness.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Blog

Wisdom Teeth Removal

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Wisdom tooth removal (also called wisdom tooth extraction) is the most common reason you’ll run into the endodontist, especially for patients who encounter an endodontist at a younger age.

While it is considered a surgical procedure, wisdom tooth extraction is commonplace and is done for the sake of making room so teeth don’t crowd via removing one (or more — in some cases 4!) wisdom teeth.

Your wisdom teeth are the 4 permanent (and adult) teeth that are located in the back corners of the mouth (both on the top and bottom rows).

What Happens When Your Teeth Have no Room to Grow?

If your wisdom tooth lacks a certain amount of afforded room to grow, an impacted wisdom tooth becomes the result, which puts a patient in unnecessary pain. The condition can even cause infection — not to mention additional dental problems. When this is the case, you’re likely to need a wisdom tooth removal procedure.

Wisdom teeth may be removed when they’re impacted or also in order to prevent future problems.

The good news is that a wisdom tooth extraction can be done by either a dentist or an oral surgeon like New York City Endodontics.

The Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure at a Glance

After your initial consultation, and after you and your oral health specialist or endodontist decide the best course of treatment, the procedure itself will consist of the following:

  • An incision in the gum will be made to expose tooth and bone
  • Bone which blocks tooth root access is removed
  • In certain cases, the tooth is divided into sections for easier removal

Once your tooth has been removed, we’ll clean the site of the removal and clear away any remaining debris from the tooth or bone to avoid infection. Stitches are generally required to close the wound and promote healing — although taking this measure isn’t always necessary.

We’ll also give you all the wisdom teeth removal aftercare you need, whether you have 1 or all 4 wisdom teeth removed.

After Your Wisdom Tooth Removal

We’re sure you’ve heard your fair share of horror stories, but we always aim to create a comfortable experience for our patients at New York City Endodontics.

Swelling and bruising may occur, but cheeks usually improve in just 2-3 days. Bruising can take longer to resolve. We recommend that you plan to relax the remainder of the day after surgery. Avoid strenuous activity for a week. Avoid hard, hot, spicy foods and avoid tobacco use for at least 72 hours after surgery — stay away from chewing tobacco for a week or longer for good measure.

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