Root Canal Therapy

Ben Elchami, DMD -  - Dentist

Chami Dental

Ben Elchami, DMD

Dentist & Cosmetic Dentist located in Midtown, New York, NY

Surface cavities can be treated with composite fillings and porcelain onlays, but deep decay requires a special approach. Root canal therapy is designed to treat teeth with deep decay and other types of interior damage, helping patients avoid the need for tooth extractions. As a top dentist in Midtown East, Manhattan, Dr. Ben Elchami has significant experience in root canal procedures, using advanced techniques and the latest instruments to help patients at Chami Dental preserve their natural teeth.

Root Canals Q & A

What’s a root canal?

A root canal treats teeth that have decay or other damage within the central portion of the tooth, also known as the tooth pulp. The pulp contains the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues that support the health of the tooth. When the pulp becomes damaged or infected, the tooth is at risk, and breakage and tooth loss become much more likely. Root canal uses special instruments to carefully remove the damaged pulp while leaving the rest of the tooth intact. Having root canal therapy helps patients avoid extractions and tooth loss.

How’s a root canal done?

Root canals are similar to a regular cavity treatment. The tooth is numbed using a local anesthetic, and Dr. Elchami uses special instruments to drill through the tooth material and access the diseased and damaged pulp. The pulp portion is removed along with the bacteria in the pulp and down the canal of the tooth, taking care to preserve the surrounding tooth material. Then the cavity and canal is filled with a special filling material. When an infection is present, a medical filling may be placed in the cavity and canal and then replaced with the permanent filling at a later appointment once the infection has subsided.

A crown is made to surround the tooth structure to provide additional protection and strength and to prevent from fracture of tooth structure. Dr. Elchami takes an impression of the prepared tooth and sends it to a lab that makes the crown. He places a temporary crown on the tooth to protect it. When the permanent crown is ready, the temporary crown is removed and the tooth surface is cleaned before the crown is fixed permanently to the tooth with special cement. The best-rated labs in the country are used to create these restorations and the best materials are used to cement them to ensure a strong, esthetic, functional, and long lasting restoration.

Are root canals painful?

Today’s pain management techniques are extremely effective in minimizing discomfort, and most patients report feeling very little, and mostly no discomfort during treatment.

Isn’t it easier just to have the tooth pulled?

It might seem easier to have a tooth pulled, but in general, it’s always better to save a natural tooth when possible. Pulling a tooth disrupts the natural bite balance and can result in uneven tooth wear and an increased risk for a traumatic bite and loss of function. Plus, once a tooth’s root is removed, jaw bone atrophy begins and replacement of a missing tooth at a later time becomes more difficult.