Root Canals

Larchmont Family Dental

General Dentists & Cosmetic Dentists located in Westchester, Larchmont, NY

If you’ve been told you need a root canal, don’t panic. With the right dentist, a root canal can be a relatively painless experience. In fact, patients often report that their tooth infection was more painful than the root canal procedure itself. At Larchmont Family Dental, experienced dentist Avi Malkis performs root canals using gentle techniques for patients of all ages in the Westchester County of New York, including Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Harrison, and New Rochelle, New York. To learn more, call the office or schedule an appointment online.

Root Canals

Larchmont Family Dental

What is a root canal and why would I need one?

Dr. Malkis performs root canals to repair and save a tooth that’s infected. The soft tissue inside the root canal, called pulp, is what gets infected, usually due to:

  • Deep decay
  • A cracked or broken tooth
  • A dead tooth

When you have a dead tooth, a root canal is necessary because the dead tissue can very easily become infected. Therefore, although a dead tooth might not be painful, you shouldn’t leave it untreated.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

Sometimes there are no symptoms of an infected or dead tooth, but in many cases, signs include:

  • Mild to severe pain
  • Sensitivity to cold and hot foods or liquids
  • Tender gums when touching or chewing
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Swelling and tenderness in lymph nodes

What happens during a root canal?

A root canal is a procedure done at the dentist’s office, usually in one to three visits.

Before the procedure, you have a consultation with Dr. Malkis so he can go over what needs to be done to save your tooth.

At the time of the procedure, Dr. Malkis gives you a local anesthetic in the area around the tooth, so you don’t feel any pain. Once you’re numb, Dr. Malkis will place a special dam around the tooth to help keep your mouth open. Then a small opening is made into the tooth that allows for the removal of the infected pulp. He then cleans the inside of the root canal and disinfects it.  

After that, Dr. Malkis fills the canal with a rubber-like material and seals it. Some dentists like to wait about a week before sealing to make sure that the infection is completely gone.

In most cases, you return for another appointment a few weeks later, during which Dr. Malkis restores your tooth by placing a permanent filling or a post and crown.

What is recovery like after a root canal?

Right after the procedure, your mouth and face may be numb for a few hours due to the local anesthetic. Then, for the first couple of days, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if you had pain or an infection before the procedure. This is a natural part of your body healing called inflammation.

Dr. Malkis may give you medication, or you can take over-the-counter pain medications as needed. Most patients can return to their normal activities the next day.

If you need a root canal or suspect you might need one, don’t wait to get help. Call Larchmont Family Dental today or schedule an appointment online.