Cosmetic & Family Dentistry

Root Canals

Inner Tooth Infections

Most of the time, when people think of a root canal, they often shudder with imagined pain and discomfort. The truth of the matter is that the pain associated with root canals often comes from the infected tooth’s condition, not the procedure.

Through years of advancement in this specific field of dentistry, treatment has increased in speed, become less painful, and become more successful in resolving the damaged tooth. Root canals help to relieve the pain that you have been suffering from the infected soft tissue within the tooth and prevent further damage to your oral health.

A “root canal,” or pulpectomy, is a treatment for infections of the soft inner tissue of a tooth. Root Canal infections can spread into the outer areas of the tooth, causing discoloration. If left untreated, these infections will affect the jaw’s health and other tissues that surround the tooth.

Do you experience discomfort when you chew your food or drink beverages? Are your gums swollen and red? These are all signs that could indicate that you have abscessed or infected teeth.

Philadelphia’s Dr. Renee Yurovsky and her team of dental professionals want you to know that you are seen as an individual when you step into our waiting room, not just another patient. At our dental office, we work hard to ensure that our treatments are as comfortable and effective as possible. We are happy to accommodate your unique needs during your visit.

About Root Canal Therapy

Root Canals are the thin passages that run from the soft inner tissue of your tooth (pulp) to the tip of the root of your tooth. These canals may become infected in various ways, but most commonly are a consequence of untreated cavities. Since the canals contain nerve fibers, infections of this kind are often accompanied by varying amounts of pain.

Root canal procedures preserve your Oral Health and improve the appearance of teeth that have been darkened by infection. They likewise function as a preventative measure to help you avoid costly restorations to replace a tooth lost to decay and infection.

Aren't Root Canals Painful?

Many people are concerned about the potential pain of a root canal procedure. You may be surprised to find out that modern-day Root Canal therapy is generally painless and no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed.


Root Canal Procedure

After sufficiently numbing the area, Dr. Yurovsky creates an opening on the tooth’s surface. Following this, she will remove any decayed tissue and/or bacteria. An instrument called a root canal file is then used to remove the nerve fibers and clean out infected tissue from within the thin canals. We use magnifying equipment to assist in the procedure.

Afterward, the tooth inside is thoroughly cleaned and supplied with initial filling material, accompanied by medications to soothe the area.

A final filling, like those used to fix cavities, is applied to the tooth’s surface. In many cases, a crown is placed instead of a filling to provide more structural support for the tooth.

Most often, both the diagnostic exam and the root canal procedure can be completed in two office visits.

Post-Operative Instructions for Root Canals

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Post-Op Instructions
For Root Canals

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Since root canal therapy usually takes a minimum of two appointments to complete, Dr. Yurovsky will place a temporary filling or crown over the site to protect your tooth between these two appointments.

It is common and not troublesome for small portions of your temporary filling to wear away or break off in-between appointments. However, if the entire filling falls out, or if a temporary crown comes off, call the office to schedule a time to replace it.

Make sure to avoid chewing for several hours if anesthesia has been used to numb your lips, gums, and tongue. If you attempt to chew normally, an injury may result in the hours after the procedure while the anesthetic is still wearing off.

Pain and discomfort are normal for several days after your root canal, particularly when you chew and eat. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Advil or Tylenol, can help to ease your discomfort. Rinsing three times a day with warm salt water will also help lessen pain and swelling. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water, then rinse, swish, and spit until you have used the whole cup.

Please take your antibiotics as prescribed for the duration indicated, even if no signs or symptoms of infection exist.

A few tips to protect your tooth and keep your temporary filling or crown in place:

  • Avoid sticky foods, particularly gum.
  • Avoid chewing on hard foods and substances, such as ice, fingernails, and pens.
  • If possible, try to chew on the untreated side of your mouth.
  • Brush and floss as normal.

In most cases, the final step of root canal treatment is the crown’s placement; this will protect your tooth from breaking (please see Crowns for more information).

If your bite feels uneven, your pain lasts more than a few days, or you have any other questions regarding your procedure, please call the office to schedule a follow-up appointment.