Root Canals from A to Z

If your dentist has told you that a root canal is in your future, you may be worried or anxious about the procedure. Many people believe this procedure will be painful and frustrating. However, the truth of the matter is that millions of root canals are done each year by a professional dentist in North Tonawanda. This procedure helps to relieve pain and ensure your teeth are healthy.
Modern endodontics is nothing like people expect. A root canal can be as simple as a routine filling and completed in one or two appointments, depending on the extent of damage to your tooth. A root canal is also often painless and extremely effective. It will not be long until you are biting, chewing, and smiling like old times.

Anatomy of a Tooth

On the inside of your tooth, beneath the enamel and a layer called dentin, is the tooth pulp. This tissue holds nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels which help to grow the root of your tooth while it is developing. Once a tooth is fully developed, it can exist without the pulp because the tissues around it provide the needed nourishment.
When is a Root Canal Indicated?
A root canal by a dentist in North Tonawanda is required when the pulp of the tooth becomes infected or inflamed. This can happen for many reasons including a crack or chip in the tooth, deep decay within the tooth, or repeated procedures on the tooth. An injury to a tooth can also cause damage to the tooth pulp, even if there is no visible crack or chip. When a pulp infection or inflammation is allowed to grow without treatment, it may lead to an abscess and extreme pain.

Treatment Questions

It is always a good idea to ask your dentist any questions you have before agreeing to treatment. We have come up with a list to start that process for you. Consider any other questions that come up for you and add them when you ask questions.

  • Is the root canal my only option for the tooth?
  • Is it possible that my tooth will recover and the root canal will not be needed?
  • What caused the pulp of the tooth to die?
  • What are all my options for the tooth?
  • What happens if I do not get a root canal?
  • Should I skip the root canal and instead get an implant?
  • Will the infection spread to my other teeth or the jawbone?
  • How predictable is the root canal treatment?
  • What experience do you have with root canals?

Symptoms Indicating Endodontics Treatment

If you are concerned you have an issue that will require root canal therapy; there are a few different signs that you should look for. These include pain, tenderness to the touch, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, swelling, discoloration of the tooth, drainage, and tenderness to the lymph nodes and nearby gum tissues.

Dental Assessment

Do keep in mind however that sometimes no symptoms will be present, yet there is an underlying problem in the tooth. We have included those things below, so you understand how the assessment works and why the dentist comes to the decision that they do.


An abscess will typically be seen on an x-ray. It is, in the simplest of terms, a hole in the jawbone. It will show up as a dark patch on the x-ray, as bone will avoid growing in that area. Bone does not grow around an infection, and an infection often comes from the tip of the root. This is where everything is spilling out from the dead tissue found in the tooth.

Lingering Pain

Your dentist will ask you about how your tooth responds to hot and cold temperatures. They will ask about sensitivity to cold water and how long that pain lasts afterward. This offers a way to determine if the pain is lingering or not. Lingering pain lasts a long time, while the non-lingering pain will stop. If the pain goes away, this may mean that the pulp is alive enough to recover. However, if the pain lasts over an hour, the nerve may be dead and recovery may not be an option.

Referred Pain

Referred pain is when the pain is not only in the tooth but perhaps in the ear, jaw, or other teeth. This can also indicate an abscess is present.

Positional Pain

The dentist will ask you questions about whether the pain is worse when lying down or standing up. It may also get worse when you run in place or better when you are in certain positions. This also can point toward an abscess and a tooth whose nerve is dead.

Spontaneous Pain

Pain that is brought on by a hot or cold drink is something that may be reversible, depending on the strength and duration of the pain. However, if the pain occurs while nothing is happening, it is often a symptom of a tooth that is dead.

Gum Fistula

A fistula is a bump that looks like a small pimple and may be red, white, or yellow. A gum fistula is brought about because of an infection as blood, pus, or other infectious materials are trying to get out of the gums. However, a fistula can occur near a tooth that is not the actual problem, so the dentist must be sure to delve into more questions to determine the exact problem.

Determining Need for a Root Canal

There are a number of different things that a dentist will use to determine if you need a root canal. You may wonder how long you can wait before you get the root canal and the truth is that the answer is difficult to determine. The infection can get worse with more swelling and pressure as you continue to wait.
Other things that can indicate a continued infection are a bad taste in the mouth or the feeling of the mouth going numb. This can mean the infection is spreading, which is dangerous. The infection can spread to organs like the heart, something that caused many deaths in years past.
Your dentist will prescribe you antibiotics for your infection. Once you have started these antibiotics, you may have more time to schedule the root canal. If you are on antibiotics before the root canal, this can also mean it will be less painful, and the procedure will be easier for the dentist.

How a Root Canal Helps

Your dentist in North Tonawanda will remove the infected or inflamed pulp. They will then clean and shape the inside of the root canal, which is then filled and sealed up. After this is complete, a dentist will place a crown or other restorative dentistry option onto the tooth to restore it back to its normal function. Once this is complete, your tooth will act just like any other tooth in your mouth.
Concerns About Pain During and After
Endodontic procedures are often performed to relieve the pain of toothaches, typically caused by pulp infection or inflammation. In modern times, many patients find the experience completely comfortable.
After the root canal therapy has been completed, you may find that your tooth feels sensitive. This is even more likely if there was an infection or pain before the procedure took place. However, your dentist can prescribe a pain medication or suggest over-the-counter medications to relieve this pain. You should always follow your dentist’s recommendations on this to the letter.
You should also be aware that the tooth may feel strange for a while after the root canal therapy is complete. The exception to this is if you experience severe pain, pressure, or pain that lasts more than a few days. If this is the case, you should immediately contact your dentist in North Tonawanda.

The Root Canal Procedure

A root canal is often done during one or two dentist visits and will consist of the following steps:
Your endodontist will examine and x-ray your tooth and then administer a local anesthetic. Once the tooth is numbed, the dentist will place a protective sheet over the area, which allows them to isolate the tooth with the problems. This also keeps the area clean and free from saliva while the procedure is done.

The dentist then makes an opening in the crown of the tooth. Tiny instruments will be used to clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and the root canals. They are also used to shape the space for proper filling.

Once space is shaped and clean, the endodontist will fill the root canal with a biocompatible material, sometimes a material that is rubber-like and called gutta-percha. This material is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure that there is a complete sealing of the root canals. In many cases, the dentist will use a temporary filling to close the opening. That will be removed later before the tooth is restored.

After your last visit with the endodontist, you will return to the dentist where a crown or other restoration is placed on the tooth to restore its function and ensure it is protected.

In the case of a tooth with an insufficient structure that would hold the crown in place, your dentist might place a post inside of the tooth.

Root Canal Pricing

The cost of a root canal is going to vary largely depending on which tooth is experiencing problems and how complex those problems are. If the tooth is a molar, the process is often more difficult so the fee will also be higher. If you have dental insurance, this often covers a portion of the total cost.
In general, treatment and restoration of the tooth are less expensive than an extraction. An extracted tooth will require a bridge or implant to restore normal chewing function and prevent nearby teeth from shifting and moving. These procedures are rather expensive and costlier than a root canal treatment will be.

Post Root Canal Treatment

Your root canal in North Tonawanda will include a number of instructions from the dentist afterward. You will be asked to avoid biting or chewing with the treated tooth until it has had full restoration done by your dentist. When the tooth is unrestored, it is more likely to fracture. That makes it critical to get a full restoration as soon as you are able. You will also want to practice good oral hygiene which includes regular brushing, flossing, checkups, and cleanings.
Most teeth that have had a root canal will last just as long as other teeth. In rare cases, the tooth may have trouble healing or have continued pain. Occasionally, the tooth may become painful and diseased months after treatment. In these rare cases, redoing the root canal is a procedure which can often save the offending tooth.
Deep decay, new trauma, or a cracked or broken filling can allow new infection into your tooth. In some instances, the endodontist may even discover narrow or curved canals that were not properly treated the first time you had a root canal.

Treatment Based on Tooth

In most cases, a tooth can be treated and restored. However, an occasional tooth may not be capable of being saved. This happens when the root canals are inaccessible, the roots are very fractured, the tooth does not have the requisite bone support, or the tooth cannot be restored. However, modern endodontics makes it possible for most teeth to be saved, even if the option would not have been there a few years ago. When a root canal does not work, endodontic surgery may save the tooth instead.
Contact our North Tonawanda Dentist Office for Root Canals
Here at Wheatfield Family Dentistry, we would be happy to speak with you about your dental options. We can set up an appointment for a consultation or answer your questions via phone. Contact us at 716-694-1777 or visit our online contact form.


Root Canal Facts

Root canals may sound like scary procedures, but in reality, this is an important part of restorative dentistry that can save your tooth and protect the rest of your mouth from infection and disease. With many advancements in endodontics, there could be a lot about root canals that you may not know. Our North Tonawanda dentists want to give you some top root canal facts to ease your mind.

Root Canals Can Save Teeth

Root canals can repair a tooth that has been partially decayed. The endodontics professional will scoop out the decayed pulp, leaving the rest of the tooth in the mouth and using a composite filling to seal the tooth back up. This often saves the tooth and wipes out the source of infection to save the rest of your mouth, too.

Tooth Pulp Must Be Removed

Tooth pulp occurs when the nerve of the tooth is badly damaged by bacteria and other harmful substances. This causes decay and disease and should be removed immediately.

Root Canal Procedures Are Not Painful

Here it is, the most popular of the root canal facts. Fortunately, it brings good news! The root canal procedure is not a painful process, and many patients compare it to the feeling of having composite fillings put in for cavities.

You Can Treat Your Mouth Normally After a Root Canal Procedure

Fortunately, you can continue to maintain the same oral hygiene habits that you are used to. You are encouraged to brush and floss at least twice per day, especially around areas that are prone to cavities.

Get More Root Canal Facts with Us Today!

At Wheatfield Family Dentistry, we are here to help! If you are experiencing pain and you may need a root canal procedure, do not hesitate to contact our North Tonawanda dentists. You can give us a call at (716) 694-1777, or contact us online for more information!

Root Canal Aftercare

So, you have recently gone through a root canal procedure and you are now wondering what to expect. While the root canal experience is different for everyone, our dentists in North Tonawanda can educate you about the most important tips you can take to care for your tooth after a root canal. Our root canal aftercare instructions are important for ensuring that your root canal heals properly and helps your mouth feel great.

What to Expect

After a root canal, as with most restorative dentistry procedures, it is important to know that you will be experiencing some sensitivities. Since the procedure involves drilling into the teeth and scraping away its nerves, it will leave the tooth feeling raw and exposed. Never fear, for this sensitivity does not last very long.

Your gums may also feel sore for a few days after the procedure. You may experience some swelling or pain as part of the healing process, but it will go away quickly. You can rinse out your mouth with warm salt water a few times a day to speed up the healing process and keep your mouth clean while the pain subsides.

Top Tips

Directly after your root canal procedure, there are several tips that you’ll want to follow to ensure that you stay healthy and protected. Our North Tonawanda dentists have compiled the top tips for your care:

  • Do not eat directly after the procedure. Wait until the numbing sensation subsides.
  • Do not chew or bite on your sensitive tooth until the dentist has completely restored it.
  • If you think the filling has fallen out sometime during the recovery process, contact your endodontist immediately.
  • Brush and floss your teeth normally. It is important to practice daily dental hygiene habits during the healing process.
  • Contact your endodontist if you are having an adverse reaction to the root canal, such as excessive swelling, itching, hives, or if the original symptoms of the procedure have not gone away.

After your initial root canal treatment, you’ll likely need to visit your dentist for a final restoration process. After this time, your tooth will feel like normal.

Contact Us Today for a Root Canal Treatment!

At Wheatfield Family Dentistry in North Tonawanda, New York, our dentists and root canal specialists are available to help you feel comfortable and informed throughout the entire root canal process. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, feel free to give us a call at (716) 694-1777 and we will assist you. Or, you can visit us online to see a full range of services available. We always accept new patients!

Root Canal FAQs

Root canals have an unfair reputation, and at Wheatfield Family Dentistry in North Tonawanda, NY, we encourage all our patients to consider these root canal FAQs to help clear up some of their concerns, especially if we recommend this effective treatment.

What Is Root Canal Therapy?

The way treatment is done is surprisingly simple. The endodontist examines the tooth and determines how to proceed. They numb the area and then remove all the infected tissue from inside the tooth. They treat the interior of the tooth with special compounds and then fill and seal it. Now, the decay is halted and prevented from further spread, and your pain is at an immediate end.

The pain of dental decay and infection is what makes many associate a root canal with something negative. However, as your preferred dentist in North Tonawanda, we encourage you to flip this common view on its head and reconsider the simple facts. For example, it is the root canal itself that ends the pain and quickly restores the tooth to its fullest use; making the root canal the hero of the story!

That is why endodontics (the area of dentistry that deals with the inside of the tooth) is also described as a form of restorative dentistry. It allows you to use the tooth like normal and without pain.

Is There a Substantial Benefit to a Root Canal?

This is another of the important root canal FAQs because many people will want to have a filling or even ask for a tooth to be removed rather than undergo the root canal. However, one of the main benefits of this treatment is that it allows a dentist to save an adult tooth. This preserves the overall health of your mouth as well as your bite.

How Long Does a Root Canal Last?

Another of the common root canal FAQs is this one, and the answer varies. Typically, it is a permanent restoration, but you will need to have regular exams and checkups in addition to practicing good oral hygiene to ensure the long lifespan that most root canals offer.

Contact Our Root Canal Dentist

Did these root canal FAQs reduce your worries about treatment? If so, feel free to give us a call at our North Tonawanda, NY office at 716-694-1777. You can also use our online contact form and one of our staff will get back to you promptly.

Am I a Candidate for Root Canals?

It is unfortunate that more people remain unaware of the profound benefits of endodontics. This is the area of dentistry that focuses on the interior or pulp of the tooth. It is a specialty that includes root canals, and perhaps that alone is why so many people don’t understand the value of their endodontist. At Wheatfield Family Dentistry in North Tonawanda, NY we provide our patients with a full range of endodontic treatments, including root canals, and encourage them to understand what makes them a candidate for root canals.

After all, most will wonder something along the lines of “why me?” when hearing they are a candidate for root canals. However, it is actually good news. It means your tooth is going to be able to be saved by your dentist in North Tonawanda, NY and you can then use it without pain or difficulty. It actually restores your bite to normal.

So, what makes someone a candidate for root canals? It is actually quite simple. You are a candidate for fillings if you have decay in the enamel or surface of the tooth. If that decay has passed through the enamel and into the pulp, you can become a candidate. If that decay has caused infection in one of the roots, it means it is time to have root canal therapy to save the tooth.

There are very few patients who are not a good candidate for root canals. Usually, root canal therapy is not an option if a tooth is fractured below the gum line or the shape of the root makes a root canal too difficult. It is something the endodontist will review.

Contact Our North Tonawanda Dentist Office for Endodontics

If you have more questions about being a candidate for root canals, feel free to give us a call at our North Tonawanda, NY office at 716-694-1777. You can also use our online contact form and one of our staff will get back to you promptly.

Benefits of Root Canal Treatment

Benefits of Root Canal Treatment

When you went to the dentist or talked with a friend about your tooth problems, did you hear the dreaded words “root canal” uttered? Your friend may have tried to frighten you with horror stories, while the dentist probably tried to alleviate your fears. You see, root canals today are not as problematic as they were years ago. In fact, many feel that they are about the same as getting a filling. Do not put off getting a root canal if it is the best option for you. There are many benefits of root canals.

No More Pain

This is the biggest benefit. People associate root canals with pain because it is the pain that brought them to the dentist in the first place. The pulp in their tooth has become infected, and it needs to be removed. The root canal removes this and the pain goes away. Once the pain goes away, you can get back to your normal life.

You do not have to worry about pain every time you take a bite. You do not have to keep chewing in other areas of your mouth to avoid aggravating the tooth, which means you will not be suffering from uneven wear and tear on the teeth. You will then have a crown placed over the tooth, which will help to keep it safer for the future. These are just some of the other benefits of root canals.

Save Your Tooth With a Root Canal

Do you still have questions or concerns? Talk with our root canal therapy specialists about all the other benefits of root canals and what the procedure will be like. Call us at Wheatfield Family Dentistry at 716-694-1777 or you can visit the contact page.

You might still be worried about the pain after a root canal. Most describe it as being about the same as having a deep filling, and that it is easily treated with some over the counter pain medication.

Root Canals Overview

Root Canals Overview

Of all of the dental procedures out there, root canals probably have the worst reputation. People fear them and jokes are made about them. However, the reason for this fear is generally because people know very little about them, especially with today’s modern dental technology. Do not listen to the misinformation that people spread. Instead, learn the truth about root canals.

An Easier Treatment

Today, this procedure is considered routine for dentists. In fact, they are not much different from getting a filling, since you will be under a local anesthetic for both procedures. This means you will not feel any pain. Our dentists work hard to provide you with the best and most painless experience possible. In fact, you will not have to worry about pain during the procedure, and you should heal quickly afterwards. Most patients will only need to have over the counter pain meds.

Relieve Your Pain

People get root canals because they are already in pain. They want to find a solution to that pain caused by infected tooth pulp, and this is the best option in most cases. The treatment will remove the infected pulp, which will quickly relieve the pain you are feeling. This means chewing and getting back to a normal life is easier.

Save the Tooth

Another great thing about root canals is that they will allow you to save your tooth. Instead of getting an implant or a bridge, you will still have your natural tooth. This can provide you with a nice and healthy mouth. Of course, the endodontist will let you know which treatment is best for you.

Contact Our North Tonawanda Dentist Office

If you would like to know more about root canals and would like to set up an appointment at Wheatfield Family Dentistry, call us at 716-694-1777. You can also visit our contact page.