What do the repeated fillings or a visible crack in enamel mean for the future of your tooth? You may need root canal treatment, or endodontic therapy, to quell infection and reinforce dental form and health. Dr. Heidi Wettels, your New Paltz dentist, performs this predictable procedure, avoiding extraction and tooth replacements.
What is root canal treatment?
Named for the narrow channels inside each tooth root, root canal therapy:
- Removes inflamed interior pulp and disinfects each channel
- Seals each canal with a thermoplastic putty called gutta-percha
- Restores the tooth with a porcelain crown
Patients respond best to this restorative treatment when infection is contained within the tooth structure. So, the sooner it is performed, the better the result is. The American Association of Endodontists says that about 95 percent of these procedures succeed, and the teeth can last a lifetime.
Do you need it?
Your New Paltz dentist recommends root canal therapy if you show some or all of these symptoms:
- Tooth fracture
- Deep dental decay
- Pimples on the gums
- Pain when biting and chewing
- Dental sensitivity to cold, heat and sugar
- Darkened tooth enamel
- Throbbing toothache pain
Dr. Wettels also confirms her diagnosis and treatment plan with digital X-rays and close visual inspection.
How root canals work
- Your dentist places a protective dam around the tooth.
- She anesthetizes the area and accesses the first canal.
- Dr. Wettels removes the interior pulp.
- She seals each canal with gutta-percha.
- Each canal is treated, and then, the entire tooth is covered with a temporary restoration.
- Healing at home takes about a week.
- Dr. Wettels removes the temporary cap and places a permanent porcelain crown.
Maintaining your restored tooth is easy: brush and floss daily, eat a tooth-friendly diet and see your dentist semi-annually for a check-up and professional cleaning.
Find out more
Dr. Heidi Wettels and her team partner with their patients to keep smiles healthy and vibrant for life. If root canal treatment is in your future, don't worry. It works! Breathe new life into your troubled tooth, and enjoy great oral health. Contact one of our two locations for a consultation on endodontic therapy. In Woodstock, phone (845) 679-6083, or in New Paltz, call (845) 244-3082.