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Dr. Karen Lawitts and Dr. Nancy Yeates

100 Intrepid Lane
Syracuse, NY 13205

(315) 492-8138
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Posts for tag: root canal

By Drs Lawitts and Yeates
July 12, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Root CanalA root canal is a procedure for restoring teeth that are seriously damaged due to infection. When the pulpy material at the center of a tooth becomes infected, the infection can spread down through the root and form an abscess below the tooth, which can facilitate the spread of the infection to other areas of the mouth. The root canal procedure removes the infection, restores the tooth, and eliminates the need for extraction. Dr. Karen Lawitts and Dr. Nancy Yeates are your dentists for root canals in Syracuse, NY.

Root Canal Signs

There are several signs you may need a root canal. For instance, experiencing sharp pain when biting into and chewing foods is an indication you may need a root canal. Other signs include a persistent toothache or mouth pain. In general, pain or sensitivity can signal a tooth is infected. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other areas of the mouth, including other teeth, the gums, and even the jaw bone. Your Syracuse dentist can advise you if a root canal is needed. Signs a root canal might be needed include:

  • Persistent toothache
  • Constant mouth pain or pressure
  • Sharp pain when biting and chewing food
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold substances

Root Canal Procedure

The procedure for a root canal is similar to filling a cavity. All infected pulp inside the tooth and root is removed. If an abscess has formed below the tooth, it might be treated at this time as well. The interior of the tooth and root are then cleaned to ensure no signs of infection remain. A dental filling is then used to fill the tooth back in. Filling the tooth restores and strengthens it, and prevents infection from developing in that area again. Once the root canal procedure is complete, normal tooth functioning can resume without pain, discomfort, or sensitivity.

Benefits of a Root Canal

There are several benefits to having a root canal procedure performed on an infected or damaged tooth. A root canal offers the following benefits:

  • Prevent extraction
  • Preserve teeth
  • Strengthen teeth
  • Alleviate tooth pain and sensitivity
  • Restore normal tooth functioning
  • Stop the spread of infection

There are several signs you may need a root canal, including a severe toothache, constant pressure in the mouth, or tooth sensitivity. To find out if you need a root canal, schedule an appointment with Dr. Lawitts or Dr. Yeates, your dentists in Syracuse, NY, by calling their dental practice at (315) 492-8138.

UnderstandingtheSignsandSymptomsofToothDecayandaDiseasedRootCanal

Tooth decay can be relentless: left untreated it can work its way into a tooth’s inner core — the pulp chamber or better known as the root canal. Once this occurs, the best course of action to save the tooth may be a root canal treatment to clean out the diseased pulp (nerve) and seal the canal from further decay.

So, what signs and symptoms might you encounter if decay has invaded a tooth’s root canal? When the pulp is first infected you may experience acute pain; over time, however, the pain may suddenly dissipate. This doesn’t mean the tooth has healed itself — quite the contrary, it may mean the infected pulp tissue, including the nerves, has died. Once the nerves die, they no longer transmit pain signals to the brain.

While the pain may cease, the infection hasn’t and will continue to travel from the end of the tooth root into the bone. At this point, you may encounter pain whenever you bite on the tooth. This time the pain is originating in nerves located in the periodontal ligament that surrounds the tooth root and joins the tooth with the jawbone. This can lead to an acute abscess (with accompanying pain) or a chronic abscess that may have no pain symptoms at all. As the decay progresses you may eventually suffer bone and tooth loss.

The important point here is that you may or may not notice all the signs and symptoms that indicate deep decay within a tooth. That’s why it’s important to undergo a thorough dental examination if you have any symptoms at all, especially acute pain that “mysteriously” disappears.

A root canal treatment and removal of the decayed tooth structure will stop the progress of tooth decay and preserve the tooth. The longer you delay, though, the greater the risk your tooth will eventually lose the battle with tooth decay and infection will continue to spread.

If you would like more information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Signs and Symptoms of a Future Root Canal.”

By Drs Lawitts and Yeates
September 18, 2012
Category: Dental Procedures
CanYouWhitenTraumatizedTeeth

If you are pleased with your smile except for that one front tooth that appears darker, then we have good news for you. Often a tooth appears darker as a result of trauma that may have occurred years ago. Your tooth may need root canal treatment or may have already had root canal treatment in the past. Regardless, you can whiten this tooth via a process called internal bleaching. And as the name suggests, the tooth can be bleached from the inside out. Here's a brief summary of how this entire process works:

  1. Performing an x-ray exam: The first step is to take a radiograph (x-ray) to make sure that your root canal filling is intact adequately sealing the root canal and the surrounding bone is healthy.
  2. Making an access hole: To apply the bleaching agent, a small hole will need to be made in the back of your tooth to apply the bleach. However, before doing that, the area must be thoroughly cleaned and irrigated.
  3. Sealing above the root canal filling: This step is critical to prevent the bleach from leaking into the root canal space.
  4. Applying the bleach: To obtain the whitening needed, it typically requires between one and four office visits for additional bleaching.
  5. Applying a permanent restoration: Once your tooth has lightened to the desired color, a permanent filling will be placed over the small hole to seal your tooth's dentin. This is then covered with tooth-colored composite resin (filling material) so that the access hole is undetectable to the naked eye.

To learn more about this procedure and see amazing before and after images, continue reading the Dear Doctor article, “Whitening Traumatized Teeth.” Or, you can contact us to discuss your questions or to schedule an appointment.

By Drs Lawitts and Yeates
February 09, 2012
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: oral health   root canal  
TheTruthAboutRootCanalTreatment

For generations, root canal treatment has received a bad rap. Thought to cause pain, it is actually just the reverse. The truth is that root canal treatment does not cause pain but actually relieves it. Not only does root canal treatment relieve pain, it literally saves the affected tooth or teeth from further damage and/or loss.

To get started, let's define this procedure. A root canal treatment is a procedure in which the diseased pulpal tissue in the root canals are removed, disinfected, cleaned, and sealed. This is usually necessary following inflammation and infection of the pulp — which is the cause of your pain — as a result of severe decay or in a very heavily filled or damaged tooth.

However, if left untreated, an infected tooth can spread into the bone and even cause an abscess — and that can be more painful and impact your overall general health. The good news is that once a tooth has had the appropriate endodontic treatment (“endo” – inside; “dont” – tooth) followed by a proper restoration, it can last as long as your other teeth. The key is to take proper care of your teeth, have routine cleanings, and visit our offices as soon as you feel you have a problem with a tooth.

If you are having pain from a tooth or several teeth, you may need a root canal treatment. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment before it gets worse. To learn more about the signs, symptoms, and treatment for a root canal, read the article “Common Concerns About Root Canal Treatment.”



Dr. Karen Lawitts

Dr. Karen Lawitts

Dr. Nancy Yeates

Dr. Nancy Yeates

Dr. Lawitts was born and raised in Syracuse, NY. She received her Bachelor of Science and D.D.S degree from Northwestern University in Chicago. Dr. Nancy Yeates graduated from Canisius College with a B.A. in Biology. She then attended Georgetown University School of Dentistry.
       
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