Root Canals Q&A

Dentists located in St. George and Great Kills, Staten Island, NY

Root Canals

Root Canals Q&A

Root canal therapy is often the solution to severe tooth pain and lingering sensitivity. At Bay Dental in the St. George and Great Kills areas of Staten Island, New York, dentists Anthony Cirillo, DDS, and Vincent Circosta, DDS, provide root canal therapy to remove the inflamed soft tissue from inside a tooth. Find out if you need a root canal by scheduling an evaluation over the phone or online at Bay Dental today.

What are root canals?

Root canals are a treatment for painful teeth that have infections inside them or are inflamed on the inside. Under the harder layers of enamel and dentin is a layer called the pulp inside each tooth. The pulp contains soft tissues such as nerves and blood vessels. A tooth injury can cause the pulp to swell, and if bacteria gets inside the tooth, an infection can occur. 


Root canals treat pulp inflammation and infections by removing the pulp entirely. A tooth can survive without its pulp as long as it’s an adult tooth and has finished erupting. The team at Bay Dental performs the treatment by creating a small opening in the chewing surface of the tooth, then removing the pulp and sanitizing the inside of the tooth. 


The final step in a root canal is a filling and sealing the newly empty canals inside the tooth. Either during the same appointment or during a follow-up visit to Bay Dental, the team places a permanent filling and a protective custom crown over the tooth. 

What are some signs I need a root canal?

Numerous symptoms might indicate your need for a root canal. You shouldn’t ignore the symptoms as the condition can worsen over time, and the infection can spread to areas outside the tooth and beyond your mouth. 


Indications of needing a root canal include:


  • Spontaneous throbbing or pain
  • Painful chewing or biting
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Visible large chips and cracks
  • Swollen or tender gums


Some of these symptoms aren’t exclusive to tooth pulp problems and can instead indicate other oral health issues, like periodontal disease. The team at Bay Dental examines you and can tell you whether or not you need a root canal. 

How should I care for my tooth after a root canal?

You must follow some instructions after getting a root canal to manage any lingering discomfort. The treatment itself eliminates the pain of a tooth infection, but the tooth remains sensitive for a while after your root canal.


The Bay Dental team advises you to:


  • Take a pain medication as prescribed
  • Avoid eating until the anesthesia wears off
  • Eat mostly soft foods and liquids for at least 48 hours
  • Expect sensitivity while chewing for five or six days


You’ll probably want to take the entire day off work and other responsibilities for your root canal. In addition to adjusting your eating habits temporarily, you’ll want to be extra careful when brushing around a tooth after its root canal treatment. 


Schedule an evaluation over the phone or online at Bay Dental to find out if you need a root canal today.