Root Canal (Endodontics)


A root canal procedure is performed when the soft tissue—also known as the pulp—inside of the tooth becomes inflamed or infected. When the pulp becomes infected, it is usually caused by an untreated deep cavity or tooth fracture. Damaged or dead pulp causes blood flow and cellular activity to flow towards the infected area, which ultimately causes pain. Most patients in need of a root canal experience pain when biting down, chewing, and/or ingesting hot or cold foods and drinks.

The goal of a root canal procedure is to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed—this is a much better alternative than extracting the tooth. Tooth extractions may seem like a simpler solution on paper, but the void left behind by the extracted tooth needs to be filled otherwise teeth can shift. It is much easier to save an existing tooth than it is to add a dental implant or bridge.

During a root canal procedure, your dentist will save the dead or damaged pulp in the tooth by cleaning out the diseased pulp and reshaping the canal. He or she will then fill the canal with a substance called gutta-percha to prevent recontamination of the tooth. Finally, they will seal the tooth and you can return to normal chewing activities almost immediately following the procedure. Depending on the severity of your condition, most root canals can be performed in one office-visit.

Dear Patient:

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines.  We are happy to announce that we are now able to reopen for routine care. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice. In addition to our standard comprehensive infection control procedures (following the recommendations of the ADA, CDC and OSHA), our schedules have been reduced to ensure extreme sanitation measures are carried out between each appointment. An additional reason for this schedule change is to reduce the number of individuals within the office at one time and decrease congestion in the hallways.

Other changes you may notice at your next appointment;

  • You will be asked some screening questions before your appointment and upon arrival.
  • We will ask you to use the hand sanitizer made available in the reception area
  • We will no longer offer magazines and children’s toys in the reception area as these items are too difficult to disinfect.
  • Appointments will be managed to allow greater time between patients, social distancing between patients, and reduced number of patients in the reception area at one time. That might mean fewer scheduling options for appointments.

We are screening our employees before they start work each day, just as we are doing with patients (temperature and screening questions).  If any employee has had exposure to Covid-19, we are requiring them to be testing for the virus prior to coming back to work.

Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time! We have been extremely busy trying to take this time to train, expand our knowledge, and improve our processes.  We value your trust and loyalty and are excited to be able to see you again!

Sincerely,

Dr. Alperstein and Team