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Root Canal Specialist

Healing Smiles

Sandra C Onukwugha, DMD

General and Cosmetic Dentistry located in New Brunswick, NJ

If you develop a deep cavity or damage a tooth, root canal therapy can relieve pain and prevent further problems. At Healing Smiles, cosmetic dentist Sandra Onukwugha, DMD, boasts years of experience performing root canals using safe, effective means. To make an appointment at the practice in New Brunswick, New Jersey, call the office to speak with a friendly staff member, or click the online booking tool.

Root Canal Q & A

What is a root canal? 

A root canal is an endodontic procedure that removes infected or inflamed pulp from the center of a tooth. Pulp contains blood vessels and connective tissue, allowing for temperature sensations, but it isn’t necessary for a tooth’s long-term survival. Removing the pulp preserves your permanent tooth, preventing the need for an extraction.

Why would I need a root canal? 

At Healing Smiles, Dr. Onukwugha uses root canal therapy to treat pulp infections or damage. Common causes include: 

  • Untreated cavities 
  • Oral trauma 
  • Undergoing more than one procedure on a single tooth 
  • Chipping or damaging a tooth 

Symptoms of pulp damage or infection include increasing sensitivity and pain, warmth, swelling, and redness. If you experience these or other similar side effects, make an appointment at Healing Smiles right away. 

What does root canal treatment involve? 

At Healing Smiles, a root canal can take 1-2 appointments for completion: 

At your initial consultation, Dr. Onukwugha conducts an oral exam, takes any necessary X-rays, and performs other diagnostic steps to determine if a root canal is needed and ultimately develops a treatment plan. 

If a root canal is needed, she can then proceed to administer a local anesthetic and remove the pulp from the center of your tooth. 

Dr. Onukwugha cleans out your tooth thoroughly and fills it with a rubbery material called gutta-percha. When the gutta-percha dries, she then prepares the tooth for a custom dental crown for added protection, if needed. Upon its fabrication and return from the laboratory, a permanent crown will later be cemented to the tooth to prevent further infection or damage.

First appointment 

At your initial consultation, Dr. Onukwugha conducts an oral exam, takes any necessary X-rays, and performs other diagnostic steps to determine if a root canal is needed and ultimately develops a treatment plan. 

If a root canal is needed and can be performed at the office, she then can proceed to administer a local anesthetic and remove the pulp from the center of the tooth. 

Dr. Onukwugha cleans out your tooth and root canal thoroughly and seals it. Once the root canal treatment is completed, the tooth is now ready to be prepared for a custom dental crown to strengthen its structure and prevent any further damage or fracture. 

What is recovery like after a root canal? 

After root canal therapy, it’s normal to experience some mild swelling and increased sensitivity initally. Take over-the-counter pain medication to ease inflammation for at least a day or two. If a crown is needed, it is recommended to have one completed as soon as possible to prevent the tooth fracture or reinfection. Continue to brush and floss normally and visit Healing Smiles at least two times a year for an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning. 

To see if you’re a candidate for a root canal, make an appointment at Healing Smiles by calling the office to speak with a caring staff member or by clicking the online booking tool.