Posts for tag: root canal


"Debit or credit?" "Buy or rent?" "Paper or plastic?"  Decisions, decisions. It's great to have more than one good option, but it can also provoke a lot of thought in making the right choice. Here's another decision you may one day have to face: "Save my tooth or replace it?"

It's hard to pass up replacing a tooth causing you misery, especially when the alternative is a functional and attractive dental implant. But before you do, consider this important message the American Association of Endodontists relay during Save Your Tooth Month in May: Before you part with a tooth, consider saving it as the best option for your oral health.

Even an implant, the closest dental prosthetic we now have to a real tooth, doesn't have all the advantages of the original. That's because your teeth, gums and supporting bone all make up an integrated oral system: Each component supports the other in dental function, and they all work together to fight disease.

Now, there are situations where a tooth is simply beyond help, and thus replacing it with an implant is the better course of action. But if a tooth isn't quite to that point, making the effort to preserve it is worth it for your long-term health.

A typical tooth in peril is one with advanced tooth decay. Decay begins when acid softens tooth enamel and creates a cavity. At this stage, we can often fill it with a tooth-colored filling. But if it isn't caught early, the decay can advance into the tooth's interior pulp, well below the enamel and dentin layers.

This is where things get dicey. As decay infects the pulp, it can move on through the root canals to infect the underlying bone. If this happens, you're well on your way to losing the tooth. But even if the pulp and root canals have become infected, we may still be able to save the tooth with root canal therapy.

Here's how it works: We first drill a tiny access hole into the infected tooth. Using special instruments, we remove all of the infected tissue from within the pulp chamber and root canals. After a bit of canal reshaping, we fill the now empty spaces with a rubber-like substance called gutta percha. After it sets, it protects the tooth from any more infection.

Contrary to what you might think, root canals aren't painful, as your tooth and the surrounding tissue are completely anesthetized. In fact, if your tooth has been hurting, a root canal will stop the pain. Better yet, it could save a tooth that would otherwise be lost—a satisfying outcome to a wise decision.

If you would like more information about tooth decay treatments, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment.”

By Peter Brusco DMD
April 24, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: root canal  

Only a dentist can truly say if you need to undergo a root canal therapy. However, there are warning signs and symptoms that you should not take for granted. Read on to learn them, and contact the practice of Dr. Peter Brusco in Kinnelon, NJ, if you are at all concerned.

Are You Experiencing Persistent Tooth Pain?

It may feel bothersome or may be chronic. The pain is characterized as being felt deep in the bone of the tooth. You can also experience the pain in your jaw and face aside from your teeth.

Is Your Tooth Sensitive to Cold and Heat?

You usually feel some pain in your tooth when you eat or drink something hot or cold. When a tooth needs a root canal, however, this sensitivity could be a sharp or like a dull pain and may linger until the issue is addressed.

Is Your Tooth Discolored?

Discoloration may be brought about by stains from the food you eat. In some instances though, discoloration is a sign that there is an infection in the pulp of your tooth. This creates a breakdown of the internal tissues and damages the roots, creating a grayish-black appearance of your tooth.

Do You Have Swollen Gums?

When you have swollen gums in the area of the tooth that is painful, it can be a sign that you are a candidate for root canal therapy. The swelling may not be persistent, but the gum remains tender to the touch. The swelling can be attributed to the acidic waste from the dead pulp. It may be accompanied by an abscess, a gum boil, or parulis.

Is Your Tooth Painful When Eating or Touching It?

This kind of tooth sensitivity may be an indication of severe decay or even nerve damage. If the sensitivity continues over considerable time even after you have finished eating, it’s possible that the ligament at the root tip has become infected causing hypersensitivity of the dying pulp.

For More Details on Root Canals, Contact our Office in Kinnelon, NJ

Call (973) 838-5862 to set your consultation date with Dr. Peter Brusco here in our Kinnelon practice.

By Peter Brusco DMD
March 11, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Molar Tooth ExtractionHow your dentist in Kinnelon, New Jersey, can save your smile

It may seem strange, but sometimes removing a tooth is the right choice. Common causes include if a tooth is severely decayed and can’t be repaired with a filling, or if there is infection around the tooth that can spread to healthy teeth and tissue, dramatically affecting the overall health of your smile. You may also be in a lot of pain!

There are common signs and symptoms indicating you may need to have a tooth extracted. Read below to learn more, and contactDr. Peter Brusco in Kinnelon, New Jersey, if you feel that you could use treatment.


More about Tooth Extraction

Many teeth can be repaired with a simple dental filling, with or without root canal treatment. However, there are teeth that remain painful even after treatment. If you have periodontal disease, that can also lead to the need for tooth extraction.

You may to have a tooth extracted if you have:

  • Severe pain after a dental filling has been placed
  • Severe pain after root canal treatment
  • Lost bone support around a tooth, making the tooth mobile

You may need a tooth extraction for reasons other than pain and disease, for example, teeth are often removed before orthodontic treatment. If there is not enough room, or if it will make moving other teeth into correct position faster and easier, your orthodontist may suggest removing specific teeth.

The most common healthy teeth to be removed, however, are wisdom teeth. This is your third set of permanent molars, and most people don’t have room in their jaws for them. As a result, wisdom teeth are often removed between the ages of 18 and 25. If wisdom teeth are left in, there is a chance they will form cysts which can cause bone destruction and other issues.


Give us a Call!

These are just a few of the reasons why you might need a tooth extraction. Only your dentist knows for sure whether a tooth should be taken out or not. If you have a painful tooth, don’t wait for it to get worse. Instead, just pick up your phone and call Dr. Peter Brusco in Kinnelon, New Jersey. Dial (973) 838-5862 today and save your smile!

By Peter Brusco DMD
September 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal   tooth pain  

Root Canal DIagramCould your smile be trying to tell you that something is wrong?

Okay, so root canals haven’t gotten the best reputation over the years, but our Kinnelon, NJ, dentist Dr. Peter Brusco is here to tell you more about this procedure to ease your mind, particularly if you need to have one done.

First and foremost, root canal treatments happen all the time and really aren’t any more invasive than getting a dental filling. Furthermore, it could just end up saving your tooth from needing an extraction while also getting rid of that nasty toothache you’re experiencing.

So, what is a root canal?

It’s important to understand this procedure so that you understand the purpose behind it and why it’s necessary. This isn’t an elective dental procedure; it is one you will need if you want to treat a damaged tooth and prevent further damage from happening.

Deep inside, under the enamel and dentin layers of the tooth, lies a soft tissue structure known as the dental pulp. While the dental pulp is an important part of the tooth while it’s developing, once the tooth has fully matured the dental pulp no longer serves a purpose.

However, sometimes bacteria can break through these hard outer layers of the tooth, getting inside and infecting the pulp. Once this happens, our Kinnelon, NJ, general dentist has no choice but to remove the dental pulp. The purpose behind root canal treatment is to:

  • Remove the dental pulp
  • Disinfect the inside of the tooth and the root canals
  • Prevent bacteria from spreading
  • Fill the canals with special material to prevent a re-infection
  • Restore the tooth’s strength and function

How do I know that I need a root canal?

A lot of people may require a root canal but feel absolutely fine and not even notice any symptoms. While we know this thought can be unnerving this is why it’s important to visit your dentist every six months for checkups, even if you think everything feels fine.

Of course, if the dental pulp is infected, often times the most classic symptom is a toothache. After all, the dental pulp is made up of nerves, so when bacteria infect it, it will certainly let you know by causing you pretty persistent and sometimes severe pain.

Besides pain, you may also notice increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks. Sensitivity can linger long after you’ve had contact with the offending beverage or food. If a toothache goes ignored and the tooth doesn’t get the care it needs sometimes the tooth will begin to darken. This means the roots of the tooth are dying. You may also notice redness, swelling or tenderness in the gums surrounding that tooth.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it’s best to play it safe and give our Kinnelon, NJ, family dentist a call. We will go through your symptoms and determine whether you need to come in right away for care. Don’t put off the treatment your smile needs to stay healthy.

By Peter Brusco DMD
July 13, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

What your dentist in Kinnelon wants you to knowroot canal

A root canal is a common procedure that can potentially save a badly damaged tooth. Root canals, also called endodontic procedures, are performed for a variety of reasons. Dr. Peter Brusco in Kinnelon, NJ wants to share why you might need a root canal and how a root canal can help your smile.

You might need a root canal even if you don’t have any pain or symptoms. The inner chamber of a tooth, an area called the pulp chamber, is filled with living tissue, nerves and blood supply. Sometimes the tissue can harden, a natural process called sclerosis, and the nerves and blood supply can dry up. All you may notice is the dying tooth changing color, becoming darker.

Other common causes of root canal problems include:

  • Deep decay that has penetrated to the pulp of your tooth
  • Accidents or sports injuries resulting in tooth trauma
  • Injuries to your jaws or face
  • Long-term grinding or clenching

The need for a root canal results from inflammation and swelling in the pulp chamber of your tooth. You may experience increased pressure and pain within the tooth, along with other symptoms like these:

  • Sharp or throbbing pain that continues and doesn’t resolve
  • Sharp or throbbing pain from hot and cold foods or beverages
  • Redness, swelling or white drainage around the root tip of your tooth

If you experience symptoms, it’s important to know that only your dentist will know for sure if you need a root canal. Using all of the latest tools including digital x-rays, intra-oral cameras and pulp and vitality testing, Dr. Brusco can determine if your tooth needs a root canal. That’s why it’s so important to visit your dentist at the first sign of trouble.

If you do need a root canal, don’t worry! Dr. Brusco will make your appointment comfortable during and after treatment. For more information about the causes of root canal problems and endodontic therapy, call Dr. Brusco in Kinnelon, NJ. You don’t have to suffer from tooth pain, so call today!

Kinnelon, NJ Dentist
Peter Brusco DMD
170 Kinnelon Rd # 29A
Kinnelon, NJ 07405
(973) 838-5862
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