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Natural Awakenings New York City

Root Canals Can Be Quick, Pain-Free

Screen shot 2016-01-31 at 7.25.55 PMBy Reid Winick, DDS

Recently  a new patient of mine,  Rose  OrrelI, wrote a blog post, “How I Avoided a  Root Canal with  Natural  Dentistry” (, in which she details her long, tenuous dental history—from  her  childhood with  extractions  and  braces to her adulthood with failed periodontal surgeries and root canals.

Rose came to  Dentistry for Health New York  for a second opinion regarding a painful tooth that was slated  for  yet  another  root canal by her dentist. After spending time with Rose and listening to all she had been through, including her current complaint, I concluded that the tooth didn’t need a root canal—that the pain was actually being referred by her uneven bite and her facial  muscles. Rose  was thrilled. Root canal avoided!

But if you do need a root canal, don’t panic. Our root canal specialist, Dr. Jeff Etess, has developed specific sterilization protocols that enable us to offer a one-day, pain-free procedure with a greatly reduced risk of reinfection.

The root canal has been demonized in the media, so much so that even President Obama, in his first presidential address, called the 2008 banking bailout “about as popular as a root canal.” This is an unfortunate and false misconception of the facts.

To properly diagnose and prepare for a root canal, a digital dental x-ray and sometimes a digital 3D x-ray called Cone Beam Computerized Tomography are needed to determine the issue with the suspect tooth. The CBCT is ideal for pinpointing all critical tooth anatomy so that every root and nerve canal can be identified and treated properly. Many root canal infections are the result of missed nerves from previous root canals. CBCT technology removes all this guesswork. It is critical for identifying jaw and sinus infections that are completely undetectable in the standard dental x-ray.

In our office, we use the lowest radiation and most accurate dental imaging devices. You can’t treat what you can’t see; that’s why all root canal procedures are performed under high-power magnification to identify all parts of the root canal system.

Every root canal procedure must be done under a sterile shield called a dental dam or rubber dam. This provides an absolutely clean, aseptic environment in which to perform this sterile procedure. While this is the standard of care and therefore critical for a successful outcome, some dental practices unfortunately skip this step.

In order to achieve the highest possible level of aseptic care, our office uses many different types of disinfecting irrigation solutions to flush out and clean the root canal space. Then we use a specific and proprietarily unique disinfection treatment protocol, Absolute Clean, developed by Dr. Etess.

Here’s how Absolute Clean works:

  • First, while the various cleaning liquids are in the canal, we use highly effective ultrasonics to help them enter into the intricate anatomy of the root canal system.
  • Second, we use the Lutronic Denta2 CO2 Laser, which sterilizes the root canal system with its microprobe. Used with conventional cleaning and shaping protocols (which we go well beyond alone), this laser has been shown in clinical studies to provide complete sterilization of the root canal.
  • Third, we use ozone sterile water and ozone gas to penetrate the deepest areas of the microscopic dentinal tubules for an added, comprehensive level of disinfection.
In our opinion, there is currently no better way to achieve this comprehensive level of root canal disinfection.

Finally, the root canal system is sealed with the most biocompatible root canal sealer available today: a tissue-friendly, non-inflammatory bioceramic material that ensures that the system stays infection-free and that seals it from any reinfection. Unlike most dental offices, after our root canals we do not use any temporary dental fillings, which leak germs the moment they are placed into the tooth. Instead, we seal our root-canal-treated teeth with state-of-the-art, 100 percent biocompatible, BIS-GMA-free, fluoride-free, mercury-free composite materials.

This comprehensive, pain-free root canal procedure usually takes just one relatively short visit, while other dental offices would require two to four visits. And all our root canals are performed by Dr. Etess, who is the first and only biomimeticly and integrative medicine-trained endodontist who uses the Lutronic laser and ozone disinfection therapies.

winickDr. Reid Winick’s Dentistry for Health New York is located at 120 E. 56th St,12th Floor, NYC 10022 and can be reached at 212-973-9425 or