As dentists, we are often asked a variety of questions about root canals, and we’d like to take this time to share some of the most common questions we get asked about this often-misunderstood dental treatment!
Root canal, what is it?
A root canal treatment is simply a dental procedure that takes care of infection and inflammation happening on the inside of your tooth (or tooth pulp). This is the innermost region of your tooth and it houses sensitive nerves and tooth roots. Should the pulp become damaged, a root canal treatment can save the tooth! And whenever possible, we dentists try to save your original tooth.
What leads to root canals?
A tooth may require a root canal because of a variety of factor, including:
-Deep decay inside the tooth
-Having multiple dental treatments on a tooth
-Getting a crack or chip in a tooth allowing bacteria to enter the pulp
-Having a crown that is faulty
-Experiencing trauma or injury to a tooth
Left untreated, a severely damaged tooth pulp can leave you in pain along with an abscess. Conversely, removing the infected pulp material, cleaning out the tooth chambers and then filling and sealing the tooth so it can be topped with a crown or filled with a dental filling will restore the tooth so that it is as good as new!
Do Root Canals Hurt?
Thanks to modern technology, today’s root canal treatments are similar to getting a dental filling. You will be given numbing agents so that you can rest comfortably while the tooth is treated. Remember, a root canal is ultimately done to relieve current tooth pain and do so in just one visit. Our dental team is well-versed in pain management to ensure that your experience in the chair is as comfortable and painless as possible!
Can I just have the problem tooth extracted?
Nothing replaces a tooth as well as saving your natural teeth whenever it is possible to do so. Artificial teeth can have their limits, one of them potentially affecting your choice of foods. So, if you like that chewy steak or snacking on crunchy vegetables, your own tooth often does the job best! Even replacing lost teeth can be pricey, certainly more so than a root canal. Extracting and then placing a dental implant or bridge can be prohibitive unless you just can’t save the damaged tooth.
Today’s technology allows us to save an original tooth more than ever before. With the help of a root canal treatment, a restored tooth can often last a lifetime when cared for properly with good daily oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing every day and getting your bi-annual teeth cleanings and exams can all help to maintain healthy teeth and gums so you can continue to flash your smile with confidence!