Root Canal - What It Is and Why You May Need One
A root canal treatment is performed to save a natural tooth. Most dental procedures are done on the surface of your teeth and gums. We may drill out decay that is just beginning to break through the top part of tooth enamel.
The pretty white part of your teeth is just the outside. Inside is a living matter that affects your oral health. Your teeth have soft tissue inside of them that is called the pulp. It is filled with blood vessels and nerves.
Dental pulp serves several purposes. In the early stages of development, it helps the teeth form the roots. Later, it continues to nourish your teeth. Although the pulp is safely encased in your tooth, things can still go wrong. Root canals are done to address problems with the interior part of your tooth.
When is a Root Canal Necessary?
There are several reasons why you might need a root canal. Severe dental pain is often a sign that you have an infection occurring in the dental pulp. This is usually caused by deep decay or a tooth fracture that allowed bacteria to get inside.
Root canal treatment is also done to prepare a broken tooth for further treatment. A dental injury can traumatize the nerves in the dental pulp. Removing them is often the best way to end severe dental pain and prevent reinfections.
How Is an Endodontist Different From a Dentist?
An endodontist is a dentist that has undergone additional training to perform treatments that involve the interior part of a tooth. Root canals are typically the most common treatment that they provide.
They may also do other procedures to try to save a severely damaged tooth. Some endodontists also do dental implants.
We refer you to an endodontist for a root canal to make sure that you benefit from their expertise and experience.
What Happens During the Procedure?
The root canal procedure is relatively straightforward. The endodontist usually does a visual exam and looks at x-rays to verify the source of tooth pain or trauma. They will then use an anesthetic to numb the treatment area. Once you are comfortable, they use special tools to clean out the dental pulp and root canals. After they are done, they add a filling to seal the hole.
What Is the Recovery Like?
The majority of people find that getting a root canal done is not much different from having a filling. It is best to avoid eating or drinking while your mouth is numb. Other than that, you can usually go back to your normal activities. After a root canal, your tooth may be weakened. Your dentist may recommend being gentle with the tooth as you eat until you get a crown.
Benefits of a Root Canal vs Extraction
Toothaches are often so severe that patients will agree to anything to end the pain. Extractions may stop the pain right away, but they leave your mouth vulnerable to new problems. A root canal leaves your tooth in place. This allows you to avoid having to get a replacement tooth. The natural tooth also stimulates the bone and soft tissues in your mouth better than any other option.
No one likes hearing that they need a root canal, but they aren’t as bad as people make them out to be. We can diagnose the need for this procedure and point you toward a specialist that has a long history of successfully performing root canals.