If root canal is a phrase that makes you wince, it is time you get the correct facts on root canals. Dispelling common myths surrounding root canals can make it much easier to follow through on this endodontic procedure if your dentist suggests it. Red Oak Family Dentistry always educates patients about their treatment plan, including why we think a root canal is best and what you can expect during your procedure.
Root canals likely got their bad rap a long time ago. In the past, root canal methods were accomplished very differently than they are today. Therefore, the first and foremost fact to clear up when it comes to root canals is that they are not painful. In fact, the only real pain you can expect is if you avoid your root canal procedure all together.
A root canal is the treatment of choice for teeth that have damage on the inside. Beyond the outside enamel and dentin layer of your tooth is the tooth pulp, which includes blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues. Once your teeth are fully-grown, you do not necessarily need the pulp of your tooth. Therefore, it can be safely removed if an infection has invaded this tooth center. Deep decay, faulty crowns and trauma can all create painful inflammation and infection inside your tooth.
The purpose of a root canal is to save your tooth. It is an endodontic treatment that uses advanced tools to carefully remove the inflamed pulp and thoroughly clean the affected area. Your tooth center will then be filled and sealed. It is not uncommon for patients to get a crown or filling after a root canal to ensure the tooth is restored to optimal strength and form. All of this is carried out with minimal discomfort. In fact, most patients report that a root canal is no more painful than getting a dental filling.
If you have an infected tooth, your options are either tooth extraction, a root canal, or living with unbearable and worsening pain. At Red Oak Family Dentistry, we hope you will choose the painless, tooth-saving procedure that can restore your smile best. If you have further questions about root canal therapy, please don’t hesitate to ask.