Root Canal Therapy: Relieve Pain & Save Your Smile
Terrified of root canals? You’re not alone! This procedure is often surrounded by misinformation and fear. Perhaps one of the most dreaded procedures in dentistry, root canal therapy is also one of the most commonplace—it is a minor dental surgery performed with precision and success by dentists and endodontists to save teeth every day! Thanks to modern advancements in diagnosis, equipment, technique, and technology, root canal therapy is a routine procedure and nothing to fear. In this blog, we answer the four most common questions about root canals.
1. What is root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy, also called endodontic therapy, is the treatment needed when the pulp of the tooth becomes infected. The tooth’s pulp is the soft inner tissue that lies underneath the enamel and dentin layers—it’s made up of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. During root canal therapy, an opening is made in the tooth so that the damaged or infected pulp can be carefully removed from inside the roots and crown of the tooth. Then the inside of the root canal is cleaned and shaped before being filled and sealed to restore the tooth and prevent future re-infection.
2. Does it hurt?
A common belief is that a root canal is going to be very painful. With today’s technology and advanced anesthesia, as well as timely effective use of antibiotics, your root canal therapy treatment shouldn’t cause any discomfort. Think of it as a deep filling. A successful root canal can cause mild recovery pain or soreness in the area for upto 3 days, which can be alleviated with medications, rest, and good oral care.
3. How does the pulp get infected?
The pulp inside the root canal can become inflamed, infected, or damaged when there is any kind of trauma to the tooth that causes fractures such as a deep decay, chip or crack. Even without physical fracture, injury to a tooth can lead to pulp damage. Root canal pulp can also become infected when cavities form and spread to the deeper layers of the tooth. If a tooth has had repeated dental procedures over time, or if it has been chipped or cracked in the past, it may be more susceptible to root canal damage or infection.
4. Why is postponing root canal treatment a bad idea?
While early decay and small cavities are easily treatable, a root canal will not heal itself and is best treated as soon as possible before the damage progresses. If you have been told that you need a root canal treatment, and you’re putting it off, or maybe you think it is getting better because it has stopped hurting—think again! If your root canal has stopped hurting, it’s probably because the nerves have died and the condition is getting worse, not better.
When left long enough, root canal infections can spread and worsen to a point they are no longer treatable, and extraction may be the only option. Untreated root canal infections can also spread to vital organs, and cause life-threatening sepsis.
Talk to us about financing options to help ease the strain of your root canal therapy treatment, or read more about the financing options for you at both Neesh and Blok Dental here.
How can I avoid root canal therapy?
The best way to avoid root canal therapy is to take good daily care of your oral health, wear a mouthguard during sports, and never miss your regular dental cleanings and exams. These exams are essential to preventing root canal therapy because they give your dentist an opportunity to catch small cavities early and diagnose other problems before the inner pulp of the tooth becomes jeopardized.
When it comes to root canals, the wait-and-see approach postpones the inevitable—and the worse it gets, the more difficult it is to treat and the lower the success rate of the treatment. Catch small cavities early and see your dentist if you have suffered a trauma to the face or jaw. To book your regular exam and dental cleaning online, click here. Or, visit here to book a virtual dental consultation to address your root canal concerns with a real dentist from our clinic.