If you are among the many patients that dread root canals out of a fear that the procedure is a painful one, rest assured that modern technology has rendered the root canal no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled. The discomfort comes from the condition that creates the need for a root canal, so root canals also ultimately ease a patient’s symptoms.
Furthermore, root canals are tremendously valuable in helping patients with severely damaged teeth retain their biological teeth.
Root canals are typically used to eliminate infections that have settled in the tooth’s pulp as a result of advanced decay or an injury that exposed the tooth’s center. The tooth’s nerves are contained in that area, increasing the patient’s sensitivity to an infection there.
This treatment gives patients an alternative to extracting such damaged teeth. It’s preferable to keep your biological teeth whenever possible, as even the most structurally complete tooth replacement device does not completely replicate a natural tooth.
In performing the root canal, the dentist first creates a small hole in the tooth to gain access to the pulp. Then, the infected pulp material and the nerve are removed and the root canal chamber is thoroughly cleaned of any remaining bacteria. In the final step, the chamber is filled with an inert rubber-like substance and sealed to reduce the chances that any further infection will develop.
The dentist will use a local anesthetic for the procedure, and many patients also will choose some type of sedation when undergoing root canal therapy for a more comfortable experience.
Most patients will get a dental crown following a root canal procedure, as well. The tooth is weakened by the root canal procedure, so the crown provides an added layer of protection.
Don’t let outdated ideas about root canals keep you from getting this treatment if it is appropriate in your case. Talk to your dentist at Dental Depot to learn more about the procedure and the measures that can be taken to keep you comfortable during the appointment.