Root canals are one of the most intimidating terms for patients to hear at the dentist. However, the bad rap surrounding root canals can be reversed once you understand exactly what the procedure involves and how beneficial it is towards your smile health. A root canal is used to treat a tooth that is cracked, decayed or diseased into its tooth pulp (center). During a root canal, the diseased pulp is carefully removed, and the tooth center is thoroughly disinfected and sealed for future protection. A crown is frequently needed after a root canal to strengthen the tooth.
Are root canals painful?
A common and unfortunate misconception of root canals is that they are painful. A root canal will be performed under local anesthesia as well as sedation dentistry if preferred. The procedure itself is no more painful than getting a dental filling. Actually, root canals bring you out of pain from your infected tooth!
Can the tooth just be extracted instead?
Patients who are in severe pain or on a budget may think that just getting the tooth pulled is the easiest and cheapest option, especially if the infected tooth is in the back of the mouth. However, this is a mistake. If a root canal is recommended, that means your dentist believes that the tooth can be saved. Once you remove a tooth, even if it is a back molar, you’ll need to consider a replacement option such as dental implants, which is far more expensive than a root canal. Missing teeth cause misalignment in your smile and even surrounding bone loss when not replaced. If possible, it is always best to save your natural tooth.
Can I wait to have the root canal done?
Remember that root canals are designed to save a tooth that has been invaded by decay or severe infection. Delaying the treatment will only worsen your problem. As the bacteria multiples and the infection further damages your tooth, not only will you be in greater pain, but your tooth may no longer be able to be saved if you wait to have the root canal done. Root canals are not something you should dread or put off, make the appointment sooner rather than later.
At Old Greenwich Dental, our staff takes extra measures to ensure our patients retain a healthy and confident smile for a lifetime. If you have root canal symptoms such as extreme tooth sensitivity, swelling, toothache or dark discoloration, please give us a call. We promise your root canal procedure will be as comfortable and rewarding as possible.