Root canal treatments
Root canals can sound like a scary thing, but being properly educated and informed on the details can help tremendously and ease a lot of emotional stress, anxiety or fear you might be experiencing. Talking to your dentist first can help tremendously if you suffer from fear or anxiety in general regarding the dentist. Here are some common questions about root canal treatment that can help you prepare yourself for your dental visit and, if needed, get you ready for your root canal treatment.
Most common questions about root canal treatment
What is a root canal treatment?
The purpose of root canal treatment is to save the tooth by preservation. A root canal is considered endodontic treatment. What the root canal treatment does is cleans the tooth, removing the pulp inside, shapes the root canals while disinfecting it, and then seals the space through a filling.
Root canal treatment consists of two parts. The root canal procedure, and going back to get a crown placed over the treated tooth. After the root canal has been performed, the tooth structure is more fragile and leaves more of a risk for breakage, therefore it is important to follow through and have the crown placed over the tooth to further protect it and promote long-term success.
Why do I need a root canal procedure?
When the soft tissue that is inside your root canal, the pulp, is inflamed or gets infected, the tooth is already dead and it is too late for the tooth root to be saved. Therefore you need to get a root canal or remove the tooth. Getting root canal treatment is beneficial because, although the tooth is technically dead, you can still utilize the tooth structure. Preserving the tooth can help you chew food with ease, which is an important part of the digestive process, avoid any further treatment such as dental implants, bridges, or dentures.
Are root canal treatments painful?
Often times it is easy to imagine someone holding the side of their jaw with a painful expression on their face when imagining a root canal. However, it is a common misconception that root canal treatments are very painful. Usually, these are no more uncomfortable than a standard, routine dental filling. Majority of the time when a root canal is considered more painful, it is due to the infection and not the procedure itself.
Is a root canal right for me? Should I just pull the tooth?
A root canal is done to avoid losing your natural tooth, if possible. The main problem with pulling a tooth instead of performing root canal treatment is that the removed tooth will then need to be replaced. And if you do not remove the tooth, this can result in much bigger issues in the long run, such as shifting teeth and loss of jaw bone.
It can be helpful to write down any additional questions you may have regarding root canal treatment so you can make sure to go over any questions and concerns you may have regarding the treatment. Getting answers to your questions is very important, as well as choosing the right treatment option for you.
There are alternatives to getting a root canal done, however, these consist of much more complicated procedures, such as dental implants, bridges or dentures, and should be avoided if possible.
If you are worried you have an infection, it is important to contact your doctor right away to get antibiotics so you can then take the next step to resolving this issue. A root canal is most likely going to be much worse in your mind than in real life, so make sure to take a deep breath, explore all options available, and talk to your dentist.
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