The term “root canal” is widely misunderstood. Most people believe that it refers to a painful dental treatment. In fact, the root canal is simply part of a tooth’s anatomy; it is the area within a tooth that contains a soft substance called pulp, which includes nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. Root canal therapy, on the other hand, is a dental treatment, but it is not the dreadful treatment that many people imagine it to be. It actually has the potential to relieve severe dental pain and save a damaged tooth from extraction.
When decay or trauma damages the pulp inside a tooth, root canal therapy is often necessary. The procedure typically goes like this:
After the numbness wears off, the treated area may be somewhat tender and sore. However, medication can help to alleviate such symptoms. Most patients are pain-free after just a few days.
The following are some common signs that indicate root canal therapy might be necessary:
If you suspect you need root canal therapy, visit us as soon as possible. Delaying treatment could give an infection a chance to worsen and spread beyond the tooth. In some cases, such infections can cause severe systemic illness and even become life-threatening.
In many cases, either extraction or root canal therapy can relieve dental pain. However, we always recommend that you try to save your natural teeth if possible. That is because the loss of even a single tooth can lead to serious consequences for your oral health later on. For example, the adjacent teeth may begin to drift out of place, causing a misaligned bite. You will also lose bone density in the portion of the jaw that once supported the lost teeth. You could choose to replace the lost tooth, but that can present an additional, significant expense.
Would you like to learn more about root canal therapy and how it may be able to benefit your oral health? Contact Family Dental Practice of Newington today.