4 Root Canal Facts to Put Patients' Minds at Ease

Many people are hesitant to seek root canal treatment, but this restorative procedure can greatly improve your oral health. Root canals can be necessary when ordinary fillings fail, allowing bacteria into the sensitive pulp of your teeth. Here are four root canal facts that can put a patient's mind at ease.

1. Root canal therapy can save your tooth.

If you have an infected tooth, root canal therapy can offer a way to preserve that tooth. Tooth extraction is an option, but dentists usually prefer to avoid extraction if at all possible. An extracted tooth can lead to unwanted consequences like shifting teeth or bone erosion. Root canal therapy allows your dentist to remove the decayed pulp from the inside of your tooth while preserving its structure. A root canal can save you the additional expenses that can come from tooth extractions, like dentures and dental implants.

2. Tooth infections will recur without root canal treatment.

Most people have root canal procedures because they're experiencing the pain that comes from an infected tooth. A dentist can treat your infection short-term by offering you antibiotics, which will stop the infection. However, the infection will recur unless you treat the underlying problem. During a root canal procedure, your dentist will clean out the inside of your tooth, removing infected tooth pulp from your tooth's roots and interior. The resulting empty spaces will be filled with a rubber-like material that will prevent future infections and strengthen your tooth.

3. Dental crowns are used to protect teeth that have had root canal procedures.

Once you have had a root canal procedure, your tooth may be vulnerable. Your dentist will protect your tooth from breakage by fitting it with a dental crown. A crown is made from porcelain or a mixture of metal and porcelain. The crown will act as a covering to make sure your treated tooth remains intact.

4. Root canal therapy can be painless.

The term "root canal" can strike fear into the heart of nervous patients, but there's nothing to worry about. Root canal therapy may have been painful in the past, but dental technology has come a long way. In the hands of an experienced dentist, a root canal procedure can be fast and painless. Your dentist will make every effort to thoroughly numb your tooth before beginning the procedure. Judicious use of injectable lidocaine will ensure that you don't feel anything but slight pressure during your oral surgery. Once the local anesthesia wears off, you can treat any residual soreness with painkillers at home.

To learn more about root canals, contact a local dentist.