What is a Root Canal Treatment?
The dental field known as endodontics deals specifically with the nerves of the teeth. This treatment is one of the most infamous treatments provided at your local dentist’s office. When tooth decay is left untreated for an extended period of time, it will eventually infect the nerves of the tooth. The infected nerves will cause extreme pain and will need to be removed. If they are not removed, the end result will be a much more serious abscess. An abscess can ultimately lead to the loss of bone structure in the jawbone.
What is the Root Canal Procedure?
The first step of a root canal treatment is for the dentist to numb the affected area with a local anesthetic. Once the tooth is clearly numb, the dentist will begin to drill into the infected tooth in order to reach the canal of the tooth. This canal is where the root of the tooth runs. The dentist will remove all infected tissue and completely clean and sterilize the canal. Once the root of the tooth has been completely removed, the empty space in the canal is filled with a special sealant. It almost every case, the dentist will cover this tooth with a crown. Not only will this crown restore the tooth to a natural look, but it will also help seal the tooth against future inspection.
A Root Canal is Not Near as Bad as You Think . . . Really!
While the term “root canal” conjures up all kinds of scary thoughts, there have been tremendous advances in dental technology which have made the actual treatment far less “scary” than it used to be. With the use of local anesthetics, the actual procedure can be carried out with almost no pain. The use of prescribed pain medication after the procedure will also significantly reduce the pain once the treatment is over. Just as in many dental procedures, there may be a limited amount of soreness after the procedure. For many patients, simple non-prescription painkillers are enough to relieve your post-operation pain. If that is not sufficient, you will have a prescription from your dentist for more powerful pain killers.
The benefits of having a root canal will also make it worth the minimal discomfort that you will feel during the procedure. One benefit is the retention of your natural tooth. Most dentists will prefer to save your natural teeth if possible. A root canal is a final effort to save your natural tooth rather than extracting it. Once the root canal is finished, you will be free of the pain that comes with an infected root. This will allow you to enjoy hot and cold foods that you may have been forced to avoid due to pain. You will also be able to bite and chew more freely once the fear of pain is gone.