“What?!?! Nooooo!!” This is often someone’s first reaction at being told they may need a root canal. Unfortunately, many, many of us have severe misconceptions about this saving procedure.
Deep inside every one of our teeth is soft tissue, called pulp, containing nerves, blood vessels, and other tissues. Sometimes this pulp becomes inflamed, infected or diseased. This can happen for a number of various reasons, including a crack in the tooth or a broken tooth, injury, faulty crowns, a deep cavity, etc. If you experience swelling, pain, or a pronounced sensitivity to temperature changes, it’s always a good idea to have your dentist check it out to see what’s going on.
A root canal is a simple procedure can actually save the natural tooth. In many cases a root canal will prevent the necessity of having to have the tooth extracted and consequently needing implants or bridges.
During a root canal, the inflamed or diseased pulp is carefully cleaned out of the inside of the tooth, and the now-clean empty area is filled and sealed. Without this vital and beneficial procedure, not only is the tooth a probable loss, but the tissue surrounding the tooth is also susceptible to painful swelling and infection. After the tooth has been filled and sealed, a filling or crown is usually applied for protection, making the tooth impenetrable. You can expect a comfortable experience during the entire procedure.
Now, with our pain-free and newly healed tooth, there’s no more uncomfortable sensitivity to temperature, we have a normal bite, no pain when we bite down, and the tooth looks exactly the same as all the other surrounding teeth.
As with any dental procedure (and even without them), it’s very important to continue to get all teeth checked regularly. With good care and regular checkups, restored teeth can easily stay in top-notch condition for a lifetime.