When people hear the term “root canal,” they generally become squeamish. They see it as a painful, unwanted dental treatment. However, according to the American Association of Endodontics (AAE) it’s all about the dental professional you choose.
In fact, in a survey the AAE found that patients who have visited an endodontist for a root canal “describe the procedure as virtually painless.” Additionally, 85 percent said they would return to the endodontist in the future.
Here’s what you need to know about root canals and how they can be used as an alternative to tooth loss.
Purpose of Using a Root Canal
Dental experts have long known that natural teeth are stronger and more efficient than dental implants. Not to mention that 76 percent of participants in the AAE survey indicated they would prefer a root canal to losing a tooth. Therefore, it’s important to make every effort to save natural teeth whenever possible.
Root canals save teeth damaged by disease, decay, or injury. Instead of pulling the tooth, your dental specialist will remove the nerve and pulp in the center of the tooth. Afterwards, the inside of the tooth is cleaned, filled, and sealed. The nerve doesn’t impact the health and function of the tooth. It merely lets you know if something is hot or cold. Besides, without a root canal, your tooth may become infected or abscessed and eventually fall out.
Your natural teeth are the best option when it comes to having full functionality of your teeth for chewing. If you lose a tooth, you’re only choices are to get a bridge, dentures, or dental implant.
Knowing You Need a Root Canal
There are several reasons the nerve and pulp in your tooth may become irritated, including deep decay, large fillings, a crack or chip, multiple dental procedures, or an accident. However, you won’t always know there is a problem because symptoms aren’t always present.
Be sure and speak with your dental professional if you experience:
- Severe tooth pain, especially when chewing
- Sensitivity or pain to hot or cold, even after removing heat and cold
- Darkening tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in gums
- Pimple on your gums
If you have any of these symptoms, be sure to contact your dhealth professional immediately for a checkup.
Facts about Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is not something to fear. While good oral hygiene is the best way to keep your teeth healthy, if you must undergo a root canal, here are a few facts you should know.
- Root canal treatment may take more than one visit to your dental professional
- Your dentist will use a temporary filling to protect the tooth between visits
- Not every dental patient experiences pain from root canal treatment
- Your dental specialist may use a porcelain or gold crown to protect and seal the tooth
The only way to know if you need a root canal is to speak with your dental care professional. If you have any questions, contact your dhealth dentist today.