Root canal treatment is one of those procedures that tends to make patients apprehensive if they learn that they need one. Although this treatment is only required if there is a serious situation, it is actually a routine treatment that dentists commonly perform. It is not nearly as uncomfortable as many people imagine, and it helps to save your tooth.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a process that begins because of the presence of oral bacteria that create an acidic environment within the mouth. These acids began eating away at the strong tooth enamel found on the surface of the tooth. Eventually, the cavity can move past the lower dentin layer of the teeth and into the soft dental pulp.

Once the decay has reached the dental pulp, the situation has become extremely serious. This is because pulp is the soft tissue that helps a tooth grow and receive nourishment. It contains many blood vessels, connective tissue and nerves. By the time infection has reached the dental pulp, the patient is typically in significant pain and looking for relief. That relief often comes in the form of a root canal treatment.

Some reasons why you may need a root canal treatment include: 

  • Abscessed tooth
  • Large cavity
  • Preparing a broken tooth for a dental crown

Abscessed Tooth

The most common reason why a root canal treatment is required is for the treatment of an abscessed tooth. An abscessed tooth is an infected tooth where the infection has reached the dental pulp. At this point, the only way to resolve the situation is to completely remove the dental pulp to deprive the bacteria of nutrients. The resultant empty space is filled with a protective material. 

Large Cavity

Much like a dental abscess, a large cavity may penetrate a tooth to the point that it is threatening the exposure of the nerve. At this point, a root canal treatment is necessary.

Preparing a Broken Tooth for a Dental Crown

When a tooth breaks, it can break to the point that much tooth structure is lost, exposing the nerve to the outer environment. Front teeth may also require a preventative root canal if they become broken to prepare them for the reception of a dental crown.

Using a root canal procedure to save a natural tooth has numerous advantages:

  • Improved chewing
  • Normal sensation and bite force
  • Natural appearance
  • Protecting other teeth from excessive strain or wear

Are root canal procedures painful?

If you undergo a root canal treatment, you will be provided with anesthesia. So the procedure is no more painful than other routine dental procedures like having a wisdom teeth extracted or getting a dental filling. However, you may be somewhat uncomfortable for a few days after a root canal procedure.

Root Canal Recovery

Expect the treated area to remain numb for up to four hours after your root canal treatment. Patients are typically able to resume work or normal activities after a root canal. However, it is recommended that you do not eat anything until the effects of the anesthesia have worn off.

Learn More

Contact our dental office to learn more about root canal treatments today.