Have you ever heard the phrase, “I’d rather have a root canal”? The implication of that statement is that something is so unappealing that a person would rather undergo dental work. Root canals have had a bad rap for a long time leading people to believe that the treatment is painful or has frequent complications. At Pure Gold Professionals in Dentistry, one of our goals is to dispel the myth that root canals are painful by educating patients on what they are and on their purpose.
Root canals involve removal of infected tooth pulp and replacement with a filling. The pulp chamber of the tooth is made up of delicate tissue, the root, and the nerves of the tooth. When this area becomes infected, patients will often experience intense pain. Once an infection has reached the root, the tooth becomes at risk for extraction if it is not treated with a root canal. By removing the infection, the tooth can often be saved.
One of the best things patients can do is pay attention to the symptoms in their mouth. Avoiding treatment for tooth decay will not make the problem go away, and will in fact, cause it to worsen. Some patients inquire about tooth extraction instead of a root canal. When they do, we explain that extraction is not an ideal option for a tooth that can be saved by root canal. The hole left behind must be replaced or adjacent teeth will begin to shift. In addition, bone structure can be lost and the teeth and gums may be more susceptible to hidden bacteria.
The root canal procedure is simple and straightforward and it will alleviate the pain that accompanies an infection. The dentist will numb the area and carefully remove the infected pulp. The chamber is then cleaned out and disinfected before it is filled. After root canal therapy, a tooth is weaker and more prone to breakage so a dental crown will be placed to strengthen it.
In the end, root canal therapy can restore oral health and help patients avoid the need for more extensive dental work. To schedule an exam with Dr. Vines, call us today.