Patients may be reluctant to pursue root canal treatment if they are not experiencing any discomfort, but it may be recommended to save a tooth that’s at risk for being compromised, even if the patient is not symptomatic.
In order to achieve optimal treatment outcomes and preserve your oral health, it’s important to understand the purpose and benefits of root canal therapy. You should also make sure that you have realistic expectations of this treatment so that you don’t have unnecessary anxiety.
Purpose Of Root Canal Treatment
A root canal is intended to save a compromised tooth by removing pulp tissue from the tooth’s core when it either becomes infected or is at risk for infection.
An infection in the tooth’s interior is typically quite painful because the pulp tissue is rich with nerve endings. However, a root canal may also be recommended when a tooth has been severely damaged, exposing the pulp to the oral cavity and the bacteria that thrive there, even if an active infection has not yet developed.
This procedure is often performed by an endodontist, who is a dentist with specialized training in treating conditions that affect the innermost structures of the teeth.
Root Canal Treatment: What To Expect
In performing a root canal, the endodontist will numb the area using a local anesthetic before creating a small hole in the tooth to access the pulp chamber. The pulp tissue is then removed, and the empty chamber is thoroughly cleaned to remove any lingering bacteria. Lastly, the empty chamber is filled with an inert rubber-like substance to prevent future proliferation of bacteria. A tooth treated with root canal therapy will also be fitted with a crown to protect the tooth.
The good news is that root canal therapy isn’t nearly as uncomfortable as its undeserved reputation would have you believe. Most patients who have undergone root canal treatment report that they experience sensations similar to that of having a cavity filled.
If a root canal has been recommended for you and it’s causing some anxiety, you should talk to your endodontist to get a more realistic expectation of the treatment.
Sometimes patients may need to undergo root canal therapy even when their tooth is not causing problems. It will benefit your oral health and the stability of your smile to undergo such treatment. If you have any questions, speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members at Access Endodontics for more information.