A root canal treatment is a common procedure used to save a damaged or infected tooth. Many people know of this treatment but don’t how it works, or what’s to be expected. It’s important to know that by treating a damaged or infected tooth, a tooth extraction procedure can be avoided. It’s a safe restoration method which heals the infection and protects the healthy tooth structure.

  1. What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is technically the chamber located on the inside of the tooth, where the tooth pulp is located. The pulp is the soft interior of a tooth and consists of connective tissue, capillaries and nerve tissue. It provides nutrients to the tooth and aids in the transmission of sensations such as pressure and temperature.

  1. What Is a Root Canal Treatment?

It’s a dental procedure which is used to prevent the loss of tooth and relieve pain. Inside your teeth there is pulp. This consists of soft tissue blood, blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. When the pulp becomes swollen, diseased or infected, a root canal treatment is necessary. It helps save your tooth. During a root canal, the infected pulp is removed and the pulp chamber is cleaned and the tooth is sealed.

  1. Is The Procedure Painful?

A root canal treatment, generally, is no more painful than a filling. They both start the same way: An anaesthetic is applied to numb the tooth and its surrounding area. A tiny hole is made through the chewing surface of the tooth and down into the canal. The infected pulp tissue is removed using small instruments specially designed for this purpose. The final step is cleaning, disinfecting and filling with a biocompatible material and sealing it up.

  1. Do I Need a Root Canal?

Determining this requires visiting your dentist. This is why going for a routine check-up once every six months is important. It can help detect major issues if any while also protecting your smile. Some common symptoms include:

  • Severe or persistent pain
  • Extreme sensitivity
  • A swelling developing in the infected tooth.
  1. What Happens If I Don’t Get It Done?

The acute pain may go away, temporarily, but the infection will stay. It will eventually travel through the roots and into the surrounding tissues. If left untreated for too long, it can cause an abscess or an infection. That’s why its best to take care of it as soon as its detected.

  1. What Happens After the Treatment?

Your tooth might feel sensitive the next few days, but the pain will be gone. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used, but only after a consultation with your dentist. To restore your tooth to its full functionality, a crown or other restoration could be done.

  1. Is There an Alternative?

Yes. The alternative would be going through the pain of having your tooth extracted. But it’s best avoided as extractions can lead to several side effects, such as bone loss, migration of teeth and in some cases, the ability to chew properly. It’s best to save your natural teeth while you still can.

For more information on root canals, contact your dentist and schedule an appointment for a consultation.

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A techno-geek, Olivia started working as a writer back in early 2000's and then has worked in various editorial capacities at a number of national technology publications. Currently a professional business and technology writer, she is also passionate about green issues. She has a unique perspective on environment, having actively engaged in nationwide campaigns and a number of research projects. She always has her finger on the pulse as far as tech innovations are concerned.