If you or your child has been scheduled for your first root canal procedure, you will likely have some questions. Root canals have an unfortunate stigma around them for causing discomfort and requiring a long period of time to recover. Although that is not necessarily the case. Here are a few answers to some of the most asked questions about root canals.
A root canal is a procedure that involves removing all of the pulp through the canals located in the root. Teeth can have several roots and several canals for each root. When the infected tooth pulp is removed through the canal, the canal is cleaned and filled with a synthetic filling. Additionally, a dental sealant may be applied to the tooth to protect it from future infection.
There are a variety of reasons your dentist may recommend a root canal. If you have a cracked or broken tooth, your tooth pulp might be at a higher risk for infection. If a tooth has had multiple fillings over the years it could also be at a higher risk for infection. The most common reason would be extensive decay or a cavity that is too deep to be filled with a traditional dental filling.
A common misconception is that root canals are extremely painful or significantly more painful than any other dental procedure. While this stereotype may have been true decades ago, the process of getting a root canal has greatly improve over the years. If you go to the right dentist you will find that root canals are no more uncomfortable than having a dental filling. Aside from some initial discomfort with the process of numbing the area, the process is virtually painless.
If you choose to not have a root canal, the tooth will either fall out naturally due to the decay or it will need to be extracted. This is almost never the recommended course of action as this will leave a gap in your teeth. In order to solve the gap you will either need a dental implant or a dental bridge installed. Aside from cosmetic reasons, an implant may be necessary to prevent your teeth from shifting towards the gap and affecting your ability to comfortably chew food.
After your tooth is numbed, your dentist will create a hole in the crown of the tooth that will give them access to the canal. Once they have access your dentist will remove the infected pulp, clean the canal, fill the canal, and provide a temporary filling for the the hole they created in the tooth’s crown.
If you have any more questions about root canals or other dental procedures we would be happy to answer them. Contact us today to setup a dental appointment to discuss your questions with one of our dentists.