The very notion of a root canal can instill fear in any dental patient, but the reality is, root canals are a modern convenience that can do a lot for your oral health. If your dentist thinks you need a root canal and you're afraid to go through it, read on to learn how a simple root canal can save and preserve your real teeth.
What's Gone Wrong
If a root canal is deemed necessary, it means that enough damage has been done to your teeth by decay to affect the interior of the tooth. Teeth aren't just the hard white part on the outside that allows you to chew and grind your food. They have an interior pulp and a root that connects the tooth to your jaw and gums.
When tooth decay progresses deeply enough into your teeth, the pulp or the root can become infected. Unfortunately, this means that the damage needs to be removed. If it isn't removed, the infection will spread and potentially harm your other teeth. There have even been incidents where dental infections have made it into the bloodstream, so it's wise to do anything you can to control tooth decay.
How the Tooth is Saved
Your dentist will thoroughly numb you before beginning the root canal so you shouldn't feel a thing. From there, they will carefully drill out the part of the tooth that's damaged, going down to the depths inside the tooth. They will add more numbing agent as necessary if you feel any discomfort.
Once your dentist has removed all the infected pulp, they will fill the tooth in with a cement agent that will seal it up again and protect it from further damage. They may also recommend a dental sealant to protect the exterior of the tooth from further problems.
Once the infected part of your tooth has been removed, you'll be able to return to normal life right away. Any pain you were experiencing from the tooth decaying should go away almost immediately, and you will no longer be at risk of the infection spreading.
Unfortunately, the only real alternative to a root canal is to have your entire tooth pulled. Generally, this is a more traumatic procedure, especially if most of your tooth is still healthy.
Why waste a tooth when you can save the one you have with a root canal? Root canals are safe and effective, so you don't have to be afraid. If your dentist thinks you need one, don't delay — get the work done at a general dentistry clinic and be glad that you did.