Exploring Oral Health Symptoms, Issues and Solutions

The Truth About Root Canal Treatments

The root canal is perhaps the most feared and misunderstood of all dental treatments. If you've been losing sleep over your teeth, read on to find out the truth about root canal treatment. You might be pleasantly surprised.

What is a root canal treatment?

As it is with many feared things, a little knowledge goes a long way towards alleviating those fears. A root canal is a specialised dental treatment that aims to save a decayed tooth by drilling a hole inside it and extracting the dental pulp, the soft inner tissue of the tooth which supplies it with blood. Depending on the extent of the damage, the tooth's chewing surface might also be taken away and a crown set in its place.

Does root canal treatment hurt?

While many people are terrified at the prospect of a root canal, you may be relieved to know that this treatment is performed with great care by your dentist or orthodontist and that root canal treatments are only necessary when a tooth has become so infected or damaged that it is causing problems with the nerve and blood that feed it. Remember, any discomfort you experience during the procedure will save you the excruciating pain you would feel if a damaged or infected tooth is left untreated.

What happens if you don't have a root canal treatment?

When a severely damaged tooth is ignored, bacteria start to build up inside the dental pulp. A ball of pus, known as an abscess, can form at the root of the tooth and cause significant pain. This can have serious consequences, leading to swelling in the head and even loss of bone in the areas surrounding the infected root. A severely affected tooth can even start draining its infected fluids directly into the gums or face.

How will your dentist perform a root canal?

Before conducting a root canal treatment, your dentist will need to assess the extent of the damage. An X-ray will highlight any infection in the bone that supports your tooth and will help your dentist to map the shape of the root canals in your mouth. Next, you'll receive an anesthetic and your dentist will carefully drill into the tooth to extract the damaged dental pulp inside, before filling it and crowning it, if necessary.

Many people wonder if the pain and discomfort they are feeling in their mouths might mean it's time for a root canal. The good news is that a trip to the dentist will clear up the mystery once and for all. If you do need a root canal you can rest assured that you're in good hands. Your treatment will be performed with professionalism and, once it's over, you'll soon forget your dental problems and move on with enjoying your life.