Most people know when they need a root canal because they start off with a mild toothache that quickly escalates to excruciating. This brings most to the dentist to get relief from their pain. And although getting rid of the pain is a mighty motivator, there is a lot more to a root canal.
Let’s take a look at the procedure and why it is sometimes necessary.
Reasons for a Root Canal
Deep inside your tooth is a chamber where you’ll find all of the connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves, or the “live” portion of your tooth. Sometimes infection gets into the area, either because of a trauma or decay, and the result is pain that quickly escalates to unbearable.
During the root canal procedure, your dentist will remove all that is within the tooth, including the bacteria causing the infection, through a tiny hole drilled into the tooth. The procedure is done under local anesthetic so that you won’t feel a thing. (Most patients report with surprise that getting a root canal is no worse than getting a filling.) Once the infected material is removed, the tooth is disinfected, filled, and sealed.
In most cases, your dentist will recommend that a dental crown be placed over the remaining tooth structure, now weakened because all of the living materials have been removed. A dental crown will protect your tooth and ensure you can chew on it again comfortably.
After the procedure, you will get immediate relief from your pain, although the treated tooth might be somewhat sensitive for a while.
Reasons for Saving Your Tooth
No one wants to have a tooth extraction, which is what is likely what would have happened decades ago when a tooth became infected. Preserving the tooth with a root canal means there is no gap in your smile from a missing tooth, and it also means you will be able to chew normally and it will protect the remaining teeth in your mouth from shifting. It also means you won’t have to look to treatment such as dental implants to fill in the gap.
Call Your Chesterfield, MO Dentist About Root Canals
Dr. Robert Rahm has performed many root canals and is happy to answer any questions you might have about the procedure. Call today to make an appointment!