5 Important Reasons Why You Should have That Root Canal Done Now
Of the many dental procedures available for treating dental and oral health issues, the root canal is among the most dreaded and misunderstood by patients.
In fact, there are still many patients who prefer to extract their decayed or infected teeth rather than undergo the root canal procedure, which is actually not ideal. And, unbeknownst to most patients, extraction may cost the patient more money in the long run.
A root canal treatment is often perceived to be painful and expensive, but that’s not actually the case. When performed by professionals, root canals can be very effective in relieving pain and stopping the spread of dental infection while being relatively cost-effective.
In this post, we will discuss five reasons why root canal treatment should be considered if you are currently experiencing dental infections and other oral health issues.
Yet, let us begin by first discussing what a root canal actually is.
What Is a Root Canal?
To really understand the root canal procedure, we have to first learn about a little anatomy of the teeth.
A tooth consists of many different parts: the enamel (hard exterior shell), dentin, the pulp chamber, root canal, and nerves. The root canal and the pul are designed to be protected by the dentin and the enamel, and when that’s the case, it will be pain-free.
However, when a tooth decays, it may spread and expose the pulp, which can end up causing the pulp to be inflamed or even infected. An infected pulp can result in an abscess of the tooth, and the decay will not stop the process until the whole tooth is completely destroyed.
When the tooth is already abscessed, the only hope the patient has to save the tooth and stop any pain caused by it is the root canal procedure.
How does a root canal work?
During a root canal procedure, the tooth’s pulp and nerve inside the tooth’s root canal are removed (hence the name of the procedure). The root canal and the insides of the tooth are then cleaned and sealed (with a rubber-like sealant called gutta percha) after total disinfection.
By sealing the cleaned and disinfected root canal, we can not only cure the infection but also prevent the damage from happening again in the future.
The procedure can then be followed with a dental filling, dental crown, or other treatments based on the severity of the decay, allowing the patient to save and keep (most of) the natural tooth.
Why Root canal? 5 Reasons Why You Should Have That Root Canal Done Now
As mentioned, root canals are the only viable solution to save a severely infected tooth when the pulp has already been inflamed or infected. Saving and keeping the natural tooth means that the patient can retain the tooth’s function (biting, chewing, etc.), and obviously, it will allow the patient to maintain the tooth’s appearance without needing to perform a dental implant and dental crown or other tooth replacement treatment after extraction.
Here are some other considerations to keep in mind when deciding whether you should get a root canal:
1. Root Canals Are Not That Painful
A root canal procedure does involve the drilling of your tooth so the dentist can access the pulp and the root canal, and most patients assume that this will be a very painful process.
However, this assumption is simply not true, and when performed right, this drilling won’t feel painful at all. You will be under anaesthetic (and today’s dental anaesthetic injection is very convenient with very little pain), and you’ll only feel slight pressures during the whole root canal procedure.
What about after the procedure? After the root canal procedure, the gums may be a little tender, and you might feel slight discomfort, but typically a standard over-the-counter medication is effective in relieving the mild pain and discomfort, and the recovery period shouldn’t last more than a week.
Root Canal Procedure: Overview
Learning more about the procedure may help in overcoming your fear and anxiety about the root canal, and here is a basic overview of how the procedure is typically performed:
- Anaesthetic is given to the patient. Typically the anaesthetic administered is local, only to the surrounding tissue of the affected tooth.
- Once the affected tooth and the surrounding area are completely numb, a dental dam is placed to expose the affected tooth while covering the unaffected teeth.
- A tiny hole through the top of the tooth will be drilled to expose the root canal and the pulp chamber. Slight pressure and vibrations might be filled, but it won’t hurt the patient.
- Infected tissue inside the pulp chamber and root canal is cleaned with specialised tools. The nerves are also removed, so the patient won’t feel anything at all.
- The tooth is then disinfected with antiseptic and antibacterial solutions to prevent any infection from recurring.
- The empty root canal is shaped to accommodate the gutta-percha filling.
- The filling is applied, and then the area is cleaned thoroughly before the sealant (typically adhesive cement) is put in place. Proper sealant is crucial to the root canal procedure to prevent bacteria from entering the empty root canal, which may cause infection.
- The tooth is then repaired with a permanent or temporary filling or even a dental crown depending on the damage.
- The dental dam is removed, and the procedure is done.
2. Your Tooth is Dying (or Already Dead)
A dentist may recommend a root canal procedure for several conditions, but in most of them, the infection is killing the tooth (or the tooth may already be dead.)
So, to keep the tooth, the root canal procedure is the best possible solution available. The tooth is already damaged beyond repair (and it won’t cure itself), so if you want to save at least most of this tooth, the root canal procedure is your best bet.
What will happen if you leave the tooth untreated? You will eventually lose the tooth (but you may still feel pain even after the tooth is gone.)
So, yes, while you may feel slight discomfort during the root canal and after the procedure, it won’t compare to the ongoing pain you’ll feel when the tooth’s infection spreads and slowly kills the tooth, little by little.
3. Infection Can Spread (and The Pain Will Get Worse)
Since the tooth is not going to heal itself, the infection won’t stop, and you can expect the pain you’ve felt to only increase.
Once your tooth pulp has been infected, it will eventually weaken the dentin, and the infection may spread to the surrounding gums, causing gum diseases.
Gum disease and gum infection are not only very painful and uncomfortable but may eventually break down your mouth’s tissue and weaken the jaw bone. Choosing not to perform the root canal procedure and deciding to do nothing may end up causing long-term or even permanent damage to your tooth, gums, mouth, and jawbone.
When you consider the possibilities of long-term damage and the potential cost to repair these problems, the cost of the root canal procedure is relatively low. This is another key reason just to bite the bullet and get the root canal done now rather than having to pay more for more difficult treatments later on.
4. Infection May Affect Your Overall Health
Will your tooth’s infection stop after it has caused gum diseases? Unfortunately, the answer is no, and there’s the potential for the infection to spread to other parts of the body.
In a worst-case scenario, the infection may affect your nervous and immune systems and even your heart. So, you’d rather take the root canal procedure now and avoid these risks altogether.
Compared to all these potential health conditions in the future, a root canal is 100% safe and pain-free and is easily an overall better option for your health.
5. Tooth Extraction or Tooth Loss Is Not Ideal
Without the root canal procedure, you will lose the tooth in one way or another: whether you’re opting for an extraction or it will fall out by itself (often leaving the root behind, which will require a procedure to remove.)
The thing is, leaving the lost tooth as it isn’t actually ideal. If you don’t replace the tooth, the surrounding teeth may shift their positions, causing various functional and cosmetic issues (and it can be painful.) Yet, tooth replacement procedures like dental implants, bridges, or crowns can end up being even more expensive than the root canal procedure.
With that being said, if you have the root canal procedure now, you can repair the damage before the tooth is lost forever.
Chroma Dental: Pain-Free Root Canal Procedure
Dentists at Chroma Dental are eager to be your oral health partner, and our experienced professionals provide pain-free, 100% safe root canal treatment to help protect and maintain your oral health and overall well-being.
We use advanced technologies to ensure a high-quality root canal treatment to help your conditions. Contact us right away or by calling (866) 578-0837 to learn more about our root canal procedure.