Just like other parts of your body, teeth can become infected. In the past, the only real option was to extract the tooth. Root canal treatment, however, made it possible for dentists to save those infected teeth. Unfortunately, many people hear the term “root canal” and run the other direction in fear because root canal treatment has the reputation of being painful. That couldn’t be farther from the truth; root canal therapy is designed to alleviate your pain and save your tooth.
Infections Are Painful, Not Root Canals
The appearance of pus is the body’s immune system response to an infection, and it is no different with a tooth infection. When you have a tooth abscess, the pus that is present puts pressure on the tooth and the nerves. If you’re lucky, you may not have any pain, but in many cases, people suffering from a tooth infection are in serious, agonizing pain. This pain is present well before any root canal therapy is done.
Whether or not you’re in pain you must seek treatment, because even though it may seem minor, a tooth infection is still an infection and can lead to more serious complications if left untreated. The only methods of treating a tooth infection are extraction and root canal treatment. Root canal treatment is the only way to save the tooth.
You’re Numb During the Procedure
People have a lot of fear about going to the dentist, and years ago, it was understandable. Local anesthetics didn’t exist, and once they did, they were rarely used. This made people avoid going to the dentist because they could feel everything that was being done inside their mouth. Now, however, the dentist uses local anesthetic for any treatment that may irritate the pulp, and that includes root canal treatment.
During a root canal treatment, the area is numb, so you shouldn’t feel a thing. Because the dentist has to clean all the way down to the tip of the roots, you may need more anesthetic than a normal filling, but your dentist can make sure the area is nice and numb before proceeding. The truth is that root canal treatment does not create pain, but rather stops the pain because it gets rid of the infection.
Root Canal Treatment Removes the Tooth Pulp
Root canal treatment involves removing the pulp from the center of the tooth, which contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. Once the pulp and infection are gone, the dentist fills the empty root space with a material called gutta-percha, places a filling and covers the tooth with a crown to strengthen it and prevent the tooth from fracturing.
After the procedure, there may be a minor amount of discomfort, but this can be easily managed with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medications, or your dentist may prescribe stronger pain medication.
Root canal treatment is not as scary as people think. It is a common procedure and a major advancement in dentistry that prevents and/or reduces pain and saves the tooth. If you would like more information about root canal treatment, contact Landmark Dental Group today.