Kate's Fear of TMJ

4 Things Patients Should Know About Getting A Root Canal

No one wants to hear that they need a root canal. However, these common procedures are sometimes necessary to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. Learning more about root canals and their uses can help you feel better about your upcoming procedure. Here are four things that every patient should know about getting a root canal:

1. Root canal therapy can remedy and prevent infections.

Tooth infections are a serious matter. An infected tooth can cause your face to swell. It can even cause bacteria to travel into your brain. Root canal therapy will clear away tooth infections while also preventing future infections from taking hold. If your infection is particularly bad, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics in addition to a root canal procedure.

2. Root canal therapy will not hurt.

Some people fear root canal therapy because they've heard stories about it hurting terribly. However, getting a root canal doesn't need to hurt at all. Your dentist will use lidocaine injections to completely numb your tooth. Since root canal therapy affects the nerve of a tooth directly, your dentist will likely administer more local anesthesia than they would during another procedure. The result should be a comfortable and easy procedure.

3. Root canal therapy prevents future pain in damaged teeth.

During a root canal procedure, your dentist will open your tooth and completely clean out your tooth's root canals. This process destroys and removes the damaged pulp from the inside of your tooth. When your tooth's pulp is removed, its nerves will be destroyed. This is actually a good thing since it means that pain will never trouble you in that tooth again. Your dentist will fill your empty root canals with a rubber-like material that will strengthen your tooth and add stability.

4. Root canal therapy is an alternative to tooth extraction.

When a tooth is so badly damaged that a simple dental filling can't help it, a patient has few options. Tooth extraction is one option. However, having your tooth pulled should always be a last resort. Adult teeth do not grow back, so anyone who undergoes a tooth extraction will have a permanent gap in their mouth unless they take steps to fill it using dentures or dental implants. Root canal therapy provides an alternative option. Dental crowns are used to protect teeth that have undergone root canals. This allows a patient to continue using their teeth to bite and chew as normal.

Contact a dentist for more information about the root canal procedure.