The mention of a root canal often invokes feelings of fear and anxiety. However, it’s important to understand that this dental procedure is aimed at relieving pain and saving your natural tooth. You may need a root canal, but this treatment can alleviate your pain while preserving your dental health.
The Need for a Root Canal
A root canal becomes necessary when the innermost layer of your tooth, known as the dental pulp, becomes infected or inflamed.
Deep Decay: Untreated tooth decay can extend deep into the tooth, reaching the pulp and causing infection.
Dental Trauma: A severe injury or trauma to the tooth can damage the pulp, leading to inflammation and infection.
Fractured Tooth: A crack or fracture in the tooth can expose the pulp, making it susceptible to infection.
Repeated Dental Procedures: Multiple dental procedures on the same tooth can weaken the pulp and increase the risk of infection.
How Does a Root Canal Work?
The primary goal of a root canal procedure is to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with infected or inflamed dental pulp.
Removal of Infected Pulp: During a root canal, your dentist will carefully remove the infected or inflamed dental pulp from the tooth. This step eliminates the source of the pain and prevents the spread of infection.
Thorough Cleaning and Disinfection: After removing the pulp, your dentist meticulously cleans and disinfects the root canal system to eliminate any remaining bacteria and prevent future infections.
Filling and Sealing: With a cleaned root canal, your dentist will then fill the space with a special material. This filling material seals the root canal, preventing the re-entry of bacteria.
Restoration: In most cases, a tooth that has undergone a root canal will require a dental crown to protect and strengthen it. The crown restores the tooth’s functionality and appearance, allowing you to bite and chew normally.
Why Preserving Your Natural Tooth is Vital
One of the significant advantages of a root canal is that it allows you to preserve your natural tooth, avoiding the need for extraction.
Maintaining Proper Chewing Function: Losing a tooth can significantly impact your ability to chew and process food properly. By saving your natural tooth through a root canal, you can maintain your normal chewing function.
Preserving Jawbone Health: When you lose a tooth, the jawbone in that area can start to deteriorate over time. Preserving your natural tooth with a root canal helps maintain the integrity and strength of the surrounding jawbone.
Avoiding Shifting of Teeth: A missing tooth can cause neighboring teeth to shift out of their proper positions. It is important to ensure that your teeth stay properly aligned to preserve the function and structure of your mouth.
Preserving Aesthetics: Your natural tooth is irreplaceable when it comes to the appearance of your smile. Therefore, you can maintain the natural look and feel of your smile with the use of a dental crown after your root canal procedure.