Perhaps you’re nervous about getting a root canal, or not sure if you need one. Get the answers you’ve been looking for by getting the answers to 5 FAQ’s about root canals.
Question #1: What’s a root canal procedure?
Answer: The actual root canal of a tooth refers to the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. This houses the pulp of the tooth, which includes the connective tissues, nerves, and blood vessels. A root canal procedure is performed to repair and restore the health of a tooth, and involves the removal of the inner pulp. Then this area of the tooth is cleaned and sealed over.
Question #2: Why would I need a root canal?
Answer: Two main reasons for needing a root canal are infection and irreparable damage to the pulp.
1. Infection can commonly stem from an untreated cavity. The decay works its way through the protective layers of the tooth until reaching the root canal. The pulp is then infected by bacteria, causing inflammation and pain.
2. A tooth that is damaged or fractured from impact or trauma, can also cause irreparable damage to the pulp, resulting in a necessary root canal.
Question #3 Why does the pulp need to be removed?
Answer: Antibiotics generally prove ineffective in combating infections inside teeth. The inflammation caused by the infection or damage reduces the blood supply to the tooth, hindering it from healing adequately. Without the root canal procedure, the infection will worsen, and can result in an abscessed tooth, swelling, and damage to the jawbone itself.
Question #4: Should I just have the tooth removed instead of a root canal?
Answer: The best choice to keep your natural teeth in place whenever possible. Root canal treatment has proven itself to be an extremely successful, effective dental procedure. Furthermore, it’s often considerably more cost effective than having a tooth removed, and then having a bridge or implant.
Question #5: How do I know if I need a root canal?
Answer: Typically some tell-tale signs that you’re in need of a root canal include: a severe toothache, pain while chewing, along with a swelling and tenderness of the gums near the tooth. Other symptoms can include a tooth that darkens in color, or teeth that continue to experience prolonged sensitivity to heat and cold long after the beverage is consumed. If you’re experiencing any of the issues or are unsure about the condition of your oral health, the best plan of action is to seek the professional expertise from your dentist right away.
Much can be done to help prevent the need for a root canal in the first place. Develop good oral health habits, and make it a practice to wear a protective mouthguard while participating in high impact sports or activities. Contact your Tulsa dentist today for all your dental needs. We look forward to hearing from you soon.