It’s not the end of the world when your dentist tells you that you need root canal treatment. This dental procedure involves removing infected pulp from inside a damaged tooth and then cleaning, filling, and sealing the area. This gives you the best chances for complete restoration without losing your tooth.
You may or may not be experiencing symptoms such as pain or tooth sensitivity that indicates the need for root canal therapy. Sometimes a regular dental checkup reveals a damaged tooth that just hasn’t started letting you know there’s a problem. Whether or not you realize there is tooth damage, if your dentist recommends root canal treatment, don’t run the other way. Patient comfort has come a long way with advancements in technology, making root canal therapy the right solution for many patients.
When the soft tissue inside your tooth, called the pulp, becomes damaged and is unable to heal, that portion of your tooth will die. It contains important parts of your body, including nerves, lymph and blood vessels. The damaged pulp should be expertly removed before the infection can spread to other areas, which can lead to tooth loss or health issues.
Root canal treatment is performed by carefully removing all damaged pulp from inside your tooth. Then the root canals are thoroughly cleaned and sterilized, providing a sanitary area for specialized filling material to be added. The tooth is sealed to protect it from further infection. A crown may be recommended on top if your tooth is too fragile and needs extra protection.
The entire process is usually no more stressful or painful than getting a regular dental filling. Sedation methods are available to help nervous patients or take the edge of any discomfort during the procedure. After a successful root canal treatment, your tooth can last a lifetime. Proper dental hygiene and regular checkups are important to ensure your tooth remains healthy, fully functional, and attractive in your smile.