The combination of treatment and root canal may sound scary, but there is nothing to worry about. We believe that much of the fear associated with this dental procedure, root canal treatment, stems from misinformation.
What is important to know is that root canal treatment can relieve pain and protect your overall dental health. Additionally, new techniques have been developed to allow dentists to perform more precise and comfortable root canal treatments .
To make you more comfortable with your next root canal treatment and to answer some of the questions you may have, we invite you to read on to learn more about root canal treatments.
What is a root canal?
To understand what a root canal is, you must first understand the anatomy of a tooth. A tooth is made up of white enamel, visible to the eye, a hard layer called dentin and soft tissue called pulp.
The root of a tooth is found below the surface, in the gums. As part of the root, the root canal contains pulp tissue which is made up of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The pulp is important during the growth and development of a tooth. However, a fully mature tooth can survive without the pulp.
Since the root canal is protected by the enamel and dentin of the tooth, any damage to these layers of the tooth can allow bacteria to reach the root canal, which can lead to infection.
When a tooth is infected, you may need root canal treatment . A root canal treatment involves removing infected or inflamed pulp tissue from the root canal and cleaning and shaping the inside of the root canal. Once these operations are completed, the canal of the tooth is filled and sealed to prevent bacteria from infiltrating it again.
If you need to have a root canal treatment, you can expect your dentist to do the following:
Although this process may seem daunting, root canal treatments provide significant relief to patients who experience pain from their infected tooth. The procedure itself should not be painful.
How do you know if you need root canal treatment?
You should see a dentist to confirm whether or not you need root canal treatment . However, your symptoms could give you a good clue as to whether or not you will need a root canal. Root canal treatments are most often used to heal infected teeth. So, having the symptoms of an infected tooth may indicate that you need root canal treatment. Symptoms of an infected tooth can include:
Are there alternatives to root canal treatments?
Depending on the severity of your infection or other dental problems, you may be able to avoid a root canal treatment. Here are some options you can explore with your dentist: