What is a root canal?
Endodontic therapy or root canal therapy is the actual name of the procedure, but it has come to be known just as a root canal after the passageways below the surface of the tooth. Beneath the surface of the tooth, root canals are small passageways that separate from there, going downward until the tip of the root is reached. Teeth definitely have between one and four root canals. There is an inner chamber of teeth that contains blood vessels, nerves, and other tissues. Also known as the pulp, this is normally where infections develop. If the infection gets worse, it affects the roots. The root can also be affected by traumatic injuries, which could lead to worse things like an abscess.
How do you know you have a diseased inner tooth?
You will experience pain, sensitivity to hot and cold foods or air when breathing in, discomfort while eating, aches, you might be awoken by a toothache. There may even be spots with pockets of pus developing, which could end up as an abscess too. Those symptoms definitely indicate a problem that needs to be inspected, but it also possible to need a root canal even if the patient has not felt any pain or sensitivity.
In doubt of root canal therapy?
For those in doubt of root canal therapy, you should be pleased to discover that it has a very high success rate. It halts the spread of infection, restores the healthy part of your teeth. Before root canal therapy, the only other way to treat problem or diseased teeth was extraction. Nowadays, you can save a problem tooth instead of have to get rid of it completely.
The dreaded pain people always wonder about:
Modern methods and options of local or general anesthesia have made it uncommon for a patient to feel any sensation or pain during the procedure. Of course, it’s normal for the patient to feel pain after the appointment when they bite or chew. However, it can be managed with with over-the-counter or prescription medication. The after-appointment pain could be minimal or nonexistent with the help of the medication.
Should I choose root canal therapy or extraction?
The benefit root canal therapy has over extraction is that your natural tooth will remain with you. Extraction could cause other problems in the long run. Sometimes it can cause drifting, problems with your bite radius, discomfort due to TMK, and you might have to treat nearby teeth (that are otherwise healthy) just to restore the missing tooth. Remember that a natural, healthy tooth is better than a replacement or implant (no matter how good and durable they are).