A root canal is a restorative procedure that can save a damaged tooth. Some people may dread a root canal and put it off for as long as possible, but it is best to get it done sooner rather than later. Myths about root canals have caused unnecessary fear, but in reality the procedure is similar to a routine cavity filling.
If your dentist has recommended a root canal, you may have some questions or concerns about the procedure. Here’s what you need to know about root canals to help you understand the importance and what to expect.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure named for the part of the tooth it treats, the inner chamber of a tooth. The root canal contains soft tissue called dental pulp that is made up of blood vessels and nerves that sustain the tooth. Root canal treatment involves removing the dental pulp and filling the tooth with replacement material. In most cases a crown will be placed over the tooth following a root canal to protect the remaining tooth material and the root.
When is a Root Canal Necessary?
Your dentist may need to perform a root canal to treat an infected tooth. A tooth may develop an infection if bacteria enters the root canal through a deep cavity or a crack in a tooth. A root canal removes the infected tissue and all of the dental pulp to eliminate the infection.
A root canal may be recommended as a preventive treatment in the case of a tooth that is at risk for infection, such as if there is a deep cavity, crack, or chip. Preventing infection is preferred because you avoid pain and there is a higher chance of saving the tooth.
Why Do Patients Avoid Root Canals?
There may be a variety of reasons that a patient would avoid getting a root canal:
- Dental anxiety. Many people suffer from dental anxiety that prevents them from getting the dental care they need. We offer a range of sedation options to help patients relax and avoid anxiety.
- Believing myths. There are many myths about dental implants, that they are painful and lengthy. Local anesthesia and sedation can make the procedure comfortable, and it typically takes less than an hour.
- Lack of insurance/financial hardship. If you don’t have dental insurance or if the out of pocket portion left after insurance is a financial burden, there are financing options available to make your dental care affordable.
What Can Go Wrong if You Delay a Root Canal?
If you wait too long to get a root canal there could be negative consequences, such as:
- Pain. A tooth that is at risk of infection will eventually develop an infection without root canal treatment. If your tooth already hurts due to an infection, the pain will only increase without treatment.
- Loss of the tooth. Waiting too long to get a root canal could mean your tooth can’t be saved and will need to be extracted.
- Spread of infection. Without treatment, the infection in a tooth will eventually spread to other teeth, the gum tissue, and even enter your bloodstream, which could allow it to travel throughout your body.
Why Choose Eagle Endodontics for Root Canal Treatment?
An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the dental pulp or root canal of a tooth. Our doctor and team at Eagle Endodontics have the experience and technology necessary to perform a gentle, thorough root canal that can save your tooth and allow it to remain in place in your mouth. We understand that you may be anxious or nervous about getting a root canal, which is why we provide sedation options to help you feel relaxed and comfortable.
To learn more, contact us today at one of our 2 convenient locations to schedule an appointment.