Even though root canals are sometimes the butt of a joke, a root canal, can save your teeth! This procedure may only take one or two appointments based the condition of your tooth. Also, most modern endodontic procedures are similar to routine fillings and do not cause pain. Instead, a root canal can help remove pain and discomfort. A root canal is a treatment to save a badly damaged or infected tooth without resorting to an extraction.
Root canals are necessary when a patient has a cracked or chipped tooth, a deep cavity, repeated treatments (e.g., multiple fillings in the same tooth), or dental trauma. “Root canal” is in reference to the cleaning of the canals of the tooth’s root. This cleaning removes infection, pain, and the dentist can add a stabilizer to replace the missing structure in the canal. Without this procedure, the inflamed pulp or inside of the tooth can become infected and cause pain or an abscess. Previously this procedure was very painful, but with advances in dental technology, a root canal and the following crown or filling can be done quickly and with minimal pain.
What are the advantages to saving your natural tooth?
– maintains normal appearance
– protects other teeth from wear
– protects your jaw bone
– retains your normal chewing, speaking, and sensation
Root Canal Alternatives
The only real alternative to a root canal is an extraction. However, your tooth would need to be replaced with a bridge, partial denture, or implant. This procedure would be more expensive than the root canal as you would need to have the appliance or implant in place to keep the nearby teeth from moving. Also, this treatment will take more time because procedures will need to be made on adjacent teeth. In addition, for overall health, it is better to save the natural teeth, if possible.