Understanding Root Canals

| May 26, 2015

dental exam

Root canal – these two little words can be scary, especially when said by your dentist. The words have seemed to become synonymous with pain and discomfort.

You may have heard horror stories from your friends or pop culture about the agony that comes along with root canals, but dental procedures have actually come a long way in recent decades. The consequences of refusing a root canal can be lasting and painful, so learn more rather than fear the unknown.

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal treatment repairs a badly decayed or infected tooth. The procedure is done to save the tooth, and ignoring the problem can result in losing that tooth permanently.

During a root canal, pulp and nerve are removed from the inside of the tooth, and its interior is cleaned and then sealed.

Although the nerve is not critical to a tooth’s function, it can cause severe pain when that tooth is decaying or infected.

Why Might You Need a Root Canal?

If something has caused damage to the inside of your tooth, the nerve or pulp within your tooth breaks down. This causes bacteria to start filling the inside of the tooth. As this spreads, abscesses form on the tooth’s roots and surrounding tissue, causing pain that could lead to the loss of a tooth.

A root canal may become necessary for a number of reasons:

  • Deep decay of the nerve and/or pulp
  • Repeated procedures on the same tooth
  • A crack or chip in the tooth
  • Face trauma
  • Large fillings

Consequences of Ignoring Treatment

A tooth in need of a root canal is not going to get better on its own. If you refuse or ignore root canal therapy, your pain is going to increase, and you will ultimately end up losing that tooth. Even worse, the bacteria can spread into surrounding gum tissue and your jaw and begin affecting other teeth too. Gum disease and problems with your bite may also arise from ignoring treatment.

Advances in Technology

As advances in technology have improved other medical procedures, root canals have become more precise as well.

Endodontists now have access to operating microscopes, magnifying the surgery area up to 32 times. In the past, they were limited to surgical binoculars, which made it much harder to distinguish between healthy and diseased tissue.

At the same time, surgical instruments have become much reduced in size. Irrigators are now much more exact, allowing teeth to be fully cleaned before the filling material is applied. This allows for smaller incisions and more precise procedures, which results in less pain and faster healing.

How Grandview Dental Care Can Help

At Grandview Dental Care, our team understands that fear of pain and discomfort may cause apprehension in scheduling a root canal. However we want to help you save that tooth and do so as painlessly as possible.

To make that happen, we offer several services to help you overcome your anxiety. Our team can provide IV sedation and monitoring to put you into a deep sleep while your root canal is performed. Additionally, we also offer light sedation with nitrous oxide and numbing through local anesthetics. Whichever sedation method makes you the most comfortable and confident in this procedure, we are ready to provide.

Do not let your fear get the best of you. The consequences of ignoring these dental issues are much worse than the root canal procedure itself. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and put your pain behind you.