What Is a Root Canal?

young woman suffering from tooth painMany people afraid of visiting the dentist fear two words the most: root canal. However, when a trained professional works on your teeth, a root canal has similar benefits and risks to other procedures. Let’s discover the facts about root canals and what patients should expect.

About Root Canal Treatment and Surgery

Every tooth has a root canal that holds pulp, or nerve tissue and blood cells. You can feel touches and pain in your teeth because of pulp. When the pulp in a tooth becomes infected, it can die off. The infection causes a lot of pain and can result in losing the tooth completely. Dentists and endodontists (tooth interior specialists) treat the root canal to save the tooth from falling out.

How the Procedures Work

Most cases of root canal infection need a non-surgical treatment. This root canal treatment involves making an opening in the tooth and cleaning out the infected and damaged tissue. Your dentist fills and seals the open space and covers it with a protective crown. The procedure feels a lot like getting a cavity drilled and filled thanks to modern technology.

If a non-surgical treatment can’t save your tooth on its own, you may need root canal surgery. Dentists use many types of surgery to clean and treat root canals. However, when we talk about root canal surgery, we usually mean a root-end resection. After numbing the area, your dentist will open up the gum tissue near your tooth. They look under your gum tissue to find and remove any additional inflammation or infection.

Benefits and Side Effects of Root Canal Procedures

Root canal procedures help patients by:

  • Preventing tooth loss: Saving your tooth lets you avoid replacing it with an artificial one and keeps the rest of your teeth in place. When you don’t have a tooth in its proper place, the other teeth move to make up for the empty space. This movement results in a crooked bite and jaw problems.
  • Eliminating infection pain: Pulp infections seriously hurt. When your dentist gets rid of the painful tissue, you don’t have to feel the related pain anymore.
  • Avoiding painful extraction: Both root canal and extraction procedures can cause pain. However, root canals often cause less pain than extractions. Patients who get root canals are more likely to call their treatment painless than patients who choose removal.

Most root canal patients feel some pain and sensitivity for a week or two after treatment. Painkillers can help relieve any discomfort from the procedure. If you feel severe pain or painkillers don’t work, get in touch with your dentist right away. It could be a sign of an infection or something else.

Contact Gateway Dentistry Group

At Gateway Dentistry Group, we provide general dentistry services to patients near Grande Prairie. If you would like to contact us, call 1-780-539-3555 or complete our online form.

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