The root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it. The term “root canal” comes from the cleaning of the canals inside a tooth’s root. Decades ago, root canal treatments often were painful. With dental advances and local anesthetics, most people have little if any pain during a root canal. In fact, it’s probably more painful living with a decayed tooth. Root canal alternatives include extracting the damaged tooth, no further treatment, or replacing the tooth with a dental implant, bridge, or removable partial denture.
A root canal (also known as an endodontic treatment) is a serious procedure, but one that specialists handle every day. Before engaging in any type of dental work, it’s important to know the facts about root canals.
A modern root canal treatment is nothing like those old sayings! It’s very similar to a routine filling and can usually be completed in one or two appointments, depending on the condition of your tooth and your personal circumstances. Getting a root canal is relatively painless and extremely effective. You’ll be back to smiling, biting, and chewing with ease in no time.
Root canal therapy is necessary when oral bacteria invade the pulp inside of your tooth. This usually happens when a cavity is left untreated for a long time. It can also occur if your tooth becomes cracked or damaged due to trauma.
In some cases, you may not know you have an infected tooth. However, many people notice certain symptoms. Signs you need a root canal include:
Before beginning your root canal, your healthcare provider will take dental X- rays of the affected tooth. This helps determine the extent of damage and ensures that root canal therapy is the appropriate treatment option. Here are the steps that will be completed during your root canal procedure: