What Is a Root Canal Treatment? Your Questions Answered

So, you’ve been told that you need a root canal treatment. You may have mentioned this to friends and family. Unfortunately, this procedure has a bad reputation, and your nearest and dearest probably winced sympathetically at your news.

Fortunately, the root canal treatment’s reputation is unfounded. Far from being a painful and challenging procedure like many assume, it’s straightforward. Added to this, advances in technology and technique mean there’s even less to worry about than ever before. 

But what is a root canal treatment? Why do you need it? And what else do you need to know before your appointment?

Here are the answers to the most commonly asked root canal treatment questions. 

Why Do I Need a Root Canal Treatment?

Beneath the hardened outer layers of your teeth lies the pulp chamber. Here you’ll find the living tissue, nerve cells, connective tissue, and cells. This is collectively called “dental pulp”. 

The pulp extends down into the root canals. These are channels that burrow down deep into your tooth, where it anchors into your jaw. Each tooth can have up to four root canals. 

Tooth decay causes small openings to appear on the surface of your tooth. If bacteria penetrates and works through to the pulp, this can get infected. An infection here is usually very painful. 

But the infection won’t clear up on its own. Eventually, it’ll kill the tooth and spread elsewhere, and you will develop an abscess. 

Root canal treatment involves entering your tooth through a small hole and removing the infected pulp and bacteria. Once this is done, it’ll prevent further damage. 

Is Having An Extraction Easier?

On the face of it, it might sound simple to have a tooth taken out. But, as long as we can treat your infection early enough, we can save the tooth. 

Extracting your tooth should only ever be a last resort. Having a gap opens you up to further oral health complications. You’ll have an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease, and the teeth on either side may start to slide into the gap. Losing a tooth makes chewing difficult too. 

Does Root Canal Treatment Hurt?

It’s widely assumed that root canal treatment is painful. It’s not. We’ll give you an anaesthetic before your procedure so you won’t feel anything around the treatment site. 

The pain associated with root canals probably comes from the untreated condition. It’s likely that without treatment, you’ll have considerable inflammation and discomfort around the infected tooth. This will only worsen without treatment. 

If you’re anxious about your treatment, talk to us about sedation dentistry,

What Does the Treatment Involve?

Root canal treatment involves us entering your tooth and carefully removing all infected matter. It’s a routine treatment that most dentists can perform. 

The length of your treatment will depend on how many roots your tooth has; however, typically, the procedure takes less than an hour. 

Once we’ve finished, we’ll use a gutta-percha to plug the inside of your tooth. This is made from a naturally-occurring rubber. Next, we’ll place a filling on the outside of your tooth.  We may ask you to return another day to place a crown over the tooth to protect it from further damage. 

What’s the Recovery Process Like?

Immediately after your treatment, you may feel slight discomfort as the anaesthesia wears off. Over-the-counter pain medication can help initially, as well as chewing on the opposite side of your mouth. 

Any discomfort or swelling should subside within a few days. 

Root Canal Treatment at Advance Dental

A root canal treatment is a standard general procedure. If you’ve been told you need one, feel free to ask us any questions before we perform the treatment. 

Call us today to schedule your root canal appointment. 

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