What is Root Canal?
A root canal is a tooth-saving procedure for teeth that have become infected. When the pulp portion of the tooth becomes inflamed or infected, it can put you are risk for further illness and infection.
The pulp is the part of the tooth in its center. It is made up of nerves and small blood vessels that keep your tooth alive. When this area becomes infected, it leaves the tooth vulnerable.
A root canal seeks to target this infected area while still saving the tooth, and your smile. The process removes the pain-causing inner tooth pulp. After removal, your dentist will perform a deep cleaning inside the tooth. They are followed by applying dental fillings to the affected tooth for protection against future infections.
Are Root Canals Painful?
This is the question on everyone’s mind. Since we were children, many of us have dreaded root canals.
But, at Encino Family Dental, our patients report little to no pain with a root canal procedure. The reason being that our experienced dentist numbs the treatment area. So if you associate having a root canal with severe pain, there is no need to worry.
The truth of the matter is that the procedure will relieve the severe toothache that you have been experiencing.
How Do I Know If I Need It?
There are telltale signs that your toothache might need root canal therapy. Signs to look out for include:
- Teeth pain with chewing or biting down on food
- Pain sensitivity to hot and or cold temperatures
- Darkening of the painful tooth
- Noticeable swelling on the gums near the problem tooth
- Presence of a simple on the gums
If you’re noticing these signs, call us right away. If there is any question that you might need a root canal, it is vital to seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Time is of the essence, and waiting too long can lead to the need for an even more complicated procedure.
What Happens If I Don’t Get The Root Canal?
Expect tooth loss and the possible spread of the infection if you skip getting a root canal. Many patients believe their tooth self healed since it’s no longer painful. Unfortunately, this signals that the nerves inside your tooth have died. That is why someone isn’t feeling any more pain.
Instead of being a sign of healing, this means the situation now requires even more attention. With this lingering infection, your tooth will weaken and fracture. Worse yet, the infection can then spread to nearby teeth repeating the pain cycle. Don’t give up on your teeth and give them the care they need as soon as they start sending you signals.
Is It Better To Have A Root Canal Or Tooth Extraction?
Given the option between root canals and tooth extraction, a root canal is the better choice. Of the two, it is the procedure that will at least save your natural teeth. Tooth preservation is essential for mouth function and bone density.
It might seem like a small change, but missing teeth and having gaps in your mouth can weaken your jaw bone. Losing a tooth can also change your chewing and biting mechanics, which can result in further teeth damage.
Thus, having a tooth extraction will require a replacement, such as a dental bridge or dental implant. This is a viable option, but if a root canal is still an option, that is the direction to take. Extraction should always be saved for when there is no other treatment option.
How Can I Avoid A Root Canal?
If you need a root canal, there should be no denying the reality. However, like many other dental problems, root canals can be prevented. At Encino Family Dental, we believe in prevention and avoidance. So to avoid seeing a dentist, we recommend the following:
- Brushing twice daily
- Flossing after meals
- Avoiding hard foods and candies like lollipops
- Don’t chew ice
- Wear a proper night guard if one is a jaw clencher
- Avoid highly acidic foods and drinks like sodas
- Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings
- Get tooth pain checked out immediately
We understand that it can be challenging to maintain constant care of your teeth. But, a little effort each day can go a long way to ensuring life-long dental health.
Are There Any Alternatives?
The only alternative to having a root canal is tooth extraction. They are then replacing the missing tooth with a bridge, implant, or denture. These alternatives will need more investment in time and money for patients. It is the best option to save an infected, painful tooth.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you’re currently experiencing a toothache, call Encino Family Dentist today. We accept many insurances and offer same-day appointments for your convenience. Let us get you out of pain today so that you can smile tomorrow.
Remember, waiting won’t do your teeth any favors. If you believe you might need dental attention, schedule an appointment today. Our team of skilled dental experts will provide you with the care you deserve and need.