If you have dental anxiety, it can be overwhelming to think you need a tooth extraction. Anyone would be concerned about losing natural teeth. Fortunately, dental experts have incorporated different solutions in modern dentistry that can help save natural teeth, including a root canal procedure. However, the question remains, is a root canal worth it?
It is a procedure in endodontic dentistry that treats the insides of a damaged tooth to save it. Root canal therapy in Harriston, ON, is a rather invasive procedure that entails breaching the different layers of teeth to access the central and root canal.
Root canal treatments are performed on teeth that are at risk of extraction. For example, dental decay and tooth fractures can merit tooth extraction. Instead, you can opt for the best root canal therapy near you to salvage your natural tooth. Instead of extraction, the dentist will eliminate the damaged soft tissues and maintain the structural integrity of the natural tooth.
Still, a root canal procedure does not work for all damaged teeth. Your dentist gets to decide which tooth can be saved through root canal therapy. Usually, a comprehensive dental exam evaluates the severity of your underlying infection. If the damage is too severe, your dentist may recommend extracting the tooth to consider other restorative treatments like dental implants or bridges.
A root canal treatment works by treating the inner layers of teeth. The dentist begins the treatment by drilling the tooth enamel, creating access to the underlying layers. The dentist will then access the pulp chamber, which houses soft tissues like blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerve endings. The goal is to remove all the damaged soft tissues and rid the canal of any traces of bacteria. Afterward, the dentist will reshape the canal before filling it with a special material called gutta-percha. It helps retain the compactness of the tooth.
The last step of the treatment entails filling the tooth with a dental filling that will seal the initial access hole. Technically, a dental filling is sufficient to complete a root canal procedure. However, a few patients require dental crowns over the treated tooth to protect it and reinforce its strength.
Dental experts put necessary measures to ensure that all treatment protocols in dentistry are safe. Still, understand that a root canal is an invasive endodontic procedure. Therefore, you are likely to experience discomfort and pain during your treatment. Thankfully, there are measures to assure your comfort during the procedure:
Local anesthesia – numbs your mouth, so you do not feel any pain during your treatment.
Sedation dentistry – calms your nerves and relaxes your body so you can enjoy your dental experience. Depending on the complexity of the root canal procedure, your dentist can heighten or lower the sedation levels accordingly.
Any invasive dental procedure poses some risks to your oral health. The good news is that most risks are short-term side effects that last a few days after the treatment. The common side effects to anticipate are:
Sore mouth – your gums and jaw will feel sore after your endodontic treatment.
Heightened tooth sensitivity – the dental work involved during root canal therapy can leave your teeth feeling more sensitive than usual. If the sensitivity lasts longer than a few days after your treatment, reach out to your dentists for retreatment or examination.
Tooth cracking – although it is uncommon, cracking occurs if your tooth structure is not sturdy enough to withstand the endodontic dental work. Many patients that crack their teeth after a root canal have poor oral habits to blame for the outcome. Eating hard and crunchy foods can further weaken your treated tooth, especially if you did not receive a dental crown.
Root canal procedures can increase the life of your natural tooth after a bacterial infection. Instead of automatically resolving for tooth extraction, consider endodontic treatment to salvage your fractured or infected tooth.