In the past, there were no solution or hope if your hade a diseased or damaged tooth. If your tooth was damaged or diseased (maybe you had cavities or something similar) the immediate solution to both issues was tooth extraction. But today is different. If your tooth is infected it can be saved through an endodontic therapy which is commonly known as a root canal. Today we will talk about 8 interesting root canal facts that all dental patients should know.
The main idea behind a root canal is the keep your natural teeth and beautiful smile for as long as possible. The process involves several steps, all focused on treating the pulp, the soft tissue inside your tooth.
Root Canal Facts – It’s not painful. It relieves pain
In the beginning, a root canal was considered to be a painful procedure. However, thanks to the advancements of modern dental technology and anesthetics, having a root canal procedure is just like having a filling replaced. Patients that had the procedure describe it as painless.
Patients that have severe tooth ache go see their dentist for a root canal procedure. This is because the pain could be caused by damaged tissue inside the tooth and through an endodontic treatment, the damaged tissue gets removed and the pain stops.
A root canal doesn’t cause illness
There were several root canal facts earlier which suggested that a root canal procedure actually causes illness. But as it turns out, there’s no scientific or valid evidence that will link a root canal procedure to a disease anywhere else in the body.
In the past, the presence of bacteria was considered to a valid argument but that actually doesn’t mean that there’s an ongoing infection and a threat to the patient’s health.
When your tooth has a severe infection, the goal of the endodontic treatment is to treat that infection and to prevent it from happening again.
Yes, some of you might argument that a tooth extraction is the safest bet. However, there’s no adequate replacement for natural teeth, so it’s always best to try and save it.
Extraction is not a good alternative to root canal
Just like we mentioned before, many patients think that tooth extraction is the better way to go. But that’s not really true. There’s no artificial substance or material that will be able to replace your natural teeth. Natural teeth are the strongest and most durable thing that no scientific effort was able to replace so far.
This is probably one of the main root canal facts that raise the importance of this procedure. A root canal is not only the better option than extraction, but it is also the affordable of the two. With a root canal procedure, you will need treatment and appropriate restoration to restore the damaged pulp. On the other hand, with extraction you will have the cost of extraction and the cost of the replacement process, either done through a dental bridge or dental implant, and they can be costly.
A root canal can save a dead tooth
You might think that an endodontic treatment is only for treating living teeth, but they can also be used to keep dead teeth from getting infected. Your tooth becomes dead when the blood supply to it gets cut off. But this doesn’t mean that the nerves and pulp inside your tooth or the bone around it, cannot be infected. It can. Thanks to root canal procedure, that can be avoided and the tooth can be sealed off and protected.
Root Canal Facts – You will need more than one appointment
We mentioned before that a root canal can be as painless as replacing a filling. However, it’s a slightly more complex procedure that cannot be done in one sitting. In fact, usually every patient will complete a root canal in two appointments. You might need follow up appointments to make sure that the tooth is fine after the procedure, but those are short checkup visits.
On the other hand, tooth extractions will require several appointments. Yes, the extraction itself can be (usually) done in one sitting. But after the extraction, your dentist will need to insert the dental implant (or bridge, whichever option you go for) and that requires more than one appointment because it’s a complex process.
You should crown your tooth after a root canal
Once your dentist has successfully treated the damaged tissue inside your tooth and its healthy again, it’s important to have the tooth sealed in order to prevent it from further infections. This is why the majority of dentists perform dental crown because that completely closes the top part of your tooth.
It’s highly effective
The main goal of the procedure is to stop the infection, treat it but also to allow you to keep your natural teeth. Most dental patients that go through it are able to keep their natural teeth for the rest of their lives. The success rate of a root canal is around 95% and the majority of patients is happy with it.
The procedure doesn’t kill the tooth
We mentioned that in order to kill a tooth, you need to cut off the blood flow to it. A root canal focuses on treating the damaged or infected pulp tissue of your teeth and doesn’t involve the blood supply. So with this procedure, the surface of the root is kept alive and healthy.