While your teeth are incredibly strong, they can still suffer decay or damage that can compromise their strength and your oral health. When damage is severe enough, the inner pulp of the tooth can be at risk. Bacteria can get into the tooth and irritate the soft tissue, causing pain and potentially dangerous infection. At Summit Dental Care, we can help to save damaged teeth with a root canal.
The Purpose of a Root Canal
A root canal is a procedure that is performed to get rid of an infection from the interior of a damaged or decayed tooth. The process requires the removal of the pulp, or soft tissue inside, as well as the nerve. The goal of the treatment is to eliminate the infection while still preserving the tooth, rather than simply extracting it.
When is a Root Canal Necessary?
A root canal is often necessary when the pulp inside of a tooth is infected or damaged. Infection and damage can occur as a result of decay, a dental injury, or gum disease. These issues can cause the pulp to become irritated and inflamed, which can leave you in a significant amount of pain. A root canal may be recommended when more conservative treatments are not possible.
The alternative to a root canal is a tooth extraction. While many think that extractions are easier, less invasive, and less painful, the truth is that a root canal is generally the better option. Opting for a tooth extraction means that you will have also have to have the extracted tooth replaced.
Ensuring Your Comfort During Your Root Canal
There is a common misconception that root canals are painful. This simply is not true. We do our best to ensure your optimal comfort during your treatment. Root canals can typically be performed under a local anesthetic. For those who are anxious, sedation may also be recommended to help you relax and stay comfortable. You may experience some discomfort when your procedure is complete, but this discomfort is generally mild and should begin to fade after a few days. Discomfort can often be managed with an over the counter pain reliever.
How Long Will My Root Canal Last?
Root canals have a fairly high success rate. Most individuals who have undergone root canal treatment never have another issue with the treated tooth. The tooth remains in the socket and is fully functional for the rest of their lifetime.
While most root canals are successful, there are some instances in which they can fail. Failure can happen for many reasons, such as a missed canal, contamination during treatment, placing a crown too late, or dental trauma. No matter what the cause of the failure, the tooth can often be re-treated. This may be done by removing the existing crown and cleaning the tooth out again. In some cases, an apicoectomy may be recommended. This is a procedure that involves treating the tooth from the root end rather than the crown. While the goal is always to preserve the tooth, there are some instances in which extraction may become necessary.
A root canal can help to save a damaged tooth, avoiding the need for dental extraction and later replacement. For more information, call Summit Dental Care at (208) 490-8141 today.