Root canals have a scary reputation, often used in casual expressions to stand in for any negative experiences. But what are root canals, and are they as awful as schoolyard rumor has led us to believe? Here are some basic questions you may be asking:
- What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is when a dentist opens up a tooth, removes the pulp inside and replaces it with a filler. The tooth is then sealed up to prevent bacteria from getting inside.
- Why Would I Want a Root Canal?
A root canal attempts to eliminate infection in the tooth. If successful, a root canal can save a tooth that would otherwise have to be extracted, making it a treatment well worth trying.
- Does a Root Canal Hurt?
Pain is probably a major concern for anyone facing such a procedure. Does a root canal hurt? The answer is no, it shouldn’t. A variety of anesthetic strategies are used, but you can always talk to a root canal specialist if you have concerns. If you experience pain after root canal treatment, contact your dentist to see how you should proceed.
- What If a Root Canal Can’t Save My Tooth?
The good news is that there are an increasing number of cosmetic dentistry options for people who lose teeth. The number of Americans with dental implants is around 3 million, and growing by 500,000 each year. Crown and bridge treatments replace teeth for 15 million Americans. In the past five years, cosmetic dentistry in the United States alone grew by about 1.8% per year. The bottom line is, there are many options for anyone who loses one or more teeth.
- How Can I Avoid Root Canals?
Root canals are only necessary if the pulp inside a tooth becomes infected. This can only happen if the outer surface of the tooth is damaged, such as by a chip or a cavity. So the best way to prevent the need for a root canal is to practice good oral hygiene and visit your family dentist frequently so that any cavities are discovered and filled immediately. Also try to prevent trauma by wearing a mouth guard while playing sports.
Have you had a root canal? What was your experience like? Share in the comments. Learn more at this link.