We know that nobody is ever excited to hear that they need a root canal.
But we want you to know that the root canal’s bad reputation is quite outdated. These days, a root canal is a fairly simple procedure, no more complicated than a filling. Better yet, thanks to advancements in techniques and technologies, modern root canals are essentially painless!
Most importantly, a root canal can relieve the pain you may be experiencing and save a tooth that might otherwise be lost. Understanding what a root canal is and why it is done can help relieve your anxiety so you can feel better about this treatment.
What Is a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is part of a branch of dental medicine known as endodontics. This field primarily deals with problems that affect the interior of a tooth.
Your teeth are made up of layers. The white exterior is a hard substance known as enamel. Beneath the enamel is a more porous, yellowish layer called the dentin. These layers protect the delicate and soft inside, called the pulp. The pulp contains the nerves and blood vessels of each tooth. These connect to your nervous system and circulatory system through the root canals, small channels that pass through the roots of your teeth.
When the pulp becomes infected or inflamed, it can be extremely painful because it is so close to the nerve. To treat this problem, Dr. Sigman must access the interior of the tooth, remove the infected material and the damaged nerve, and then seal the tooth to prevent reinfection. The tooth is often then capped with a crown to protect it. This process is known as endodontic or root canal therapy.
Why Do We Perform Root Canals?
You might be wondering why we bother to save an infected tooth. Why don’t we just extract it?
Whenever possible, it’s preferable to save your tooth. First of all, missing teeth can lead to problems with your bite. Your other teeth can shift out of alignment, and soon you may experience symptoms like pain when you chew or clenching and grinding while you sleep.
Secondly, while we can replace your tooth, this is often a more expensive and complex process than simply saving the tooth. Replacing your tooth requires three procedures – extracting the damaged tooth, preparing your mouth for the restoration, and placing the restoration. In the long run, it’s far simpler and less costly to save your tooth!
Additionally, when we can keep your original tooth in place, you continue to benefit from the relationship between the roots of your teeth and your jawbone. Even though the nerve of the tooth is gone, the roots still stimulate your bone to continue maintaining itself – an important process for your long-term oral health. While we can simulate this process using a dental implant, it’s much simpler to preserve the tooth.
Are You in Pain?
If you are experiencing pain or you suspect you may have an infection, please call us today. We are often able to get patients in the same day so that we can relieve your pain and treat the problem.