Root canal therapy gets to the root of many painful tooth problems by removing infection and treating inflammation within the tooth pulp. It is preferable to tooth extraction for functional as well as aesthetic reasons.
If you are about to undergo root canal treatment, you may feel anxious. You may have heard long-disproven myths about endodontic treatment. If so, here are scientific facts about root canal treatment.
Root Canal Therapy is Not Painful
Modern dentistry uses specialized instruments that target the treatment area with precision, so root canal is a minimally invasive, in-office procedure. Today’s pain medication is also far superior to what it once was, so discomfort is minimal and easily managed.
Root canal therapy relieves the pain you are already experiencing by treating the underlying cause. Common reasons for tooth pulp inflammation or infection include:
- Periodontal (gum) disease
- Tooth fracture
- Deep tooth decay
- A chip or crack in the tooth structure
- Repeated treatment on a single tooth
Once inflammation starts, the pulp swells and causes painful pressure. If it is not treated, the pulp can be damaged or die. This could lead to infection and tooth loss.
How Root Canal Therapy Works
This endodontic procedure removes diseased or dead pulp tissue from inside the affected tooth, but it preserves the tooth structure. Our practice uses specially designed instruments that clear out the pulp chamber and root canals. After that, we disinfect the canals with medications, then seal them to prevent re-infection. You may feel some minor discomfort for a few days, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter medications.
After your root canal treatment, your tooth will need a permanent restoration to protect the remaining structure. We will discuss your restoration plan with you prior to your procedure.
Root Canal vs. Tooth Extraction
Every situation is unique, and our doctor will make the right recommendation for you. Except in the case of impacted wisdom teeth, root canal is preferable to extraction. Preserving the natural tooth looks better aesthetically, even with a crown or other restoration, and it functions as before. Extraction leaves a gap that is not only unsightly; it encourages surrounding teeth to shift position.
Whenever possible, saving your natural tooth is our goal. Root canal therapy can help preserve your tooth when handled by an experienced endodontist like ours. To learn more about root canal therapy or to schedule an appointment, contact our Louisville, KY 40207 endodontist office.