When it comes to dental procedures, root canals have gotten a bad reputation. Once the procedure is done though, you will experience a lot of relief in the area. Without a root canal, there are even bigger problem ahead. Here is all you need to know about root canals and how they help more than hurt.
Reasons for a Root Canal
In cases of infection or deep decay, a root canal is what can save the tooth. The nerves can become problematic too if there are too many fillings. There has been trauma to the face, cracks or chips are present, or if there has been too much dental work done to the tooth. Once the nerve or pulp inside the tooth is damaged, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria which causes pain, sensitivity, and weakness in the tooth.
A tooth has roots that extend into the gum tissue and bone in the jaw. Nerves are not necessary for a tooth to work, just for sensitivity. To do the procedure, there is a basic outline:
1. The dentist goes in to the infected or irritated root and removes the nerve and pulp inside.
2. The inside of the root is cleaned to remove bacteria.
3. The tooth is filled and sealed to prevent bacteria from entering the roots again.
Many cases require a crown to cap the tooth to increase its strength and protect it from further damage. Once the root canal is completed, a tooth feels significantly better. Where eating would have hurt before, it no longer does because the damaged nerve is gone and the tooth is not sensitive to hot or cold.
Patients who refuse to go in to the dentist to get a root canal done risk causing a lot more damage to their mouth. Surrounding tissue of the tooth needing a root canal will start to become irritated and infected as well. In many cases, an abscess will form, which is a pocket filled with puss between the roots. It causes extreme pain and can require an extraction of the tooth altogether. Other possible problems are:
· Swelling in the face, neck, or head
· A hole in the tooth, draining infection through the cheek and into the skin
· Bone loss in the jaw around the root end
When any of these problems occur, more extreme measures must be taken to preserve your face and many of the functions there. Not all of them can be fixed, like bone loss in the jaw. This may not matter to you now, but if you ever need a dental implant, you need adequate bone in the jaw.
Do not Delay
It is important to get a root canal done before too much damage is done to the surrounding gum tissue and other teeth. If you are experiencing pain, sensitivity to temperature or pressure, swelling, or even odd tooth discoloration, it is important that you mention it to your dentist. By doing x-rays and an oral examination, the dentist can tell you if a root canal is required. You will feel much better once the procedure is done and you avoid all the potential problems down the road from an untreated infection.