What is the Importance of Root Canal Treatment?

What is the Importance of Root Canal Treatment?

Oct 01, 2022

Do you have a painful tooth? There’s a good chance your tooth may be infected. When the tooth enamel is compromised, bacteria can enter the tooth, infecting the tooth’s pulp. The pulp is the innermost part that hosts the tooth’s blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerves. Bacteria can infect these tissues, causing decay. If not eliminated, the infection continues to eat up more of the tooth’s structure, eventually leading to tooth loss.

You can remove the infection and save your tooth through root canal therapy. Keep reading to learn more about root canal treatments and their importance.

What is Root Canal Treatment?

A root canal is an endodontic procedure for removing an infected or decayed dental pulp. A root canal treatment aims to stop the infection to prevent further damage and save your natural tooth.

Several factors can cause the need for a root canal, including:

  • Dental trauma. Tooth damage, such as chips, cracks, and breaks, can expose the tooth’s pulp, resulting in infection.
  • Deep cavities. Acids and bacterial plaque are key causes of tooth cavities. If not treated promptly, cavities deepen over time, exposing the tooth’s pulp and causing decay.
  • Damaged restorations. Ill-fitting or damaged restorations like dental crowns, veneers, and fillings can cause bacteria to enter the tooth, causing decay.

Root Canal Procedure

Root canal therapy is an outpatient procedure completed in a dental office. When you visit the dentist or endodontist, they will examine and take X-rays of the tooth to determine whether you’re eligible for the procedure. They might recommend tooth extraction if the damage is too much to repair.

The dentist will always begin by numbing the area around the infected tooth to keep you relaxed and painless. Next, the dentist or endodontist drills through the tooth to access the infected pulp. They use specialized files to remove the infected or decayed pulp. They rinse the tooth and disinfect it to remove any debris and bacteria.

Since removing the infected pulp leaves a hole in the tooth, the dentist uses a gutta-percha sealer to fill the tooth. Then, a temporary filling or crown protects the tooth from further damage and infections. Later, they place a permanent filling and crown. Contact our dentist in Stony Brook for a root canal near you.

What’s the Purpose of a Root Canal Treatment?

A dentist will always try to preserve your natural tooth. That said, a dentist primarily recommends a root canal treatment to stop the infection and save your tooth. The other option would be to extract the tooth, which has disadvantages.

While the tooth is typically dead after removing the pulp, it’s restored with a filling and crown. You’ll still have your natural bite function and smile.

If you don’t treat the tooth with a root canal, the infection will likely spread, leading to tooth loss and damage to adjacent teeth, gums, connective tissues, and jawbone.

Alternatively, extracting the tooth comes with additional problems. For instance, missing teeth can cause a poor bite, unattractive smile, teeth misalignments, jawbone deterioration, collapsed facial muscles, and impaired speech function. You can get a tooth implant or bridge to prevent these side effects.

If possible, saving your natural tooth through a root canal is wise. It’s cost-effective, saves money, and protects you from unnecessary complications and hassles.

Root Canal Aftercare

After a root canal treatment, you’ll likely experience minor discomfort and swelling. Fortunately, your dentist will prescribe medication and give you a few care tips to facilitate faster healing and recovery. These can include:

  • Take medicine as prescribed.
  • Use ice packs.
  • Contact your dentist if the symptoms persist beyond normal or worsen.
  • Avoid hard, sticky, chewy, spicy, and sugary items.
  • Eat a soft food diet. Do not chew on the side of the treated tooth.
  • Maintain excellent oral hygiene.
  • Attend your follow-up appointments.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Do you suspect you need a root canal? Contact Stony Brook Dental Group to speak with our dentist near you.

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