You may know that root canal therapy is a procedure to save an infected or damaged tooth, but do you know what can happen if you put off needed root canal treatment? Here, we’ll explain more about what root canal therapy is and why you shouldn’t postpone the procedure if you need one.
Why would I need a root canal?
A tooth’s inner pulp is a sensitive bundle of soft tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. It can become infected due to a cracked or broken tooth, an advanced cavity, or repeated dental trauma to the tooth. Untreated damage and infection can lead to pain, an abscess, and bone loss. A root canal treatment repairs and preserves a badly damaged or infected tooth by removing the affected pulp. At Palos Heights Family Dental, we can clean out your tooth by flushing out any decay and then disinfecting, filling, and sealing the root to protect from future damage.
How is a root canal performed?
First, we will use a local anesthesia to numb your tooth and the area around it so your root canal procedure will be relatively painless. You might feel a little pinch when the needle goes in, but you shouldn’t be in pain. Once the area is numbed, we will use small tools like a drill to create an opening in the top of your tooth so that we can access the pulp. Next, we will clean out the decayed or damaged pulp with a small file and shape the inner chamber of the tooth and root. We may even irrigate the chamber with water to wash away anything else we couldn’t reach with the file and use an antimicrobial solution to kill remaining bacteria before we fill it up. A root canal is filled by using gutta percha, a rubber-like material that will allow us to close the opening in your tooth to prevent further decay. We will then have a naturally-looking dental crown made to permanently cover your filling.
What if I postpone root canal treatment?
You may have read the above and thought root canal therapy sounds painful, but most patients agree that dealing with an infected tooth is actually more painful than getting it treated! Root canal treatment will stop the infection from spreading to the rest of your mouth and prevents further decay. It will also alleviate your pain. The sooner you get a root canal, the sooner you’ll be pain-free! If you put root canal treatment off long enough the pain may go away, but this just means that the nerves inside your tooth are dead and you will probably need your tooth extracted. Bacteria from the infected pulp can travel into the tissue of your gums and jaw, causing abscesses and bone loss, and can even lead to heart disease and stroke in extreme cases. Early root canal treatment is your best option to preserve your natural tooth and prevent further damage.
If you have a badly decayed or damaged tooth, seek treatment as soon as possible to save your tooth and protect your oral health. We offer gentle root canal therapy. Contact us to schedule your appointment!Contact Us