A root canal treatment can be a necessary dental procedure for patients with decaying teeth, but understanding what a root canal is can be a little confusing!
If you’re wondering about root canals or if you need a root canal treatment, here are the 10 most common questions our dentists are often asked:
1. What is a Root Canal Treatment, Exactly?
A root canal treatment is a dental treatment that repairs infections within the soft, dental pulp and/or the root canal inside a tooth. Your dentist will essentially remove the infected or inflamed pulp from your tooth and clean the canals, filling them with a replacement agent that works to prevent further infection.
2. Why Would You Need a Root Canal Treatment?
Root canals are needed when the dental pulp or root canal of a tooth becomes infected or decayed. As a result, it can also die off, leaving the tooth in a weakened state. This usually occurs when teeth are not kept clean and bacteria in the mouth gets into the tooth and infects the pulp.
3. Is a Root Canal Painful?
In this day and age, a range of anaesthetics and pain-relieving agents are often used during a root canal treatment, which means the procedure is pain free. At Somerset Dental Care, we make sure you’re as comfortable as possible throughout the whole procedure.
4. How Will I Know If I Need a Root Canal?
Your dentist is the only person who can advise you about whether or not a root canal is needed to save your tooth. However, symptoms that can arise with diseased tooth pulp include:
- Pain in the teeth, gums or jaw
- Over-sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
- Loose tooth and/or swollen or inflamed gums
- Evidence of pus around the teeth or gums
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should book an appointment with Somerset Dental Care immediately.
It is also important to note that you might not experience any of these symptoms, even if your tooth pulp is diseased or infected, so regular dental checkups and x-rays are necessary.
5. What is a Crown?
A crown is like a ‘cap’ or a ‘cover’ that fits over the top of a tooth to protect it from breaking, cracking, chipping or splitting. In many cases, a tooth that receives a root canal treatment will often require a crown as well. This is because without the root, the tooth will be weaker and will hence need a crown to keep it strong and durable.
6. What If I Don’t Bother With a Root Canal Treatment?
If an infected tooth root is not treated, it can lead to more severe problems with the tooth, gums and jaw bone. If this occurs, a tooth extraction, along with other surgical treatments, may be needed. A root canal treatment is performed to essentially save your tooth.
7. Won’t It Be Easier to Extract the Tooth?
Tooth extraction is considered a last resort if a root canal treatment is not feasible. In most cases, your tooth will only be extracted if it is beyond repair.
8. Will the Treated Tooth Last?
Root canals are known as one of the best ways to preserve infected teeth. If you employ good oral hygiene practices, your treated tooth or teeth should last a long time and many can last for the remainder of your life.
9. What Will My Tooth Be Like After a Root Canal?
After your root canal treatment (and your crown fitting, if you need one), your tooth/teeth and gums should function as normal and you shouldn’t notice any differences in the feeling or performance of your teeth.
10. What Can I Do to Avoid Needing a Root Canal?
Root canal diseases are often the result of poor oral hygiene and failure to meet regularly with a dentist. To lower your risk, you should brush and floss your teeth twice a day, use a daily mouthwash and visit your dentist at least once every 6 months for a checkup.
If you are experiencing any issues with your teeth, our friendly Narellan dentists are available 6 days a week (Mon-Sat), with quick appointments available for patients with severe tooth pain or problems.
Contact our clinic on 02 4648 0909 or [email protected]