London dentist explains how root canals are an excellent way to help save the natural tooth
We’ve all heard the groans that the phrase “root canal” can elicit in a conversation. While the procedure may sound daunting, it can provide immense relief from pain and is an excellent way to help save the natural tooth and avoid costly and time-consuming dental restorations. And thanks to advances in modern dental technologies, techniques, and materials, a root canal nowadays is an easier experience than ever before. At Downtown Dental Centre Family Practice, our team of experienced dentists and professionals are equipped to provide patients in the London, ON area with a comfortable root canal treatment for their damaged tooth so they can get back to eating, talking, and laughing without pain.
What a root canal is
A root canal, also called “endodontic therapy,” is at its core a way of saving a compromised tooth that can’t be treated with other measures such as fillings. In the procedure, the dentist removes the inner pulp and nerve of the affected tooth, thoroughly cleans and sanitizes the area, and then fills and seals it with a material called gutta-percha. A crown or filling is then placed to provide extra protection from future decay and infection.
A root canal may be recommended when patients have the following types of dental issues:
- Trauma to the tooth
- Infection in the pulp chamber
- Decay deep within the tooth
- Repeated dental procedures have been performed on a tooth
- Chipped or cracked tooth
The reason a root canal is performed is two-fold: it removes infected areas of the tooth to prevent the infection from spreading and causing further damage, and it removes the nerve in the tooth that is causing you pain.
Why saving your natural tooth is better than extracting it
In almost all cases, it is preferable to save your natural tooth over extracting it and replacing it with an artificial tooth. While dental advances have resulted in very natural-looking and functional artificial teeth, nothing can fully substitute for the look, feel, and function of a natural tooth.
In addition, endodontic treatment is often less painful and takes less time and money than extracting and replacing a tooth. If you do not replace the tooth after it has been removed, it can have negative effects on not only your other teeth, causing them to shift in your mouth and loss of jaw bone, but also on your overall appearance, leading to muscle loss and a sunken appearance to your face. Replacing missing teeth can be time-consuming and costly. For example, the process to place a dental implant, considered the “gold standard” in tooth replacement, can take many months and several trips to the dentist. In contrast, root canal therapy typically only consists of one visit to perform the root canal, and another short visit to have a permanent crown or filling placed on the tooth.
Also, perhaps just as importantly, many of the tooth replacement options available such as bridges require procedures to be performed on the neighboring healthy teeth, which can negatively impact their health in the long-term. By saving your natural tooth with a root canal, you can usually avoid harm to your surrounding teeth. Teeth treated with root canals often last for the rest of a patient’s life when they take proper care of their teeth, whereas restorations for extracted teeth often need to be replaced over time.
Schedule a consultation today
If you are in the London, ON area and have been living with pain in one of your teeth but have been avoiding a trip to the dentist, we encourage you to call Downtown Dental Centre at (855) 669-0775. The sooner you seek treatment for an infected or decayed tooth, the higher the chance you have of being able to save the tooth. Root canal treatment nowadays is almost painless with modern anesthetics and the latest methods, so there is no need to suffer while your dental issues get worse and harder to treat.
We love seeing our patients’ beautiful smiles and are committed to providing care that maintains their natural teeth as long as possible. Call us today to schedule an appointment!