Dentist in London explains why you should choose root canal therapy
Choosing root canal therapy does not have to be a scary or painful experience. Root canal therapy is actually a common, effective procedure that can prevent extraction, alleviate painful toothaches, and restore oral health. At Downtown Dental Centre in London, Ontario, we suggest our patients choose root canal therapy versus extraction whenever possible. In the following article, we’ll look at what’s involved in the procedure and why you should choose root canal therapy.
What is a root canal?
Root canal therapy is also called endodontic treatment. Endodontic refers to the inside of the tooth. So endodontic treatment pertains to saving the inside of the tooth. In almost all cases, it’s best to try and keep the natural tooth inside the mouth for as long as possible.
When an infection reaches the pulp and nerves of the tooth, a traditional filling is no longer an option for treatment. At that point, root canal treatment can fix the infected tooth, otherwise, it will need to be extracted.
Natural teeth are not solid, instead, they are made of multiple layers. Deep inside the tooth are the root canals, where the nerves and soft tissues (collectively known as the pulp of the tooth). Typically, once an infection reaches the pulp of the tooth, it can cause an individual serious pain and discomfort. Additionally, untreated infections can cause the tooth to fall out and the bone to start to deteriorate. Root canal therapy eliminates the diseased pulp to save the tooth and provide pain relief.
The root canal procedure
Before undergoing a root canal procedure, the patient may need antibiotics to treat the infection. To begin the procedure, the dentist will use local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, the dentist will drill a hole into the tooth to remove the decayed and diseased pulp. A special instrument will be used to remove the nerve from the root canals and then the entire inside of the tooth is cleaned before it is sealed.
Teeth that have had a root canal procedure are typically weaker than healthy teeth and more prone to breakage. Once the tooth has been filled and sealed, a dental crown will be placed over the tooth to strengthen it and prevent further damage.
After the root canal
Since the root canal procedure removes the infection and the nerves in the tooth, the patient should find that they experience a dramatic reduction in pain following the procedure. However, it is still possible to feel some discomfort from treatment for a few days as the inflammation slowly goes down. Over the counter pain medication can help alleviate any discomfort.
Why you should choose root canal versus extraction
As we mentioned earlier, it’s always best to save the natural tooth whenever possible. Root canals are safe and carry an extremely high success rate (around 95%). Here are the top reasons to choose root canal:
Avoid other health issues
Extracting a natural tooth can lead to a series of negative events. Over time, nearby healthy teeth will begin to shift to fill in the hole left by the missing tooth. This can cause crooked teeth, jawbone issues, and difficulty chewing and biting.
Since leaving a gap from a missing tooth can cause problems, it’s important to use a dental restoration to fill in the empty space. Dental implants and dental bridges are the two main options for replacing missing teeth. With dental bridges, the dentist will need to make modifications to the healthy teeth on each side of the gap. Crowns placed over these teeth will anchor the bridge while the artificial tooth attached to the framework fills in the gap.
Dental implants are posts that are surgically placed in the jawbone to replace a missing tooth root. While implants don’t require altering healthy teeth, they do come at a premium price.
Either way, you will end up paying for restorations that cost far more than the root canal procedure itself.
Call Downtown Dental Centre in London today to learn more about root canal therapy
We’re happy to answer any questions that you have about root canal therapy or any of the other services that we offer in our office. To book an appointment, call us at (855) 669-0775.