There are many urban legends surrounding root canal treatment, one of the most prominent of which is that they’re quite painful. But root canals are actually one of the best ways to save an infected tooth, and to eliminate the pain associated with it. If you want to maintain the health and beauty of your natural smile, root canal therapy may be necessary. It doesn’t have to be something to dread, though. Understanding what’s really involved in treatment can help ease your fears, and prepare you to seek the care you may need.
Understanding The Cause of Infection
There are a number of potential causes for a tooth infection, but cavities, trauma and general decay can all cause the interior of a tooth to become infected. This is one reason why restorative treatment should be sought at the first sign of dental trouble. (It’s also why regular dental checkups are essential to maintaining a healthy smile!)
Dentists generally prefer to use the least invasive treatment that will be effective to address individual health concerns. This is why tooth fillings are usually recommended if you’re diagnosed with a cavity. A filling can help protect a tooth damaged by decay.
If your tooth has already become infected, root canal treatment is likely the best way to help eliminate the infection and to save the tooth. It’s also the best way to prevent the infection from spreading to other teeth, your gums or even your jawbone. During root canal therapy, the endodontist will carefully remove any infected portions of the tooth and then seal the area, often using both a filling and a crown for added protection. When infection is not promptly removed, it can cause painful abscessed teeth, and can spread to other parts of the mouth as well. This is a compelling reason to seek restorative treatment if you are experiencing dental pain, or any other dental symptoms, such as visible grey or black lines along a tooth or heightened sensitivity to hot or cold foods.