You need a root canal,” is one of the most-feared statements your dentist can make. Root canals are often associated with excruciating pain, and you will do anything to avoid them.
How bad is getting a root canal—and how can you avoid it?
Root canals are the hollow spaces in the roots of your teeth. They contain pulpal tissues, which consist of blood vessels that nourish the tooth.
They also contain nerves that run through the root canal and send signals, including pain to the brain.
If there is irreversible damage or disease within the pulp, it causes pain and infection. The pain is relieved when the infection is treated with a root canal.
Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, cleans out the infected pulp. The decontaminated area is replaced with a rubber like material along with a cement or sealer. In most cases, the tooth is capped with a crown.
The following are the most common factors contributing to a need for root canal treatment:
- Infection caused by decay or a large filling
- Severe gum disease
- Physical blow to a tooth or a constant striking of a tooth in the opposite jaw
It used to be that a tooth with a disease or infected nerve had to be removed. Now, in 95% of the cases, however, this is no longer true. A root canal treatment will remove your pain and save your tooth.
Here are some signs that you might need a root canal:
- Serious tooth pain while eating
- Sensitivity to hot or cold that lingers after the stimulus is removed
- A pimple-like bump on the gum near the source of the tooth pain
How painful is a root canal treatment?
Root canals are one of the most feared dental procedures, but most of that perception comes from the pain someone experiences before the procedure. This pain is often because of a severe infection. Left untreated, infection an spread, so see your dentist immediately if symptoms arise.
Rather than causing more pain, a root canal treatment relieves pain. You receive a local anesthetic, which makes the procedure no more uncomfortable than getting a filling.
Avoiding Root Canals
Anything that helps prevent tooth decay and maintains healthy teeth will help you avoid getting a root canal. Brush twice a day, eat a healthy diet, and see your dentist for regular dental cleanings to keep your smile healthy.