Root canals have gotten a bad rap over the years, but advances in technique and technology have made root canals virtually painless and stress-free. In some instances, a root canal can be easier and quicker than a simple filling!
So what is a Root Canal? Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp (where the nerve is inside the tooth) becomes inflamed or infected. During root canal treatment, your dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in treating the insides of teeth) removes the diseased pulp. The canals/roots of the tooth are then cleaned, disinfected and sealed. If the infected pulp is not removed, pain and swelling will result, and your tooth may have to eventually be removed. Almost always, your dentist will recommend a crown following a root canal. This is because the tooth becomes more brittle and prone to fracture once the pulp has been removed from the tooth.
Causes of a Root Canal could include:
- A deep cavity
- Repeated dental procedures
- A cracked or broken tooth
- Injury to the tooth (even if there’s not a visible crack or chip)
If you continue to care for your teeth and gums your restored tooth could last a lifetime. However, regular checkups are necessary; a tooth without its nerve can still develop cavities or gum disease. Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to three visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile.