Have you developed a tooth infection that needs a root canal? Maybe you’re putting it off because of a fear of the dentist, work and family demands, or the expense, assuming that it’ll go away on its own.
Unfortunately, an infected tooth can’t and won’t heal on its own – it only gets worse. A root canal treatment is necessary to clear the infection and repair the tooth.
What is a Root Canal Treatment?
A root canal treatment is a dental procedure designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected root canal and save the natural tooth as an alternative to tooth extraction.1 Saving the natural tooth has many advantages, including maintaining normal biting force, efficient chewing, and a more natural appearance. Having a natural tooth also protects the surrounding teeth from excessive wear.
During a root canal treatment, the dentist opens the tooth and removes the tooth root, nerves, and soft tissue to resolve the infection during the procedure. Once this is complete, the dentist fills the tooth with gutta-percha, a plant-based material that prevents further infection. Once the dentist fills the tooth, they will place a crown over the tooth to protect it and restore its function.
This may sound intimidating, but millions of people undergo root canal treatments each year to save natural teeth and relieve the pain of tooth root infection. The procedure is typically pain-free – especially compared to the pain of an infected tooth – and the recovery is quick.
What Happens If Tooth Root Problems Aren’t Fixed?
As mentioned, an infected tooth doesn’t heal on its own. The only means of treating an infected tooth is through a root canal treatment or extraction. Dental extractions may be more uncomfortable and leave a missing tooth. Removing an infected tooth will also impact your chewing and smile appearance, which is why many dentists will recommend a root canal treatment over extraction.
In addition, an untreated tooth root infection can spread throughout your mouth and create larger problems. In rare cases, dental infections can lead to a systemic infection or sepsis, which can be fatal.2
If the pain in your tooth suddenly stops, you may be thinking you don’t need a root canal any longer. The infection didn’t clear up, however – this occurs when the nerves in the tooth die. You won’t have pain, but the infection can spread further without realizing it.
Root Canal Treatment vs. Extraction
An infected tooth can be treated with a root canal treatment or a tooth extraction. If you choose the extraction, you could deal with more pain, another infection, or other complications, not to mention that you will then have a missing tooth to address with a bridge or dental implant.
In some cases, severe tooth decay or damage leaves extraction as the only option. Root canal treatments are the preferred treatment option for an infected tooth, however. Generally, this procedure has fewer complications and can be performed in one or two visits. After the root canal treatment is completed and the infection has cleared, the tooth is fitted with a crown to restore the look and function of the natural tooth.
Schedule Your Appointment with Empire Dental Care
Ignoring dental problems doesn’t make them go away. In fact, ignoring dental issues can make them more painful. Ignoring dental issues also may make treatment more expensive, more extensive, and less effective.
If you’re experiencing pain and believe you may need a root canal, Empire Dental Care is here to help. We understand that root canals and other dental procedures can be uncomfortable. That’s why we take every measure possible to ensure your procedure is gentle and as pain-free as possible. Contact us today to schedule your consultation! 585-671-1650