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8 Must-Know Facts About Root Canal Treatment

8 Must-Know Facts About Root Canal Treatment

For some people, the only solution to excruciatingly painful toothaches that refuse to go away is an extraction. 'Better get rid of the problem, right? However, an entire tooth is usually not the real issue. Most of the time, it's only what's inside the shell of the tooth that's the problem.

Toothaches are typically due to an infection or inflammation. When you go to the dentist, the first aid treatment is usually a week of antibiotics and pain relievers. However, medication only brings temporary relief — it doesn’t get rid of the problem. For pain to go away permanently, you need to get to the root of the problem instead of just the signs and symptoms, or what seem to be the cause of the problem.

Why a Root Canal Instead of Tooth Extraction?

The thing about a root canal treatment is that it removes the cause of the problem and salvages the shell of the tooth. At times, the exterior body of the tooth only has minimal damage and can be restored to its original appearance with a dental filling. Therefore, there’s no need to remove it completely.

Preserving the exterior body of a "sick" tooth, after all, is essential in maintaining the original structure and function of the mouth.

Dental Issues a Root Canal is Good For

Listed below are the dental conditions which are typically present for a root canal to be performed.

  • Cracked or chipped tooth
  • Deep tooth decay
  • Pain
  • Tenderness to chewing and touch
  • Tenderness in the lymph nodes, bone and gum tissues
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Tooth injury with pulp damage with no visible damage to the tooth's exterior
  • Tooth sensitivity to heat or cold

Other Important Facts About Root Canal Treatments

Apart from the information shared above, there are other interesting and vital facts to know about this treatment as an alternative solution to tooth extraction. Discussed below are eight of them.

1. It is not painful

This form of treatment is typically painless. You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. Therefore, whatever intricate work is performed, you will not feel any pain at all. Most patients say that a root canal treatment is about as comfortable as a quick dental filling.

2. It is also called “endodontic therapy”

If you go to the dentist and examine the menu of services provided and do not see root canal treatment in the list, look up endodontic therapy because this is the alternative terminology for the same procedure.

3. The cost of a root canal treatment varies

There's no standard amount of work for the treatment. Therefore, the cost can vary for every patient. If you have a complex dental issue, you may require additional X-rays and side treatments before the dentist can perform the root canal. All these contribute to the cost of the root canal procedure.

Suffice it to say, the more complicated your dental problem is, the higher the cost of the root canal treatment.

4. Sensitivity or mild pain occurs after the procedure

Expect mild discomfort for a few days after a root canal treatment. However, you can easily manage this by rinsing your mouth with cold water to numb the pain or tenderness. If the pain becomes too bothersome for patients, we prescribe pain relievers, and these take care of the discomfort, which goes away in a matter of days.

5. A healthy lifestyle can expedite the healing process and diminish pain

Eating healthy and getting enough rest are crucial in speeding up the healing process after a root canal procedure. These practices will help your cells regenerate and boost your immune system, which will, then, help fight pain and neutralize bacterial activity.

So, consume a variety of vegetables and fruits. Perhaps, even up your intake of vitamin C if you want to heal faster.

6. You may need a crown to protect the salvaged tooth

While a root canal may salvage your tooth, it can also weaken it because the tooth will turn into an empty shell, so you may need a crown to fortify the structure.

7. A root canal treatment can take more than just one session.

Again, this has something to do with the complexity of the dental issue. But, another factor that affects the amount of time required to complete the procedure is the availability of equipment. If your dentist has all the necessary equipment, the entire procedure — including the X-rays — can be accomplished in a single session.

However, multiple sessions are required if you're dealing with pains or complications, and you want restorative work to be carried out as well. A lot of dentists prefer the two-visit approach because this allows them to monitor how the root canal is healing.

8. Not everyone is a good candidate for a root canal

Those whose root is either inaccessible or fractured severely, and have periodontitis and no longer have enough healthy jaw bone, may be better off with a different dental procedure.

A root canal treatment is an excellent dental solution for pain and other types of tooth damage. It is a considerably quick process, and there's usually minimal to no pain when it’s done.

To find out if it's the best solution to your dental woes, visit us at NOA Dental for a free dental consultation. We'll discuss with you the dental services that are suitable to your unique dental concerns.