Benefits of Root Canal Treatment
No one wants to get a root canal, but there are many benefits to this type of treatment over having a tooth extracted.
What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is a procedure done to save and repair a tooth by removing infected material from inside the tooth. Root canals are filled with “pulp”, a soft tissue that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. This pulp helps teeth grow and maintain their roots while providing nourishment, sustenance, and also a way for the tooth to sense the temperature of food. Mature teeth are equipped to handle not having pulp in the root canal because they’re able to obtain nourishment and support from the surrounding tissues in the mouth.
Sometimes, the pulp on the inside of a tooth becomes infected or inflamed due to multiple procedures in the same area, decay (such as cavities), or a crack in the tooth. When this happens, a root canal treatment is usually required to repair and save the tooth. At Willow Springs Dental, we have endodontic dentists on staff who are qualified to handle root canal treatment quickly and painlessly.
Who’s Eligible for Root Canal Treatment
While many people need a root canal to save one (or more) of their teeth, not everyone will benefit from root canal treatment. Here are some specific situations when root canal treatment may be necessary:
- You are experiencing certain painful/uncomfortable symptoms -
If you notice symptoms including oral sensitivity to cold or hot, severe pain while chewing or biting, swollen, dark, or infected gums, or pimples on the gums, these are all possible signs of an infected/inflamed root canal, and you may need root canal treatment. Visit your dentist immediately to ask about getting root canal treatment.
- One or more of your teeth is cracked or chipped -
Sometimes cracked or chipped teeth don’t cause any problems, but if you’re experiencing any symptoms with a cracked or chipped tooth, an infection or inflammation in the root canal of the tooth may be to blame. In this case, root canal treatment may be the best choice.
- Discoloration and/or darkening of a tooth -
When a tooth starts to show unusual coloring or darkening, especially when that tooth has added sensitivity to applied pressure or temperature changes, this indicates an issue with the root canal. Ask your dentist if a root canal treatment may help alleviate the situation.
Willow Springs Dental carefully analyzes each patient’s individual condition before recommending a root canal procedure. Although root canal treatment is a regular procedure, it is still a serious procedure and requires thought before execution. Make sure to get the opinion of a dentist you know and trust before making the decision to have a root canal procedure.
The Benefits of Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment has an incredibly high success rate of around 95%, and as such, it comes with many benefits. When a tooth starts to show signs of needing a root canal, the good news is that root canal treatment is one of the best ways to save the tooth and make it last for a lifetime. Willow Springs Dental patients notice a dramatic difference after treatment; here are some other benefits of the treatment:
- Stops infection in its tracks - when one tooth becomes infected and isn’t effectively treated, the infection can spread to other teeth, too. Root canal treatment removes the infection where it starts, minimizing the chances of infection in other nearby teeth.
- Saves teeth instead of replacing them - While some other methods of eliminating dental infection involve removing teeth completely, a root canal aims to keep your original tooth intact and in place for the long haul.
- Aesthetically pleasing results - Other endodontic treatments may not have results that are as visually appealing as the final result of a root canal treatment. Because a root canal works by saving your own, original teeth, there’s no need to worry about aesthetics or appearance after the procedure.
- Improves overall physical health - Good dental health is a vital part of good overall health, so when there’s an infection in one of your teeth, the rest of your body suffers too. After root canal treatment, the rest of your body also benefits in various ways, depending on your specific situation.
What to Expect from Root Canal Treatment
Endodontic treatment is performed via a non-invasive procedure that involves the use of localized anesthesia. Patients remain awake and aware during the entire treatment, but they do not feel any pain or discomfort in the treatment area because of the localized anesthesia. If you are feeling anxious about the treatment ask about our other sedation options that can help you relax throughout the treatment. Because of the way root canal treatment is performed, a patient can resume their normal, daily activities immediately after the procedure is complete.
Dental Care After Root Canal Treatment
After endodontic treatment, the numbness from the anesthesia usually lasts between 2-4 hours, but it’s possible to resume normal activities (like work or school) immediately after the procedure. When the anesthesia wears off some patients may experience pain or discomfort in the area of the treated tooth for up to a week after treatment due to sensitivity from tissue inflammation. This discomfort is normal, and patients can use over-the-counter medications like Aleve and Advil to treat the symptoms.
It’s recommended that you don’t eat until the anesthesia wears off, to avoid accidentally biting your tongue or cheek. However, after the tooth has been given some time to heal and you feel comfortable, it’s fine to chew normally and eat the foods you did before. However, our experts at Willow Springs Dental recommend following a healthy diet to avoid future dental issues. And of course, maintaining good dental care habits both before and after a root canal treatment is essential.