Root canals are not nearly as scary as the movies and media make them out to be. They are actually easy and relatively painless. A root canal is a very important procedure used to save teeth that may have become decayed or infected. The part of the tooth that can easily become infected is called the root canal, which gave the procedure its name. A root canal may get infected over time by improper hygiene or damaged teeth, and needs to be fixed as soon as the infection is found to avoid the infection spreading to other teeth.
What is a root canal?
Inside your tooth is a soft tissue called pulp. One of the pulp’s main purposes is to help the roots of your teeth grow during development. Once the tooth is fully developed, the pulp helps to protect teeth. Fortunately, your teeth can survive without it, because once the pulp gets infected, it needs to be removed through a root canal procedure. The tooth can survive without the pulp because it is nourished by the surrounding tissue going to other teeth. The root canal procedure removes the infected or inflamed pulp and cleans out the inside of your tooth to minimize further damages and infections. From the patient’s standpoint, a root canal feels just like any other normal dental procedure. You are given anesthesia, which numbs the pain and reduces any discomfort. There may be some numbness and soreness following the procedure, but other than that, it is relatively painless. You can continue your everyday activities directly following the procedure, but it is recommended that you avoid eating until the numbness subsides.
Do I need a root canal?
If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have infected or inflamed pulp and may need a root canal. Talk to your dentist to get it checked out if you:
- Experience severe pain while chewing
- Have a small, pimple, lesion on your gums
- Have long-lasting and high sensitivity to hot and cold foods
- Have gums that are swollen or painful to the touch
- Have a chipped or cracked tooth
- Have decayed or darkened gums
These symptoms are incredibly important to get checked out because, if the pulp in a tooth is infected, it may spread, and you will have an even bigger problem on your hands. You may need more root canals and that’s more time and money that didn’t need to be wasted.
Once you have gotten your root canal done and the after-effects have been minimized, you will notice many advantages of getting your root canal done, such as
- Improved and painless chewing
- No pain when biting