A Root Canal Saves Your Tooth So It Doesn't Need To Be Extracted

Posted on: 14 August 2023

A root canal is a common dental procedure that your dentist might recommend when you have an abscessed tooth. The procedure clears infection from the root of your tooth so your natural tooth can be saved from being pulled. Here's a look at when a root canal may be necessary, how the procedure is done, and alternatives to the procedure.

A Root Canal Treats Infection

A root canal is done when there's an infection in your tooth. This happens when you have a cavity or injury to your tooth that allows bacteria to get through the enamel and in your tooth root. Signs of an abscess include tooth pain, swelling in your gums, and even pus discharge through your gum. When the root is infected, a simple filling is not enough to treat your tooth. Instead, the infection needs to be cleaned out manually.

The Area Is Numbed First

Just like you have an anesthetic injection when you get a filling, you'll receive an anesthetic when you have a root canal. The procedure sounds painful, but the area will be numb, so you shouldn't have any pain. There are a few steps to this procedure. First, the dentist needs to drill away the decayed part of your enamel. Then, they drill an access hole so they can remove the pulp and infection at the tooth root.

Next, the cavity has to be filled. However, it's common to place a crown over the tooth instead. This is often necessary since cavities that allow an abscess to happen are often too large to fill. The day you have your procedure, the dentist will probably put a temporary crown over your tooth since a porcelain crown has to be made in a dental lab. They'll make impressions of your tooth to send to the lab so your permanent crown can be made and then put on during a second visit to your dentist.

The Alternative Is To Lose Your Tooth

One of the reasons a root canal is such an essential dental treatment is that it saves your tooth. If you don't get the procedure, the dentist will probably need to pull your tooth to eliminate the pain and infection. Pulling a tooth is usually a last resort since that can have negative consequences on your other teeth. Your other teeth may shift when there's a gap. You can have the gap filled with a dental implant, but your dentist may recommend saving your natural tooth when possible so you can chew properly and your smile isn't affected.