The Purpose of a Root Canal

Root canals are standard dental procedures. However, the mere mention of a root canal is enough to cause fear or discomfort in many patients. While it is an invasive procedure, root canals are no different from any other routine dental procedure. In fact, dentists perform millions of root canals every year with a success rate of over 95%. 

If your dentist has recommended a root canal, you are probably experiencing some pain. A root canal will relieve that pain. So, if you have to have a root canal, try not to worry. Your dentist will ensure that you are comfortable and safe throughout your procedure. Because of local anesthesia, you won’t be able to feel anything while your dentist is working. Hopefully, knowing that you won’t experience any pain will help minimize your anxiety about the process. If not, perhaps learning more about the procedure will help. 

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What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a procedure that is meant to get rid of the infection within your tooth. Beneath the protective layer of enamel lies the dentin and pulp. The pulp houses the nerves and blood vessels in your tooth. It is the portion of the tooth that is “living.” When you need a root canal, it is because the pulp is infected. During a root canal, your dentist will remove the infected portion and seal the tooth to prevent reinfection. 

You can think of a root canal much like a filling for a cavity. When you have a cavity, your dentist has to drill into the tooth and remove the decayed parts. Once the decay is gone, they will clean the tooth and seal it with a filling. The filling keeps the tooth from further decay or infection. A root canal is very similar. Your dentist will drill into your tooth and remove the infected pulp. 

Next, your dentist will clean and disinfect your tooth, preventing further infection. Finally, you will receive a filling or a crown to seal your tooth. Also, like a filling, you should be back to your routine shortly after your procedure. While you may experience some mild pain or soreness, you shouldn’t feel any extreme pain after a root canal. The root canal should relieve most of the pain you were previously feeling. You should contact your dentist immediately if you continue to feel severe pain. It may be a sign of a more serious problem. 

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

The primary function of a root canal is to eliminate the infection within your tooth. However, dentists utilize root canals as a way to save as much of your natural tooth as possible. If they can help it, dentists will avoid pulling or extracting teeth if they can. This is why root canals are vital. It allows you to keep your natural tooth structure without losing a tooth. In the process, a root canal will reduce the pain you feel from the infected tooth. Infections can be dangerous if left untreated. Some side effects can even be deadly.