During root canal therapy, a dentist removes the inflamed or infected pulp of a tooth before filling and sealing it. While this is a common dental procedure, many people find it intimidating because they don’t fully understand what it entails. To provide some clarity on this topic, below are answers to common questions.
4 Common Root Canal Questions
What does a root canal treat?
The procedure is performed when tooth pulp—consisting of tissue, nerves, and blood vessels—becomes inflamed or infected. This might happen for a number of different reasons: deep tooth decay, a crack or break in a tooth or crown, trauma to the face, or even multiple dental procedures on the same tooth. Anything that exposes the pulp from the protective casing of the tooth can cause infection or inflammation.
Why can't I just have the tooth pulled?
Dentists want to preserve original teeth as much as possible. Saving your tooth ensures you have a comfortable bite and can continue eating all the same foods and chewing on all sides of the mouth. It also helps maintain the shape and structure of the mouth and jaw.
Is it painful?
This is likely the biggest misconception about root canal therapy. Popular culture would have you believe that this type of treatment is excruciating, but it isn't. A root canal is no more uncomfortable than any other type of routine dental procedure, like a filling or a crown. Your dentist will use a local anesthetic to temporarily numb the area, so you won't feel anything.
What happens during a root canal?
The dentist removes the affected pulp, then cleans and disinfects the inside of the tooth. They then fill the inside of the tooth with a safe, rubber-like material called gutta-percha, which helps preserve the structure of the tooth. Finally, they fill the tooth or top it with a crown, restoring its full function.
If it’s time for you to undergo root canal therapy, Kaimuki Dental Group is here to answer your questions, walk you through the process, and provide the highest level of dental care. Their team offers the Honolulu, HI, area comprehensive general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry services, from routine exams and dental crowns to teeth whitening and veneers. Call (808) 737-7905 to make an appointment, or visit them online to find out more about their services.