Most people shy away from a root canal procedure because it is perceived to be painful. Ignoring an infected tooth will seriously impact your oral health. Don’t let common misconceptions about a root canal procedure prevent you from getting the treatment you need.
What is a root canal?
Root canal or ‘endodontics’ (meaning inside the tooth) is a specialized dental procedure performed by a dentist or endodontist to treat the inner aspect of a tooth. This is the area occupied by the pulp tissue which is commonly referred to as the “nerve” of the tooth. The pulp tissue is not just made up of nerves but blood vessels as well, and together they help your tooth grow and develop. Neglecting any inflammation or infection in this area can cause pain or lead to a dental abscess. A root canal removes infected, injured or dead pulp from your tooth.
Why is a root canal perceived as painful?
A root canal doesn’t have to be agonizing. In fact, many patients don’t realize that much of the pain might be originating from inflammation or infection in the tooth. Removing the inflamed or infected pulp, bacteria and bacterial toxins will relieve the pain. Here’s how the procedure is done.
- The dentist gives you a local anesthetic (freezing).
- An opening is made in the tooth to reach the root canal system and the damaged pulp.
- The pulp is removed with the help of fine dental instruments.
- After the canal has been cleaned, the dentist fills and seals the canal.
- The opening of the tooth is then sealed with either a temporary or permanent filling.
Watch this video to learn more about a root canal procedure and determine whether it is right for you.