Most people would rather do anything than have a root canal. Unfortunately, this procedure receives a bad rap. A root canal is generally performed to clean out an infected tooth and prevent future problems. Usually, patients feel better after root canal therapy.
Knowing the truth about root canals may help you feel less apprehensive if your dentist recommends this procedure.
- A root canal hurts.
Actually, the pain you feel is caused by the swelling and pressure in your tooth. When a tooth sustains severe trauma, the pulp, or soft nerve center, may die. During a root canal, your dentist will remove the damaged tissue, disinfect the tooth, and seal off the inside. Most people only experience mild soreness afterwards, if they feel any discomfort at all.
- Root canal therapy takes many appointments.
Although this timing depends on the severity of the case, most root canals are completed in one to two appointments. Once your dentist finishes the root canal, you will probably need at least one more visit for restoration of the tooth, usually with an inlay, onlay, or crown.
- I only need a root canal if my tooth hurts.
Pain often lets you know you have a problem with a tooth, but if your tooth root dies you may have no symptoms. The dentist can perform tests to determine the health of a tooth, including temperature and percussion testing.
- The root canal won’t last.
Once the tooth is cleaned and sealed, you should have no further problems with the tooth. Sometimes the restoration of the tooth fails, which can causes the tooth to crack or break. This usually occurs if you wait too long to have a crown or adequate filling placed.