Do you have a severe cavity? Has your dentist already told you that you'll probably need a root canal? Root canals are often feared, but you may not even know what's involved in getting a root canal. But knowing the answers to questions you may have can help you feel better about the procedure. Some things you may be wondering include:
Can't the dentist simply pull the tooth? This can be an option as well, depending on the state of decay and the location of the tooth. However, a root canal treatment is the best choice when that's available. Losing teeth or having teeth pulled will result in bone loss in the surrounding upper or lower jaw. This bone loss can make you look older or make it difficult to fit artificial teeth to your mouth in the future. A root canal saves the tooth, preventing premature bone decay. The longer you can keep your teeth, the more natural and the younger your face will look.
Won't a root canal make the tooth more sensitive? In actuality, the opposite is true. When your dentist gives you a root canal treatment, he or she will completely clean out the interior of the affected tooth. Any diseased or inflamed pulp and tissue will be removed, leaving only the enamel and dentin behind. The dentin has no nerve endings, so the tooth will no longer be sensitive to heat, cold, or anything else. Once the tooth has been emptied, your dentist will fill the hole with an inert substance before capping it off like he or she would do with any other ordinary cavity. Your tooth will work like new and no longer feel any pain.
Doesn't having the root canal hurt? For most people, a root canal treatment should hurt no more than getting an ordinary filling. Your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area before beginning. Unfortunately, older anesthetics may not have worked well on some people, resulting in root canals having a bad reputation. Modern dentistry has come a long way, even in just the past few decades. Modern anesthetics, as well as modern dental techniques, have resulted in root canals that cause very little, if any, pain. If you're still concerned about a root canal hurting, you may want to look for a dentist who offers a general anesthetic instead of just a local one. When you do that, you'll simply go to sleep and then wake up a little while later with a pain-free tooth.
For more information, contact Apollo Dental Center or a similar location.