If the prospect of a root canal procedure has you running for the hills, you may want to consider reading over this list of frequently asked questions before you end up cowering in a corner:
- What is root canal therapy? Root canal treatment is performed when decay or trauma has damaged a tooth causing it to die. A dentist or endodontist performs a procedure to remove the diseased or damaged pulp from the tooth and then refills the tooth cavity.
- Is root canal therapy painful? In reality, root canal treatment is intended to relieve pain, not cause it. Because the procedures are very similar, you should experience no more discomfort than having a cavity filled.
- What happens after root canal therapy? Your tooth may be slightly sensitive for a few days, but over-the-counter pain relievers are usually sufficient to relieve any pain you may experience. In order for your tooth to return to full functionality, a crown or other restoration will need to be placed after the root canal therapy is performed.
- What if I opt not to choose root canal therapy? Untreated damage or infection in your tooth can travel through the roots and lead to an abscess or larger infection.
- Is there an alternative to root canal therapy? You could relieve the pain and infection by having your tooth removed. However, this can cause problems such as bone loss, migration of teeth, and bite problems.
In the case of a severely damaged or decayed tooth, the ideal solution is to save your natural tooth through root canal therapy and restoration. Contrary to popular belief, a root canal procedure is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed in a cavity, and can have enormous benefits to your long-term oral health. Consult with your dental professional to get answers to any other questions or concerns you may have regarding root canal therapy so you can alleviate your fears and return to your healthy smile.
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