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3 Reasons Why a Root Canal Might Be Needed
When you hear people talking about a root canal, you may be like a lot of dental patients and feel anxiety or fear. This procedure is one of the most common treatments, but one that people feel nervous about. Root canals can help relieve pain and serious dental conditions. It is important to understand when this should occur and how you can prepare yourself.
The root canal: an overview
In this restorative treatment, a general dentist begins by numbing the patient to help them feel comfortable. After drilling into the tooth, the dentist removes an infected pulp at the root. The dentist cleans out the canal to ensure there is no bacteria or debris left behind. Like with a cavity, the dentist will fill the hole and seal it. In most cases, a crown will be placed over the tooth to protect it.
The cavity is large
It is not common for people to get cavities. These are holes in the teeth that form due to tooth decay, usually because of poor brushing and flossing habits. Dentists can take care of many cavities by cleaning out the holes and filling them. However, if the cavity is so large that a filling would not support the tooth, a root canal is the right step to take.
The cavity is deep within the tooth
Dentists use fillings to repair cavities on the surface of the tooth. More serious cavities, however, can reach down to the root of the tooth. This poses more risks for the patient developing an infection or suffering more damage to the tooth. A root canal is necessary in this case. Removing the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels, will save the tooth and help to prevent other conditions from occurring.
The patient has an abscessed tooth
Cavities are a cause for concern, but there are even more severe conditions that a person could encounter. An abscess develops when there is an infection within the tooth. Untreated, the infection can cause tooth loss and may even spread throughout the mouth. This will cause intense pain and swelling. The infection eventually could reach into the neck, face, and into other parts of the body. The results could be fatal without proper intervention.
The most effective way to treat an abscess is with a root canal. The dentist will remove the pulp and disinfect the affected area. A proper seal will prevent bacteria from getting into the tooth again. A crown will further stabilize it.
No need to fear
Some patients may know that they need a root canal but resist this procedure. You do not have to put this off. The good news is that your dentist will have the knowledge and training to clean out and repair your tooth. This process can effectively restore your oral health and ease your pain and discomfort. If you have a severe toothache, call your general dentist today. Your dentist will examine you and take X-rays to determine whether this treatment is essential.
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