Mention “root canal” and you will find people around you cringing from perceived notions of extreme pain and discomfort. The truth is, the way this procedure has been depicted by the popular media is pretty far-fetched and highly distorted. It is actually a very common procedure that dentists regularly prescribe.
Simply put, root canal is a safe and effective treatment that dentists recommend to replace a damaged or infected tooth pulp. The treatment, which does involve a relatively intricate procedure, is designed to save your teeth. Although there are restorative options like dental implants that can replace missing teeth, the root canal option is aimed at saving the affected tooth and restoring it back to its original state – without the use of any teeth prosthetics.
Identifying a Tooth Pulp Damage
The key to a successful root canal treatment is to identify the tooth pulp damage early. There are many causes that can lead to tooth pulp damage. They include anything from root-level tooth decay to a cracked tooth; bruxism to periodontitis; crown failure to bacterial infection.
The clearest symptom that indicates a person’s tooth pulp has been damaged or inflamed is pain. This sharp and spontaneous pain is linked to a pressure build-up caused by inflammation within the pulp cavity. The inflammation may also render the affected tooth highly sensitive to cold and hot drinks that will further acerbate the pain.
Other signs and symptoms include gum or facial swelling, teeth discolouration, or pus around the affected area. In some cases, there are no visible symptoms, and other times, the pain may come and go. Some people may choose to ignore these intermittent signs but the result may be a destroyed tooth that is beyond repair. The affected tooth may even affect neighbouring teeth in a domino-like effect. This is why it is always a good idea to have your teeth regularly checked to investigate if there are any dental issues that you may be otherwise unaware of.
Not only does a root canal treatment save your original tooth, root canal preserves your natural sensations and biting force. Unlike artificial dental prosthesis that may require ongoing dental visits, you do not need to return to the clinic to maintain your root canal work. Neither will it be necessary for you to change your eating or oral hygiene habits, as the “root” of the problem has been solved.