The 411 on dentistry’s most feared treatment
While it is unfounded, our society has spread a dread of root canal therapy. The root canal’s bad reputation is perpetuated in large part by a lack of understanding. Let’s demystify with a few simple answers.
Why is a root canal needed?
When a tooth has a microscopic crack, is broken, or has a large area of decay, infection may reach the pulp chamber inside the root. That inflames the nerve and causes acute pain, sometimes accompanied by facial swelling and tender gums.Root canal therapy saves the tooth, usually avoiding the need for extraction.
How is it done?
Dr. Siegel may prescribe antibiotics for infection and pain medication prior to the procedure. Then your comfort is ensured with thorough numbing. The tooth is opened, damaged tooth structure is removed, the nerve is eliminated, and the canal is sterilized. The opening is sealed, and the tooth is protected from further damage with a porcelain crown.
Does it hurt?
Root canal therapy actually alleviates the pain and pressure of the abscess. The procedure is about like getting a filling – it just takes a little longer.
Most patients are amazed at how quickly their discomfort is relieved and are able to chew on the tooth the next day.