When you have suffered from a dental infection, you will probably want to ensure that you never experience that level of extreme discomfort ever again. But, if you are like the majority of dental patients, you may wince when you are told that the best way to do this is to have a root canal performed.
Our general dentist Glenside has performed hundreds of root canals and can bear witness to how beneficial they are when restoring a tooth, and can also attest to the longevity and simplicity of this procedure. Especially when compared to a dental extraction!
Have some questions about endodontics? Here, our general dentist Glenside answers common questions that we receive about this procedure from our patients.
Does a root canal kill the tooth?
This is a bit of a difficult question to answer, which our general dentist Glenside receives a lot relating to endodontics. No, the tooth will not die in the way that many people envision, such as it turning black and crumbling away. However, depending on the extent of a potential infection, we may need to remove a great deal of the pulp of the tooth, which may render it dead. We will restore the tooth using gutta-percha on the inside and outside, we will top it with either a filling or a crown to ensure that the infection does not reoccur.
Is the procedure uncomfortable?
In a word, no, having a root canal fitted is not uncomfortable. But we can understand why many people think that it is! Because it is usually linked to having a dental abscess treated. Our team will ensure that before we begin any procedures relating to restoration, your mouth is numbed with a local anaesthetic. Or, if you are a nervous patient, we may offer you sedation. Once you have had the root canal fitted, the area will feel slightly tender for a few days, which is to be expected. Any discomfort that you have had should be minimised post-procedure.
Will the tooth need to be extracted later in life?
No, we will perform the root canal to the highest standard possible to ensure that the tooth will remain in your mouth for the rest of your life. However, if your tooth succumbs to decay due to poor diet or lack of dental hygiene or check-ups, then it may need to be extracted. But this will not be the result of the root canal, which is designed to strengthen the tooth and preserve its longevity.
How long do root canals last?
With correct aftercare and regular dental check-ups with our team, your root canal should easily last the rest of your life without issue. And certainly without the abscess coming back.
Isn’t an extraction better?
In dentistry, we will generally try to avoid extracting teeth if there are other options that we can provide. When it comes to root canals, they offer more benefits than an extraction. This is because, with an extraction, the surrounding teeth may move out of alignment as the gum shrinks. If the tooth is located at the front of your mouth, you may not want to have it removed, as it will impact the appearance of your smile.
All treatments carry risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.