4 Encouraging Facts About Root Canals

4 Encouraging Facts About Root Canals

“I’d rather have a root canal than … ” That’s the first half of a common phrase that countless people have uttered to convey their disinterest in doing something they perceive to be painful or unpleasant. (That comes in the second half of the phrase.)

It’s an expression that implies what many people believe to be true: Root canals are painful and unpleasant, and any other activity — no matter how disagreeable it happens to be — must be preferable to having one. 

Luckily, nothing could be further from the truth. Contrary to widespread misconceptions, root canal therapy doesn’t leave you in agony; in fact, it’s the one treatment that finally puts an end to your persistent tooth pain. 

If you’re nervous about an upcoming root canal, it’s time to put your worries to rest. Here’s what Quang Tran, DDS, and the team at Smiles in Springfield want you to know about this tooth-saving dental solution:

Root canal therapy isn’t miserable

Given that this is one of the most pervasive dental myths of all time, the facts bear repeating: Root canal therapy isn’t a lengthy, painful procedure, and it won’t leave you in discomfort and pain once it’s done. 

On the contrary, root canal therapy is virtually painless, and it typically causes less discomfort during recovery than you would experience if you had your tooth extracted. It should be noted that tooth extraction is the one and only alternative treatment to a root canal. 

Thanks to modern endodontic techniques and effective dental anesthesia, having a root canal is a lot like having a cavity treated with a dental filling. Compared with people who opt to have a tooth extraction, patients who undergo root canal therapy are six times more likely to describe it as painless.

A root canal can save your natural tooth

As the gold-standard treatment for a deep tooth infection, root canal therapy has two main goals: to end your pain and save your natural tooth. Also known as endodontic treatment, this specialized restorative technique addresses decay, infection, and inflammation within a tooth’s soft, pulpy interior. 

Every year in the United States, root canal therapy treats millions of teeth and saves them from having to be pulled. 

There are many practical reasons why saving your natural tooth is the wise choice: It helps you maintain your smile, allows you to continue eating all of the foods you love, and reduces the possibility of needing ongoing dental work. 

With proper dental care, most teeth that have undergone root canal therapy last a lifetime.

A root canal protects adjacent teeth

Most people end up needing a root canal when untreated decay spreads from the enamel layer to the dentin layer. Then it moves into the soft pulpy interior chamber, where it causes infection and inflammation. 

While dental decay can’t spread from one tooth to the next, an untreated dental infection can spread to surrounding tissue, including your gum tissue, jawbone, and adjacent teeth. Getting a timely root canal treatment can prevent this complication and protect your nearby teeth.

That’s not the only protection a root canal offers for adjacent teeth. When your natural tooth remains in its place, it continues to stimulate the underlying jawbone tissue, keeping it healthy. 

Preserving your natural tooth also helps you avoid creating a gap in your smile that can cause nearby teeth to shift out of place, throwing your bite out of alignment. 

Root canal therapy won’t leave you with a weak tooth

After the pulpy inner chamber is cleared of infection and inflammation, the tooth’s hard outer layers (dentin and enamel) can become very dry and brittle. But that doesn’t mean that having a root canal will leave you with a weak tooth — the treatment isn’t complete until you receive a custom restoration.

Following root canal therapy, Dr. Tran caps your tooth with a porcelain crown that’s made to fit your bite and blend in with your other teeth perfectly. Even though your tooth’s inner chamber is filled and sealed, capping it with a crown helps reinforce and protect it against the possibility of recurring decay or infection.

If you’ve got questions about root canal therapy, we have answers. Call 703-634-4239 to book an appointment with Dr. Tran in our Springfield, Virginia, office today.

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