September 2, 2021
According to the CDC, one in four adults have at least one cavity. Untreated tooth decay can lead to a root canal infection and the need for treatment for the infected tooth pulp. Thought to be incredibly painful, root canal therapy isn’t as scary as it sounds. In fact, if you end up needing one, it may even be a good thing. Learn more about the benefits of root canals for your oral health.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy, also called endodontic therapy, is the only way to remove infected tooth pulp to prevent the infection from spreading to the rest of the body. During treatment, the inflamed pulp is removed, and the inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Then, it’s filled with a rubberlike substance called gutta-percha and sealed back up with a crown or filling.
Signs You Might Need Root Canal Therapy
Though symptoms of root canal issues are not always obvious, there are several indications that you might need root canal treatment. Some of these signs include:
- Discoloration or darkening of the tooth or gums
- Severe tooth pain when chewing or applying pressure
- Swelling or tenderness in surrounding gums
- Prolonged pain or sensitivity when tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures, even after the heat or cold has been removed
- Bumps or pimples, known as a fistula, that appear on the gums
- A chipped or cracked tooth leading to inflammation or tooth infection
- An abscess or hole in the jawbone resulting from bone breaking down around the infection
Benefits of Root Canals
There are many clinical and practical reasons why saving your natural tooth by getting a root canal is a wise choice. Some of the benefits of root canals include:
- By saving the natural tooth, you avoid having a tooth pulled and having to pay for replacement teeth
- Removal of the infected pulp will rid you of the pain you feel when applying pressure to the damaged tooth
- You keep more of your natural smile and maintain the functionality of your bite
- You can continue eating the foods you love
- Limits the need for ongoing dental work
- With proper care, the root canal treatment can last a lifetime
- Treatment is virtually painless, and recovery is generally more comfortable than if you had a tooth extracted
Root canals don’t just save damaged teeth; they also save time, money, and ensure you can keep your smile functioning properly and looking lovely!
About the Author
Dr. John T. Thompson proudly offers high-quality dental care to his Corpus Christi patients in a comfortable, inviting environment. Since earning his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the Baylor College of Dentistry in 1985, he has made sure to stay abreast of advances in the dental health field to ensure he’s offering patients the highest quality care. He maintains memberships in multiple organizations and is the president of several dental groups. For more information about the benefits of root canal therapy and to learn if it’s right for you, visit our website or call us at (361) 248-2127.
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