Reasons Why You Shouldn't Fear a Root Canal

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Through damage or disease, the soft tissue in the canal of a tooth root may become infected or at risk. Without treatment, you’re in danger of losing the tooth. However, root canal therapy can often save that tooth. There’s no substitute that matches the strength and versatility of a natural tooth, so saving a tooth is usually a better alternative than extraction. 

Over the years, root canal procedures gained a reputation for being a difficult and painful treatment. This is ancient history, since the anesthetics that keep treatments like cavity fillings painless work just as well on root canals. 

Visit the root canal specialists at Volterra Dental in Los Alamitos, California, to learn more about why a root canal may be your best option. Understanding the root canal process and what to expect can take much of the fear out of your anticipation.  

Reasons you shouldn’t fear a root canal

While dentures and bridges have long been available and dental implants gain in popularity, the best outcome is preventing tooth loss in the first place. A root canal can save a natural tooth when the soft inner pulp of a tooth is infected or injured. Adult teeth can survive without the pulp.

Common causes of compromised pulp include: 

  • Deep decay
  • More than one previous procedure on a single tooth
  • Traumatic injury
  • Chips or cracks in a tooth

When damage isn’t obvious, you may be first aware of problems with the tooth through symptoms of infection, which include swelling, pain, and a warm feeling at the base of the affected tooth. Treating the tooth by removing the pulp and filling the space in the root canal can leave you with a viable tooth. Advantages for saving the tooth include: 

Your tooth looks natural

While artificial crowns can approach the appearance of natural teeth, porcelain may not match over time as your natural teeth age. Thinning enamel can make natural teeth slightly more yellow. Stains from things like coffee, red wine, and berries affect artificial crowns differently than natural tooth enamel. Saving a tooth through a root canal preserves the natural look of your smile.  

Biting and chewing

Teeth work together as a system to bite and chew food. Preserving a tooth with a root canal also preserves the normal feeling of eating. Your teeth continue to function normally. There are no adjustments to spaces left by missing teeth and no time spent getting used to bridges or other replacement systems. With the natural tooth in place, the interaction between root and gum stays intact, preventing the loss of jawbone mass. 

Protection for other teeth

An extracted tooth leaves room for adjacent teeth to shift, interfering with the alignment of upper and lower teeth. This may result in unexpected wear from a change to biting surfaces. Bridge replacement of a tooth crown requires metal frameworks that fasten around other teeth. This transfers the normal strains from eating to other teeth, and the contact with the bridge framework can erode tooth enamel. Dental implants provide a better option, but these may be much less affordable than a root canal. 

Root canal therapy is pain-free and it provides the best outcome — saving a natural tooth. Book a visit to Volterra Dental to consult with our team about your root canal. If you can’t conquer your fear, we also offer sedation dentistry services. Call or click to schedule your appointment today.