We say it all the time, but it’s important to see your dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning and examination of your teeth. One of the primary reasons to do this is to avoid a root canal, which has a long reputation of being an unpleasant oral situation. When you don’t see the dentist every six months, you risk cavities turning into decay. If decay goes on without dental help, the decay can cause you to lose a tooth completely, which requires expensive dental work to repair. Or, it can even cause your dentist to recommend a root canal. This is a process that involves trying to save a tooth that’s been badly decayed or damaged, which helps prevent your gums from becoming damaged and infected by the decay inside the tooth.

Why Does a Root Canal Happen?

A root canal happens because the dentist needs to remove the decayed pulp of the tooth. This is located in the center of the tooth, and it’s sometimes called the pulp chamber. It’s a soft area in which the nerve of the tooth resides. Fortunately, the nerve is not important to the overall health and function of your tooth. It’s primary job is to let you know if something is hot or cold, but you have other receptors in your mouth that do the same job. Removing this pulp from the tooth, cleaning the area, and sealing it does not do any damage to your mouth, but it does help you keep infection at bay.

The primary reason for a root canal is to prevent the formation of bacteria in the pulp chamber. Once this occurs, the area is at risk for spreading infection into the gum. It can cause impaction or an abscess. This is a pocket filled with pus that forms in the mouth on the roots. Not only is this painful, it’s also dangerous. It can cause swelling in the mouth, face, and the neck. It can also cause you to lose the bone at the tip of the root, which can affect your dental health.

What to Expect During a Root Canal

While this is a procedure that has a nasty reputation for being quite painful, medical technology has come a long way in the past few decades. This is a procedure your dentist can do using multiple forms of anesthesia depending on the severity of the issue and your personal medical needs. It’s no more painful than replacing a filling, and the recovery time is not long at all. Once the process is complete, you’ll have some pain that is easily handled with over-the-counter painkillers. You might experience some swelling and tenderness in the area, and you'll need to avoid chewing with that side of your mouth until your dentist has a chance to place a permanent filling or crown in the area following the procedure. You can return to your normal day-to-day activities the day after your root canal is complete. Just keep in mind your tooth is fragile until the final filling or crown is in place, and this makes it more susceptible to damage.

Contact Wilson Dental today to schedule a consultation now. If you suspect you need a root canal, our dental professionals can assess the situation and let you now what course of action is needed. Don’t wait any longer, though. Your oral health is important, and you cannot afford to ignore it