Everything You Need to Know About Your Upcoming Root Canal

Root canals are a standard dental procedure, but unfortunately, root canals have a bad reputation. There are many myths surrounding root canals, including the false notion that they cause pain and illnesses. In reality, a root canal can eliminate the pain of a toothache.

Dr. Kenneth Higgins and our experienced team at IDTC Dental Center in Grand Prairie, Texas, perform root canals to strengthen your affected tooth and treat your tooth’s infection.

If you’re scheduled for an upcoming root canal, here is what you need to know.

What happens during a root canal?

The primary goal of a root canal is to treat an infection. Infections develop if the pulp (i.e., nerves and blood vessels) inside your tooth becomes infected with bacteria. Bacteria can cause an infection after your tooth has been injured or if a cavity is left untreated. Infections can cause intense pain, swelling, and even a fever. You may also find it difficult to chew or speak.

During root canal treatment, Dr. Higgins removes the infected pulp. Once the diseased pulp is removed, the inside of your tooth is cleaned and rinsed with a special wash that kills bacteria. Your now-empty roots are filled with a rubber-like material, and then you receive a temporary filling. 

What to expect at your follow-up appointment

When you return for your follow-up appointment, Dr. Higgins checks to make sure your infection has cleared. Depending on your specific needs, you might receive a crown. A crown is a dental cap that protects and strengthens your tooth. 

Shedding light on root canal myths

According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), the three most common myths are:

  1. Root canals hurt
  2. Root canals cause illnesses
  3. Extractions are better than root canals

The AAE has stated that all three of these myths are, in fact, just myths. Thanks to advanced dental techniques and anesthesia, most people don’t feel any more discomfort than when getting a cavity filled. The local anesthesia might feel like a pinch, but it’s over quickly. The AAE also reports that there are no valid scientific studies linking root canals to illnesses. Any claims to the contrary were based on “research” that has since been debunked. And finally, root canals are preferable to extraction because they allow you to keep your natural tooth. This makes eating and speaking easier, but it also means you won’t have to worry about jaw bone atrophy — something that can happen if your tooth is pulled.

When is a root canal the best option?

Without the right treatment, an infection in your tooth pulp can spread to other places in your mouth (such as your gums) as well as increase your risk of losing your tooth. You might benefit from a root canal if:

In other words, a root canal is the best option when you might lose your tooth or if the infection will spread without it. While you might feel a little tenderness after your procedure, a root canal effectively eliminates the painful symptoms of a tooth infection.

You don’t need to live with a toothache forever. Get the relief you need and call Dr. Higgins at 972-362-2375. Don’t forget: you can also reach us via our online appointment scheduling tool.

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