While you might not even realize it, your root canal is an incredibly important part of your dental health. Surprised? Yes! “Root Canal” is not the name of a procedure or operation, it’s actually the name of a part of your tooth.
More specifically, your root canal is the tiny passageways located inside of your teeth that lead to a hollow chamber known as the “pulp chamber”. This pathway then proceeds down to the roots of your teeth. Many times “root canal” (the anatomical term) exists hand in hand with the name used to refer to the treatment dentists use when treating a tooth that’s been infected by bacteria that’s reached the pulp chamber and impacted the soft tissue inside the tooth (the pulp).
“Why do I need root canal treatment?”
Sometimes, your tooth can become damaged. This happens because of either injury or lack of proper dental care. When this occurs, the pulp (the inside, soft tissue) becomes infected or inflamed. When the pulp of your tooth becomes affected like this, dental intervention is required. This treatment involves removing the impacted tissue with root canal treatment.
“Is root canal therapy painful?”
One of the most common misconceptions about root canal therapy is that they are painful In fact, due to advances with anesthesia, root canal therapy should be no more painful than a cavity filling. While root canal treatment has a reputation for being painful, it’s actually the pain created by the infection that causes the pain. A root canal is simply designed to alleviate pain.
“What are the Alternatives to Root Canal Treatment?”
Unfortunately, if the pulp of your tooth has become inflamed or infected, there generally aren’t any alternatives. But removing the pulp of your tooth isn’t a negative. In fact, as an adult the tissue inside your tooth actually isn’t necessary. When you’re growing up, it is used to nourish your teeth and help them grow. As an adult, it’s not needed and can be removed without issue.
The only alternative to a root canal is completely replacing the tooth with a prosthetic or implant. However, it is almost always preferable to try and save the affected tooth. This is especially true because root canal procedures are very common and becoming easier and easier. It will be much more inexpensive to provide a root canal rather than a replacement tooth.
Do you have more questions about root canal treatment? Our dentists in Garden Grove are here to help. If you’re a patient, contact us today to learn more. Or, read our blog to get all the answers you need about root canals and more.