If you are scared of root canal therapy, you are not alone. The whole idea of having tiny needles and dental tools in your mouth can be scary. For the unversed, root canal treatment is typically required to save an infected tooth. When going to a Willowbrook dental office for an appointment, you need to ask your dentist about the procedure. For your help, we have answered some of the most common questions related to root canal therapy.

Is it really necessary to do root canal therapy?

It depends on the extent of the infection. If the infection has reached the pulp of the tooth, root canal therapy is the only viable option other than extraction. The infection can often cause unbearable pain and lead to an abscess.

Does root canal therapy hurt?

No, but you may feel some discomfort. If the infection is severe, your dentist will use local anesthesia first before working on the infected tooth. With advancements in dental science, root canal therapy doesn’t have to be painful.

Will root canal therapy weaken the infected tooth?

Since everything, including the pulp, is removed from the infected tooth, this can impact the function and strength of the tooth. However, your dentist will typically use a dental crown after completing root canal therapy.

What are the different steps?

Here are the typical steps in root canal treatment:

  1. Taking x-rays of the infected tooth.
  2. Using local anesthesia to numb the gums and tooth.
  3. Drilling an access hole into the tooth to access the pulp.
  4. Removing all bacteria, decay, and pulp.
  5. Treating the root canals with medications.
  6. Sealing the tooth with special materials.
  7. Placement of the crown.

How long does root canal treatment take?

It depends. Your dentist may divide the whole treatment into two or more sessions to minimize discomfort. If the entire root canal treatment is done at once, it can take up to two hours.

Are there any risks?

If the root canals are not cleared perfectly, there could be reinfection. However, with a good dentist at work, the common risks associated with root canal treatment can be minimized.

Is root canal treatment better than extraction?

If your dentist can save your natural tooth through root canal treatment, they will prefer that over an extraction. If you go for the latter, you will eventually have to get dentures or implants. Getting dental implants is a far longer and more complicated procedure compared to root canal treatment.

Talk to your dentist today.