5 Facts You Need to Know About Root Canals

So, you’ve been told you need root canal treatment? But the thought of undergoing this procedure may have struck fear in your heart…Don’t panic. It’s not as bad as you think.

Although root canal treatments may not be loved by many, the truth is that there’s nothing to be worried about.

To help you overcome your concerns about root canal treatment, we’ve put together some facts you need to know.

1. Every Tooth Has a Root Canal – Some Have More

Beneath every tooth, there is a root. These anchor down into the jawbone, providing unwavering rigid support,  letting you bite and chew your favourite meals. Within each tooth, there is a pulp chamber. This is home to dental pulp; a combination of nerves, tissue, and blood vessels. These chambers flow down into the root and form the ‘root canals’.

Each tooth has at least one root canal; however, those teeth at the back of your mouth that are used for chewing have four.

2. Untreated Infected Root Canals Can Cause Serious Problems

If the dentin and enamel on the outer layers of your tooth’s crown break down, small holes can let bacteria inside. As the bacteria makes its way further into the tooth, the root canal can become infected. This causes considerable pain and discomfort.

If the infection is allowed to spread further, it will cost you your tooth. If infection and decay progress too far, it will almost certainly mean you’ll need an extraction.

3. The Procedure Isn’t as Painful as People Make Out

Root canal treatment has a reputation for being painful. Of course, the idea of us entering your teeth to extract infected pulp might sound scary; but in reality, the process is very routine and modern dentistry techniques mean we can do it without the discomfort. Throughout the procedure, you’ll be under local anaesthesia, so you’ll barely feel a thing. 

In fact, it’s actually more painful to leave your infected root canal to go untreated.

4. Root Canals Have Been Done Since the 19th Century

Although the root canal treatment wasn’t actually first put into practice until Edwin Maynard used a watch spring to perform the procedure in 1838, the ancient Romans realised the need to drain infected teeth some 2,000 years ago. Back then, they didn’t even know about dental pulp – which wasn’t discovered until 1728.

Since Maynard’s watch-spring efforts, the procedure has developed further. A few years later, gutta-percha was used for the first time. This naturally-occurring latex is used to fill the tooth after a root canal. From 1900, dentists had access to X-rays. This allowed them to see exactly what they needed to remove from the root canal.

As you can see, dentists have had a long time to perfect this technique, and with modern equipment, the procedure is easier than ever.

5. Root Canals Are Quite Straightforward

If you’re worried that your root canal treatment will mean lots of trips to the dentist, fear not. Usually, we can carry out the procedure in just one appointment.

During the procedure, we’ll make a small hole in your tooth, and then start to clear out the infected pulp from inside the root canal. Once we’ve got it all, we’ll pop the gutta-percha inside and close the entry hole with a filling.

We may get you back at a later time to place a crown on top of your tooth to further protect it from future decay and damage.

Root Canal Treatment at Smile More

At Smile More, you’ll get excellent treatment from our endodontist (a root canal specialist). To learn more about how a root canal can help save your teeth, schedule a consultation today.

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