Ensuring that you have the function of your natural teeth is an important part of modern dentistry. In almost every case, keeping a patient’s natural tooth in place is the ideal outcome of every visit or procedure. When we come across a particularly infected or damaged tooth, we will do everything we can to save it. Sometimes that means undergoing a procedure commonly referred to as root canal therapy, a procedure that helps to fix teeth that might otherwise need to be extracted and replaced. At The Center for Implant and General Dentistry, we have the experience and knowledge necessary to ensure that your root canal goes smoothly and according to plan.
What is a root canal?
A root canal, also known as root canal therapy, is a dental process that works to salvage an infected or damaged tooth. If you have a particularly infected tooth, for example, it might need to have its pulp and roots removed in order to stop the infection and save the tooth. When that happens, a root canal is performed to clear out the infection and decay. The cavity left behind by clearing out the inside of your tooth is then filled with various materials that are meant to help support your tooth and prevent decay from returning. Root canals are often the last effort available to save damaged teeth.
What is the root canal procedure like?
Hearing the term “root canal” is enough to immediately frighten many patients, however, it is important to understand what is actually done during the process. While many people think it will be a particularly painful one, you should keep in mind that the entire area is numbed – you won’t feel any discomfort at all. Additionally, the process of a root canal is very similar to that of filling a cavity. A root canal is essentially clearing out decay (just as you would a cavity) and then filling the resulting space back up again (just as you would a cavity). Because the processes are so similar, it might help to think of a root canal as a particularly deep cavity filling.
You can expect the area of the tooth in question to be completed numbed before the procedure begins. We will then begin the process, and it shouldn’t be an overly long one. The recovery period for a root canal is about the same as it is for filling a cavity. Note that root canals are done to help relieve pain, not to cause. They clear out the infection so that you can heal.
How successful are root canals?
It is important to keep in mind that a root canal is a last-ditch effort to save a tooth. They are not always successful, however, they procedure has around a 95% success rating. It is a highly successful procedure, in other words, and it is more likely than not to be a success and help you keep your tooth for a lifetime.
For more information about root canals, please give us a call at (903) 231-6605 today!