Tooth decay and injuries can happen even if you’re diligent about brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits. If you have an infection or disease that affects even just one tooth, don’t just resolve yourself to having it pulled. In many cases, endodontic treatment – or a root canal – can save it.
Natural teeth, even those that have undergone a root canal, preserve your smile. A root canal preserves your current function, especially when it comes to chewing and speaking. Plus, it keeps your teeth in alignment. You don’t have to worry about jawbone degeneration or teeth slipping into the open spot left by a missing tooth.
You might plan to replace a missing tooth with dentures – but these removable appliances require extra care and expense. Plus, they don’t preserve your bone health the way your natural teeth do. You can opt for an implant if you’re missing a tooth, but the process of surgery is extensive and, although a good replication of a natural tooth, just isn’t quite the same as having your own.
A root canal, if possible for your condition, is the best way to save your tooth. Read on to learn why it’s the procedure we recommend to patients in Levelland, Lamesa, and Big Spring, Texas. Contact South Plains Rural Health Services if you think you might need a root canal.
Who needs a root canal?
When the pulp inside your tooth is infected or damaged, you benefit from a root canal. This pulp contains nerves and blood vessels, but isn’t essential to the tooth’s integrity. The pulp is simply responsible for transmitting information about temperature (hot or cold), but plenty of other structures in your mouth do that. The pulp can be removed without damaging the tooth itself.
Signs of infected pulp inside the tooth include pain when chewing, swelling in nearby gums, prolonged sensitivity to very hot or very cold foods, darkening of the affected tooth, or a recurring pimple on the gum.
What happens during a root canal?
During a root canal procedure, your dentist accesses the pulp of your tooth and cleans out the infection. This pulp is then replaced with a biocompatible gum-like compound called gutta percha and the tooth is sealed. The dentists place a crown over the tooth that’s been repaired with a root canal to help preserve its integrity.
Isn’t it easier to just pull the tooth?
You may have heard that a root canal hurts a lot. Actually, the root canal isn’t the painful part – it’s the infection in your tooth that’s causing the pain. Recovery from a root canal is usually less painful than the process of extraction. Plus, replacing a pulled tooth with an artificial one requires multiple dental visits and added cost.
A root canal helps you maintain your natural smile. You care for it just like your regular teeth, so no special cleaning is required. Plus, with a root canal, you can still eat all the foods you love and don’t have to come in for repeated dental work. A root canal can last a lifetime with proper hygiene.
If you have pain in your teeth, don’t suffer. The infection can progress and infiltrate other teeth or make it so a tooth can’t be saved. At South Plains Rural Health Services, we offer dental services to evaluate your teeth and provide a root canal to save them, if appropriate. Call today or book online.