When patients seek dental treatment, there are a few terms that can create fear more quickly than any others, and two of those words are “root canal.” Many patients are afraid of learning that they require this restorative treatment, without ever even understanding what the procedure entails, or why they are experiencing anxiety about it, in the first place. In many cases, patients have wrong misconceptions about what root canal therapy is, and when and why it is necessary to restore the smile. So, if you have been diagnosed with a dental problem that requires root canal therapy, or are simply ready to move past this irrational fear of the procedure, it can be helpful to learn what a root canal procedure actually entails, and how it can be used to help save a badly damaged tooth!
How Can Root Canal Therapy Help?
In the case of teeth that have become infected, often due to untreated cavities, or damage caused by a trauma, the dentist may recommend root canal therapy, to help save the fragile tooth. This procedure involves carefully removing any portions of the tooth that have become infected, in order to prevent spread of the infection to other parts of the smile, and even the bloodstream, but also to help save as much of the healthy tooth as possible.
In doing so, the dentist can help preserve a tooth, rather than requiring the need for an extraction, followed by prosthetic dentistry.
So, while root canal therapy is more invasive than simpler restorative treatments, such as dental fillings, it is still preferable to requiring an extraction and a dental prosthetic, such as a partial denture, or a pontic (a fake tooth).