Two dental treatments are synonymous with dentistry: cavity fillings and root canals. Many people compare their least favorite things to this procedure, a root canal is not as scary as it sounds. Let’s go over what to expect during a root canal and how this procedure differs from a regular dental extraction.
What is a Root Canal, and Do I Need One?
Root canals are one of the main ways dentists treat an infected tooth root. Root canals involve removing the infected or inflamed pulp of a tooth and the nerves underneath. By extracting this pulp and sealing off the rest of the tooth, your dentist can eliminate the infection while saving your tooth. As opposed to dental extraction, a root canal prioritizes preserving the existing tooth by purging the source of the infection or inflammation.
You may need a root canal if your dental pulp becomes infected. This can happen due to many factors, including health issues, deep cavities, or abscesses. For example, if your tooth becomes injured, an infection may occur. The same can happen thanks to a deep cavity. This exposes the root of your tooth to bacteria that can, in turn, cause infection. If you experience a toothache, tooth pain, gum swelling, temperature sensitivity, or notice a hole in your tooth, it may be time to see your dentist about a root canal.
Root Canal VS. Extraction
As mentioned above, a root canal focuses on saving the existing tooth, while an extraction removes the tooth entirely. One of the benefits of a root canal is that the remaining hole is sealed up. This means you don’t have to worry about the space left behind by the extracted tooth healing. Another benefit of a root canal is that your original tooth stays in place. This makes it less likely to have jawbone structural loss down the road.
While there are many cases where extraction is needed, especially if the tooth itself is beyond saving, a root canal can help you prevent extraction while preserving your existing natural teeth. In addition, a dental crown will often be applied to help strengthen your remaining tooth.
Does a Root Canal Hurt and What Is the Recovery Time?
If you are thinking, “Do I need a root canal?” but are worried about the pain, it’s worth noting that a root canal is meant to alleviate dental pain. While the procedure can leave you sore afterward due to removing your dental pulp, it should remove the source of the infection. In most cases, having a root canal is less traumatic to your jaw than removing a tooth entirely. On average, the recovery time from a root canal is only a few days, as the tooth may be sensitive after the procedure. Of course, if you experience dental pain longer than a few days after your procedure, contact your dental team.
If you’re interested in getting a root canal or would like to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (347) 472-0318. At Avalon Dental, we work hard to help preserve your natural smile while offering affordable, professional dental care to the Flushing, NY, area. If you’d like to learn more about our practice or have any questions, give us a call today.