Even if you’re not sure what a root canal is, you may still feel a shiver of dread at the thought of getting one. Root canals get a bad rap, primarily because people who need them are already in pain due to an infection.
But the truth is, the procedure itself shouldn’t cause you pain and is really no different than other procedures, like getting a cavity filled.
You may feel some sensitivity for a few days following the procedure but most people manage this easily with an over the counter painkiller.
Why Get A Root Canal?
If the pulp of your tooth becomes infected or inflamed, a root canal is a good option to save the infected tooth from being extracted. It’s typically considered the most effective and comfortable way of saving a diseased tooth.
If the tooth is not saved and needs to be extracted, a bridge or an implant can be used in its place.
How Successful Are They?
Root canals are typically over 95% successful. Once the dead or damaged pulp is removed and the area cleaned and filled, you will be pain-free. Depending on the position of the tooth and your circumstances, a crown is usually applied over the tooth to strengthen it and prevent cracking, especially if it’s a tooth that takes a lot of wear from chewing.
Sometimes Infection Can Recur
Even the most perfectly done root canal can become infected again, usually because there is dormant bacteria at the end of the root or because infection has spread beyond the tooth and into the bone.
We understand how frustrating this can be for patients, especially when you thought your days of pain were over. While good dental hygiene can help prevent bacteria from reentering the tooth, sometimes you may find you need another treatment.
Another root canal may be an option but in more severe cases a surgical procedure, called an apicoectomy, can be done. This is typically performed by a surgeon and usually has a high success rate. If a good outcome from the apicoectamy isn’t anticipated, it’s often recommended to remove the tooth and replace it with an implant or bridge.
Ask Your Dentist!
If you’re experiencing any pain it’s best to seek advice sooner rather than later. Your dentist will examine you and should be able to advise you of your options, longevity and likelihood of success with any treatment.
If you’re experiencing any pain or if you’ve been through a failed root canal, we’re here to help. Ask us for a consultation so we can advise you of the best options for your circumstances.