So – your dentist told you that you needed a root canal. If your tooth doesn’t even hurt (or even if it does,) you might be wondering if that root canal is really necessary or not. Why can’t you just fill the tooth, put a crown on it, or wait until it actually seems to have something else going on with it? Or better yet – what if you just treat the infection with an antibiotic and let it go away on its own?
Unfortunately, infected tooth nerves don’t heal themselves. While some tooth infections do need pre-treatment with an antibiotic, it only eliminates the initial infection. The open area that allows bacteria to enter into the tooth will simply result in a new infection a few weeks later. However, initially clearing up the area of infection makes it easier for your dentist to perform the root canal procedure.
Unlike fillings or crowns that strengthen or restore the upper portion of your tooth, root canals address the inner nerve chamber. The treatment extends through the nerve canal to the tip of the root, sealing it off and preventing any additional re-infection. If your dentist were to simply cover the upper portion of the tooth, then any recurrent infections would drain through the root tip and create more abscesses. That infection could even spread to adjacent teeth, or in rare circumstances, to your brain.
Having a root canal performed doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Your dentist will ensure that the process goes as easily as possible. Newer types of technology make root canals faster and gentler than ever before. Call your dentist to find out how!
Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
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