Why is a Root Canal Needed?
A root canal is done when tooth decay penetrates to the center of the tooth and has infected the tooth pulp (Psst…if the dentist diagnoses a cavity don’t procrastinate getting the filling. You need to prevent the decay from spreading so you don’t need a root canal). Left untreated, the infection can spread to the jawbone, adjacent teeth, and even the bloodstream. A root canal may also be needed if a tooth is severely broken.
What Happens During a Root Canal Dental Procedure?
The doctor will numb the area around the infected tooth and isolate the tooth using a plastic barrier called a dental dam. Then he will remove the infected pulp and fill the hole with medication and a special filling material. You will need to get a crown to cover the top of your tooth.
Pros of a Root Canal
- Relieves severe toothache pain related to tooth infection
- Stops the spread of infection to the jawbone, adjacent teeth, and the bloodstream
- The natural tooth is saved
Cons of a Root Canal
- May take more than one visit to complete if the infection severe enough to need a few days of treatment with antibiotics before it can be permanently closed
- Requires a crown to finish the restoration of the tooth.