dentist showing the xray of patient's teeth before doing the dental surgery

Frequently asked questions about root canal treatment

People who suspect they might need root canal treatment sometimes feel a little nervous about what lies ahead. The good news is that a good dentist will have the patient’s comfort as a priority; and is happy to reassure and resolve any concerns before commencing treatment. There are a few questions that most patients have in mind before having a root canal, this article explores them in detail.

Will it hurt?

When an expert professional performs a root canal treatment, it will alleviate pain rather than making it worse. Most of the discomfort experienced by patients who need this kind of treatment is caused by nerve tissue that is in poor condition – and the purpose of a root canal is to remove the offending tissue.

Once this has been done, the canal is then cleaned to rid the area of any infection; and it is sealed. For most patients, the treatment is quick and involves a minimum of discomfort.

How many appointments does root canal treatment involve?

Many patients find that a root canal can be carried out over the course of just one or two appointments. However, this can vary according to the requirements of the specific patient. The dentist will explain how long the treatment will take, and what the patient should expect.

Is it better to remove the tooth or get a dental implant?

Tooth removal is usually a last resort measure, and should only be done if there is no way of saving it. If a person has a missing tooth, even if it is not visible, it can affect the positioning of the remaining teeth – and consequently cause them to appear prematurely aged.

Dental implants can be the answer if it is not possible to repair the tooth. These can be tailor made to create a look that is as natural as possible; allowing the teeth to function normally so that there is no disruption when it comes to eating, talking and smiling. All of this can help to restore the confidence of the patient.

What are the consequences of not getting root canal treatment?

woman in pain from toothache

If the dentist has advised that the patient needs a root canal treatment, this is because the tooth is infected. If the treatment is not performed, or the tooth is not removed, the infection will remain. It is then likely that it will spread, and the result of this can be an abscess. An abscess shows that the initial infection of the tooth has now increased to encompass the jaw bone and the area surrounding it.

If the patient has needed a root canal, but has not had it done and allowed the infection to spread; then the possibility of losing several teeth increases. The untreated infection can also affect the face, other parts of the mouth and, in rare cases, the brain.

Anyone who thinks that they might need root canal treatment should not delay visiting their dentist: it’s vitally important that the infection is removed to prevent potential complications from occurring.

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