Common reasons for needing a root canal are a cracked tooth, deep cavities, damage to the tooth’s nerve, and trauma such as a being hit in the mouth.
The number one reason a patient will need a root canal is from a cavity on a tooth that has been left untreated. Cavities left untreated will continue to spread deeper and deeper into the tooth and eventually reach the nerve of the tooth. When this happens the tooth can cause considerable pain and possibly become infected. This is why we highly recommend having cavities treated while they are small and furthest away from the nerve.
Some people believe that when a root canal procedure is done the root of the tooth is removed. The fact is that the nerve that lives inside the roots of the tooth is removed and the inside of the tooth is then cleaned, sterilized and sealed while the roots of the tooth remain intact as seen in the photo below.
We are often asked “why not just pull the tooth if it hurts”. As dental professionals we encourage patients to save their teeth whenever possible. While removal of a tooth is certainly an option, once it is removed the teeth on either side of the space can begin to drift causing changes to your bite and/or chewing difficulty. It can also lead to expensive procedures necessary to replace the tooth such as implants or bridges.
The bottom line is that a root canal is a very common, everyday procedure that we do here in our office. At Parkland Pacific Dental we want our patients to be comfortable and informed as possible when it comes to all dental procedures so we encourage you to ask any questions you may have.
I hope that everyone enjoys the beautiful changes in color that fall brings to us and look forward to seeing you soon!