4 Root Canal Therapy Facts

A tooth abscess typically forms when the root of the tooth becomes infected with bacteria. This can lead to severe pain and tooth loss if left untreated. Typically, an infected tooth is treated with root canal therapy to remove the infection. If you believe you have a tooth infection, check out these four facts about root canal therapy.  

1. It Is the Only Alternative to Extraction

Many people still shy away from root canal therapy, but it is a revolutionary procedure that changed the way dentist deal with tooth infections. Unlike other infections, you can't just take some antibiotics for the abscess to go away. If you have an infected tooth, there may be severe damage to the tooth and the pulp may be completely infected. Before root canal treatment become common practice, the only way to treat an infected tooth was to extract it. Even today, extraction and root canal therapy are the only two ways to treat tooth infection.

2. The Treatment Is Not Painful

A tooth abscess can be much more painful than a cavity. This is because the abscess usually resides in the tooth's pulp. The pulp is comprised of blood vessels and nerves. When the abscess puts pressure on these nerves, it can cause extreme discomfort. This has caused many patients to associate pain with root canal therapy. However, during treatment, your tooth is numb, so you shouldn't feel anything. Because the dentist must clean out the pulp and roots completely, you may feel some pain as the dentist reaches the tips of the roots, but more anesthetic can be added.

3. You'll Need a Dental Crown

Root canal therapy is a major procedure on your tooth. The dentist removes all the pulp and replaces it with a special filling. Any tooth that has a big filling is vulnerable to breakage. Dental crowns are placed after root canal treatment and other big fillings to strengthen the tooth by creating a solid surface. This allows the pressure from chewing to be spread evenly throughout the tooth, reducing the risk of fracturing at a vulnerable spot.

4. Some Teeth Need Multiple Treatments

Root canal treatment has a success rate of 92 to 97 percent, so once the tooth is treated and crowned, you likely won't need to give it another thought. However, there are times when the tooth must have multiple treatments. This is usually because part of the pulp was not removed, and it's more common on back teeth with multiple, deep roots. If there is damage to the tooth root at the base, such as a crack, the tooth may need to be extracted if retreatment doesn't work.

Root canal therapy is not a painful treatment. In fact, it is designed to get rid of the infection that is causing you pain. While many people may feel tender after treatment, the pain is typically significantly reduced after treatment. For more information, contact a dental office like Milner Dentistry near you today.