Did the dentist tell you recently that you need a root canal? You might end up feeling terrified of this news. After all, a root canal is something nobody wants to go through unless absolutely necessary. But before you give your thumbs up, it’s best to educate yourself about what a root canal actually is and whether it’s really right for you. Keep reading to learn more about root canals.
A root canal is a dental procedure meant to preserve a dead tooth. Take note that preserving a tooth isn’t similar to saving it. If the dentist tells you that a root canal is the only option, it’s likely that your tooth is already infected and dying, which means it’s too late to save its life.
But why would you want to preserve a dead tooth? The simple reason is that you’d want it to stay in your mouth. You have the option of removing the dead tooth and then replace it with an implant. Actually, many dentists now recommend using dental implants and foregoing root canals altogether.
There are dentists, however, who still offer the option of getting a root canal instead of an implant because it’s a simpler procedure. Even though the tooth is already dead, it still helps you preserve the structure of your jaw so that you can eat food and speak properly.
What’s confusing about root canals is that determining whether you need it or not is a bit subjective. The dentist has a scientific basis when diagnosing your condition, but one may decide that the pulp of the tooth isn’t as diseased as another dentist says so.
For this reason, it’s important to work with a dentist with plenty of experience. Some practitioners, unfortunately, rush through this process, and you might end up getting the right treatment for your tooth. You can always get a second opinion after your dentist tells you that you need a root canal.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have doubts in your mind. Just keep in mind that the longer you wait, the greater the risk of the infection to spread. You might experience swelling, get a foul taste in your mouth, or you might feel numbness. Taking antibiotics will give you some more time to think, but you should still act quickly.
Ask the dentist whether an implant would be a better alternative. The dentist needs to explain to you the likelihood of success of a root canal procedure. There may be inherent bias among dentists. An endodontist would likely recommend a root canal. An oral surgeon, on the other hand, may tell you that an implant would be the best route to take. Again, get a second opinion and ask any questions you have in mind to help you come up with an informed decision.
You’re probably not looking forward to getting a root canal, but sometimes it’s inevitable. Take time to read about the procedure and talk to your dentist regarding all your treatment options.