Taking the Anxiety out of Root Canal Treatment in Renton, WA
Root canal treatment sounds like an intimidating procedure, but the process is straightforward and the consequences of avoiding the proper treatment are likely to cause far more pain and damage to your oral health. If you have a tooth that’s been bothering you or you simply haven’t visited a dentist in a while, it’s a good idea to get a professional exam that will diagnose problems or, better still, catch issues early to prevent further pain and damage and invasive treatments. Regular checkups for prevention go a long way in protecting your smile!
If you do need a root canal, Smiles@Southcenter has the equipment and training to help make the process as pain-free as possible. To help patients with anxiety about a root canal procedure, here’s more information about the causes and treatments available to you.
Causes of a tooth infection that could require a root canal
Deep inside each of your teeth, there is a bundle of tissue, nerves, and blood vessels called dental pulp. When bacteria invade the inner layers of the tooth for any reason, including injury or lack of regular oral care, the pulp can become infected just like any other soft tissue in your body. Sometimes, the pulp simply dies due to a fracture or a blow to the tooth, and other times, bacteria penetrate through the top layer of white tooth enamel and inner dentin layers into the pulp. Once the pulp in a tooth or several teeth becomes infected, root canal treatment is typically the best solution to remove the infected area, save the rest of your damaged tooth and surrounding teeth, and keep your mouth and smile healthy.
How to handle a tooth infection
Once a patient has an infected tooth or teeth, the dentists at Smiles@Southcenter will try to save the tooth with a root canal treatment, which removes the infected pulp without removing the whole tooth, disinfects the area to kill bacteria, and then fills and seals the tooth. From the outside, your smile won’t change. This is why a root canal treatment is actually a good treatment option rather than something to avoid.
In some cases where the infection is too severe, it may be necessary to remove the tooth, and with it, the entire infection. This isn’t a first-choice treatment for patients, because an extraction is only a short-term solution. Your teeth need each other for support, and missing teeth may cause shifting or increase the risk for decay and gum disease. A dental implant or other restoration is usually required as a follow-up procedure to solve this problem.
Some patients delay treatment of the infected tooth. This is a dangerous choice because an infected tooth will never heal on its own. Instead, the infection will spread down the tooth and into the jawbone, significantly increasing the pain.
As you can see, a root canal is an important procedure to maintain your smile without even more invasive dental work. That’s why we encourage our community members to schedule regular dental exams.