What is a root canal and why do I need one?

One of the most common dental terms is a root canal, yet many people don’t know what it is or why it is recommended. Here are a few things to know.

What is a root canal?
A root canal is a procedure to save an infected tooth in which the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is sealed and cleaned.

Why would you need a root canal?
Root canals can prevent further damage to the tissue and other teeth surrounding an infected tooth.

How do you know if you need one?
Whether or not you need a root canal is up to your dentist. Many times patients will come in complaining of pain. Other times, the dentist notices something abnormal during a regular checkup. Depending on the severity of the situation, there are different types of procedures your dentist might recommend. Not all tooth pain requires a root canal, but the only way to know is with a visit to a dentist.

How painful is a root canal?
As with any dental procedure, the severity of pain varies from person-to-person. Most patients don’t find it any more painful than having a cavity filled.

The easiest way to prevent having to have a root canal is to practice good oral hygiene, which of course includes coming to see us at least every six months. If persistent tooth pain is bothering you or you need to get on our schedule for a check-up, give us a call at 573-243-5200.