When You Need A Root Canal And Why It's A Better Option Than Pulling Your Bad Tooth

If you have an abscessed tooth, there's a chance you'll need to have a root canal to clean out the infection. The first step is to see your dentist to have your tooth evaluated. If your dentist doesn't offer root canal services, you might be referred to an endodontist for treatment. However, it's possible you'll have the work done in your usual dental office. Here's why a root canal is needed and why it's a better option than having your tooth pulled.

When A Root Canal Is Indicated

Not all toothaches require a root canal; however, they are commonly needed if the tooth is abscessed. You can tell the tooth is abscessed if there is swelling in your jaw or gum. You might even have a fever or other sign of infection. An abscessed tooth is something you don't want to delay treating because the infection could always spread. Your dentist may initially give you antibiotics to treat the infection, but the permanent solutions are to have your tooth pulled or to have a root canal to clean out the infection that's below the gum and in the root of your tooth.

Why A Root Canal Is Better Than Pulling The Tooth

If you've heard that root canals are painful and expensive, you may think just pulling the tooth is a better option. The obvious reason you don't want to pull a tooth is because you'll have a gap in your mouth that affects your appearance. Pulling a front tooth is almost out of the question unless you replace it soon with a bridge or implant. A root canal not only preserves the appearance of your smile, it also saves your tooth. The reason this is important is that the root of the tooth keeps the bone in your jaw from slowly shrinking. This, along with the gap, can lead to the shifting of other teeth, which complicates your dental problems.

How Much Pain You Can Expect

Root canals aren't painful because the entire area is numb before the procedure begins. They have a reputation for being painful, but that might be due to the pain associated with the toothache that makes the procedure necessary. You shouldn't put off having a root canal because of stories you've heard about the pain. If you have a dental phobia, your dentist might offer some sedation that helps you relax so you aren't tense during the procedure. Recovery from a root canal is usually quick and uneventful, although if you have the root canal before your toothache is gone and the swelling subsided, it may take days for your jaw to return to normal and the tenderness to go away.

Contact a dental office like Ramtown Dental Associates to learn more.