The term “root canal” has long inspired fear in many a dental patient, often without a person even understanding why he or she feels anxious. In reality, root canal treatment is actually designed to help protect a tooth from the need for an extraction, which would then require a prosthetic replacement tooth. So even if you have developed an infection, due to an untreated cavity or some other dental problem, it might be possible to save your tooth. Just talk to your dentist about the potential of having root canal treatment performed, in order to restore your oral health while saving your fragile tooth.
Root Canals Are Less Invasive Than Extractions
If detected early, some dental issues, like cavities, can often be treated through minimally invasive restoration, like a simple dental filling. However, the longer a problem persists untreated, the more likely more invasive measures will be needed.
During root canal treatment, the dentist must carefully and thoroughly remove any infected portions of the tooth, in order to prevent further decay or a painful abscess. After removing the infected portions, the dentist will then need to seal the tooth against further erosion or possible reinfection.
This is generally done using a dental crown, which provides a tight seal against food particles and bacteria. The dental crown can also help restore the function of the smile, by bearing the brunt of chewing. If a porcelain crown is chosen, the restoration can even improve the esthetics of the smile as well as its comfort.