When you hear “root canal,” you may envision a scary, painful procedure, which is the way it is often depicted in movies and media. If your dentist recommends that you undergo root canal treatment you may worry, “Is root canal therapy painful?” The answer is no! You should not feel anxiety about undergoing treatment on your root canal, because the treatment is not painful with modern dental practices. Root canal therapy could mean the difference between a healthy tooth and a tooth lost to infection.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
The term root canal refers to an element of your tooth’s structure. Your tooth roots are the portion of your tooth embedded in your gums. They stabilize your tooth. Inside your root is a root canal or root canals, which are hollowed canals filled with dental pulp tissue and nerves. Root canal therapy is the restorative dentistry treatment to clear your root canals of infection so the health of the tooth is restored. During root canal therapy, your dentist removes infected tissue from the root canal, decontaminates the area, shapes the canal, and fills the canal with rubbery material to replace the removed pulp tissue.
Why Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?
The cause of infected root canal tissue is typically untreated tooth decay. When you have a cavity that goes untreated, the decay worsens and spreads throughout the structure of your tooth, eventually extending into your root canals. When the tissue inside your root canals becomes infected, your tooth is at risk. If you leave infected root canals untreated, you are at great risk of needing a tooth extraction to remove your infected tooth. Not only does root canal treatment prevent tooth loss but it also prevents the infection from spreading further into your gum tissue and bone.