Root canals are needed when there is a deep cavity that affects the root of a tooth or when a tooth has become cracked. If it’s your first root canal, there’s a lot to learn. Here are 7 facts about root canals to explain what they are and why you may need one.

1. Root Canals Aren’t Typically Painful

Many people worry that a root canal procedure will be painful, but the truth is that root canals typically help to resolve discomfort and many people don’t experience discomfort during the procedure. In fact, endodontists, or dentists who specialize in root canal treatments are specialists in treating tooth pain.

2. A Root Canal Can Save Your Tooth

Root canals are important procedures so if your dentist recommends one, it’s important to get it done as soon as possible. That’s because the alternative to a root canal is often removal of the tooth, so the purpose of a root canal is to save your natural tooth.

3. You May Need One Even if Your Tooth Doesn’t Hurt

If you were experiencing tooth discomfort that has gone away, you may think that means that the issue is resolved and you don’t need a root canal. This may actually be a sign that you do need a root canal. Often, when the root of a tooth dies, the discomfort goes away, so you should always see a dentist if you have been experiencing discomfort.

4. Your Tooth Will Need a Crown Afterwards

After a root canal procedure, your dentist will need to place a crown over your tooth to protect it from recurring decay or infection. This is because a root canal removes more of the tooth than a regular filling, often requiring the tooth to be reinforced or covered to sufficiently protect the inner layers and structure.

5. A Root Canal Protects the Surrounding Teeth

One of the lesser known facts about root canals is that they are important to protect the teeth surrounding the affected tooth. It can seem more cost effective initially to forgo a root canal and have an infected or damaged tooth removed, but doing so can put the teeth around it at risk of shifting and becoming loose, which can lead to more tooth loss in the future. Choosing a root canal procedure can save not only the affected tooth, but your jaw and other teeth from future problems.

6. Oral Hygiene is Still Important

While it’s true that once you get a root canal procedure done, you don’t have to worry about losing the tooth, it is still very important to practice good oral hygiene so that the surrounding gums and teeth don’t experience infection or decay, resulting in gum disease, cavities or the need for more root canals.

7. Endodontists Complete an Average of 25 Root Canals a Week

Endodontists are sometimes referred to as the superheroes of dentistry because they specialize in saving teeth. While regular dentists perform an average of 2 root canals a week, endodontists have spent extra time studying and training in order to focus on the treatment of the roots of teeth, and typically perform an average of 25 root canals per week. So if you’re looking for more facts about root canals or answers to specific questions about the procedure, it’s a great idea to call to schedule an appointment with an endodontist today.

Call our Lee's Summit dental office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.