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Root Canal Treatments: Your Questions Answered

29 / 06 / 2023

Dental pain is difficult to ignore. It can affect your ability to eat, speak, and sleep. In short, a toothache can make your life miserable. Before you reach for more painkillers in the hope that it goes away, it’s essential to rule out a potentially-harmful dental infection. 

If the inside of your tooth has become infected, you’ll need a root canal treatment. Although that’s not the news you want to hear, the fact is that root canal treatments are both straightforward and effective. 

At GM Dental, we’re here to support you throughout your treatment to ensure you have the best experience. 

To help you understand what you can expect, here are the answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions about root canal treatments. 

What Causes Root Canal Infections?

Root canal infections occur when bacteria enter the tooth through a chip, crack, or cavity. This type of infection can often follow untreated tooth decay. 

Once bacteria enter the tooth, it eventually reaches the living tissue at the core. Known as the dental pulp, the living core of the tooth contains nerve endings, connective tissue, and other cells. The dental pulp extends down into the root canals of the tooth. 

When the dental pulp is infected, it becomes inflamed. This inflammation puts pressure on the nerve endings, resulting in severe dental discomfort.

What Are the Symptoms of a Root Canal Infection?

There are a few key warning signs to look out for that indicate the presence of infection. These include sensitivity and pain in and around the affected tooth. You may find eating and drinking hot or cold foods and beverages uncomfortable, and chewing may cause pain. 

As the infection progresses, a tooth will become darker in colour, pus can form, you could develop bad breath, and you may feel pain in the gums. 

What Happens If I Don’t Get a Root Canal Treatment?

A dental infection will never pass on its own, so it’s vital that you don’t ignore the symptoms. You may notice that the pain and discomfort subside for a while. This is not a sign that the infection has gone; it means your tooth is dying. The infection will spread. 

After destroying one tooth, infection will move onto other areas of your mouth, including neighbouring teeth, gums, and the jaw. If the infection enters your bloodstream, it will spread to organs like your heart, causing severe health problems. 

Is Extraction Easier than a Root Canal Treatment?

If you’re apprehensive about receiving a root canal treatment, you may think extraction is an easier option. We will only remove a tooth if it’s clinically necessary. 

Extractions leave gaps in your smile, making biting and chewing difficult, increasing the risk of tooth decay, and opening you up to the possibility of dental drift, which could cause your teeth to move and become misaligned. 

What Happens During a Root Canal Treatment?

Although the thought of a root canal treatment may strike fear into your heart, its reputation is unfounded. Modern dental tools and techniques make this routine procedure more straightforward than ever. 

During the root canal procedure, the treatment area is numbed to reduce discomfort. Once the anaesthetic is working, we’ll carefully remove all the infected matter inside your tooth before skillfully sterilising it, leaving it infection-free. 

After removing the infection, we use a natural latex-like material to plug the inside of your tooth before restoring the exterior of the tooth with a filling. We often recommend placing a crown later to strengthen the tooth and prevent further infection. 

Once the treatment is complete, you may experience some sensitivity, but all of the pain caused by the infection will have gone. 

Root Canal Treatments at GM Dental

We want you to feel at ease throughout your root canal treatment. Our friendly and supportive team can help you relax, even if you’re nervous or anxious. In addition to providing reassurance, we also offer sedation to reduce anxiety. 

Call us today if you’re experiencing a toothache and arrange an appointment. 

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