Frequently Asked Questions about Endodontic Treatment
Endodontic treatment might sound complicated (and parts of it are) but to keep thing simple, let’s boil it down just a little bit. Endodontic dental treatment at its most basic has to do with the inside of your tooth. Because of this, the endodontist’s area of expertise is a very specific one: the dental pulp.
The dental pulp, found inside the tooth, contains an amalgamation of nerves, tissue, blood vessels, and arterioles. Throughout your youth, as your teeth are growing and becoming stronger, it’s the dental pulp that helps nourish and sustain them. While the dental pulp is less important for adults, it can still become infected or inflamed. This can happen from a combination of poor oral hygiene, genetics, and dental trauma (such as a sports injury).
Ultimately, when the inside of the tooth is infected, injured, or diseased it is the endodontic specialists’ job to get inside the tooth, prevent the infection from going deeper, and ultimately save the tooth from removal. This naturally leads us to the surgical procedure the endodontic specialist performs the most: root canal treatment.
It’s not uncommon for there to be a few commonly asked questions when the topic rests on root canal treatment. Learn their answers below:
“Is root canal treatment painful?”
Contrary to popular opinion, root canal treatment is not painful. Many patients even compare it to getting a simple filling. Root canal treatment with modern tools and advanced local anesthesia is a relatively fast and completely thorough method for eliminating infection inside of a tooth and relieving the pain and sensitivity caused by it.
“Can you help me find an endodontic specialist for root canal treatment nearby?”
If you’re located in the Downey, CA area, our friends at My Downey Family Dentist are happy to answer any and all questions about root canal treatment. If you’re somewhere else in the country, you can use the American Association of Endodontists website to find an endodontic dentist that’s local to you.
“Is there an alternative to root canal treatment?”
The only real alternative to root canal treatment is the removal and replacement of the tooth with a dental implant or bridge. In almost every case, it’s always best to try to save the tooth while it can still be saved. Not only does root canal therapy have a very high success rate, your natural tooth will offer better functionality, better aesthetics, and much higher overall savings in the long-run. This is because your natural tooth can continue to live healthfully for years and years, while an implant will eventually need to be replaced. Typically, there’s no reason to go through the lengthy process of replacing a tooth when the process for a root canal is much less involved.
“How do I avoid the need for future root canal treatment?”
Avoiding the need for root canal treatment is all about protecting your teeth. Through daily oral care that covers every base (from brushing and flossing to gargling and rinsing) and smart choices when it comes to dental protection, you actively shield your teeth from the injury and infection that can cause toothaches and the eventual need for root canal treatment. On top of this, make sure you see your dentist about twice a year, and continue to eat healthy while avoiding excess sugar and acids. By following just these few guidelines, you make sure that your teeth are strong and healthy for years to come.