When you hear about a friend or family member having to go the dentist to undergo a root canal procedure it is usually met with reactions of pain. People hate the thought of it but not many know exactly what it is.
While not everyone will have to get one during their life, some people will eventually have to see a dentist to get a root canal procedure. A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is infected or badly decayed. During the procedure the nerve and pulp are removed the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. If treatment does not occur in a timely fashion the tooth and gums could become infected and an abscess could form.
The infection and decay that necessitates a root canal procedure can be caused by debris being lodged in the area below the tooth. To fix the problem a dentist will drill into the tooth and locate the chamber where the debris is stuck. Once the dentist has identified the debris he or she will remove the nerves from the root canal and then fill them back in to seal the opening. Often times a dentist will fit the tooth with a crown.
While root canal procedures are often described as the most painful dental procedures modern science has made it much less excruciating for the patient. Many dentist today liken the pain to that following a wisdom tooth removal surgery, nothing to scoff at, but not nearly as painful as it was in the past. However, the amount of pain resulting from the procedure depends on the level of inflammation and infection in the root canal. Unfortunately for individuals having to undergo the procedure there are very few options. You can either deal with pain in your day to day life or have the tooth removed entirely.
You can prevent a root canal procedure by maintain proper oral health () and visiting a dentist twice a year.