When Is a Root Canal Needed? Everything You Need to Know

Nov 21, 2018 | Advanced Dental Treatments

“When is a root canal needed?” The question tends to inspire trepidation. Many people dread the prospect without really understanding what the procedure entails.

The fact, however, is that it is a routine treatment that saves millions of teeth each year. Rather than letting the thought inspire dread, you should understand what this straightforward process requires.

What is Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment is a procedure that can save and repair a badly infected tooth. Without treatment, the tissue sounding the affected tooth risks becoming infected, potentially forming painful abscesses.

The phrase “root canal” describes the cavity within the centre of your tooth. The “pulp” is the soft tissue within the canal. The tooth’s nerve is also found within the canal. A root canal treatment, therefore, involves the dentist removing the pulp and nerve from within the tooth.

An entry point is created through the crown of the tooth to accomplish this. He or she then uses special files to clean out the infected tissue. The resulting space is then filled in to keep the canal free of infection.

They must then permanently seal the filling and cap it with a new crown. They may also reinforce the tooth as necessary.

When is a Root Canal Needed?

You may require a root canal when a serious infection is allowed to take root within your tooth. This typically happens when the nerve tissue or the pulp is damaged, causing the tissue to break down. Bacteria are then allowed to freely multiply within the chamber as it does so.

The bacteria and detritus within an affected tooth can lead to infections or abscesses. For this reason, it is critical to see to it that the root canal is thoroughly cleaned and repaired.

What Happens if a Root Canal is Not Performed?

The infections caused in a damaged tooth can have broader implications for your health.

If the infection spreads, it may cause severe swelling, pain, and potentially even bone loss. If left for long enough, you may have to have the affected tooth completely removed.

Is a Root Canal Painful?

A local anaesthetic is applied during a root canal treatment. Therefore, the experience should feel no different to an ordinary filling.

Your tooth may feel sensitive during the first few days after the procedure. However, you can easily manage this through over-the-counter pain medications.

The dentist will usually remove the tooth’s nerve completely during the procedure. However, the nerve of an adult tooth is not important to its function. Its only purpose is to sense heat or cold.

No Reason to be Nervous

Though it is understandable that you might wonder “when is a root canal needed” with apprehension, there is really no need for anxiety.

Our team is proud of our tradition of providing personalised care to our clients. We strive to provide top-tier service in an anxiety-free environment through a mix of compassionate care, in a comfortable, non-surgical setting.

We are also one of the only practices in Ireland to offer gaseous and intravenous sedation, ensuring that our patients can expect comfort and relaxation.

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