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Need A Root Canal? Learn Why It's Needed

It can come as a surprise to find out that your dentist is suggesting you have a root canal. Your first thought will probably be to wonder why you need one. Even though this procedure has a reputation for being difficult, today's dental practices have evolved, and they are far easier on the patient than previously. For some standard reasons, your dentist might have urged you to have a root canal, read on.

Common Root Canal Reasons

In general, regardless of the cause of the problem, root canal procedures are usually the result of bacteria. In some cases, bacteria have invaded a damaged tooth already. In other cases, the dentist can predict that bacteria are very likely to do so if action is not taken soon. When bacteria enter a tooth, it can affect the tooth in several ways. Decay and gum infections are common. How bacteria get in varies, as seen below.

Bacteria Invades Your Teeth Through Openings

It's relatively easy to see how bacteria can wreak havoc when these things happen:

  1. Accidental impacts – sports, car accidents, and simply slipping down can result in a broken or cracked tooth. A root canal can put an end to the pain and allow your dentist to repair your tooth.
  2. Abscesses – When you have an abscess, a pocket of pus can accumulate on your gums. An abscess may or may not feel painful, but you usually notice it regardless. Unfortunately, this type of infection can become serious if you don't take action quickly. You might even feel sick all over and have a fever with an abscess. Seek help from your dentist right away if you have an abscess – this is considered a dental emergency because the infection could become blood borne and make you extremely ill. Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics to deal with the infection and then perform a root canal on the tooth that caused the abscess.
  3. Decay – This is a very common reason for a root canal. If the decay is minor, your dentist can perform a filling after removing the decay. However, some teeth are too damaged by the decay to be filled and more restorative work must be performed. Some patients will need a crown if the tooth is unstable. In most cases, a root canal will be performed before the restorative work to ease your pain.

Once a root canal is performed, you will never experience pain in that tooth again. To learn more about root canals, speak to your dentist.