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Root canal therapy: When is it necessary?

Among dental procedures performed by Plano dentists, the root canal may be the one most likely to induce apprehension among patients. So, here’s some information about root canals that clarifies when and why they are necessary and dispels any myths that you may have heard.

A core of nerves is contained in the pulp found in the tooth’s interior, and if those nerves are damaged, by a traumatic injury or infection, or exposed, as in the case of a broken tooth, you are likely to experience significant pain. The damage also could ultimately lead to tooth loss. In such cases, your dentist will recommend a root canal to eliminate the pain and preserve the tooth.

In addition to injury, infection, or nerve exposure, you may also need a root canal if your tooth has such extensive decay that it has reached the pulp. A root canal may also be necessary to save a tooth that suffered a traumatic injury years earlier but just recently began to show signs of tooth death.

Some signs that you need a root canal include a persistent toothache, ongoing sensitivity to heat and cold, discoloration or darkening of the tooth and a recurring pimple on the gums.

The procedure itself involves removing the damaged nerve along with other infected tissue from the pulp. After a root canal is performed, the tooth will become more brittle, so you may also need to have a crown placed or undergo some similar restorative procedure to prevent breakage.

Despite the root canal’s negative reputation, you have nothing to fear if you are in need of the procedure. Advances in modern dentistry have drastically reduced the discomfort involved in root canals, and you will have much less pain after the procedure than you did prior to it. Also, in most cases, the dentist can complete the root canal in just one or two sessions.

If you still have concerns about undergoing a root canal, ask your dentist about sedation dentistry, which will not only make you more comfortable during the procedure but eliminate any memory of the root canal.

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