How Root Canals Save Teeth

When you get a sliver in your finger, you quickly try to remove it to alleviate pain and prevent infection in your finger. So, when you have an infected tooth, doesn’t it make sense that to stop the pain and discomfort, you should remove the source of that irritation, as well? While these two scenarios are probably not the same level of pain or potential for future complications, treating the underlying cause of pain is the main idea in either case. 

Here at Life Bloom Dental in Portland, Oregon, keeping your teeth healthy is our top priority. Dr. Daniel Cho is passionate about keeping all his patients’ smiles gleaming and functioning optimally. If you have an infected tooth, a root canal can save the tooth and help you avoid more complex dental work in the future. Discover how this relatively simple procedure can save your teeth and alleviate pain. 

Root canals are nothing to fear

Despite what you may think, root canals are relatively painless dental procedures with big benefits. They save infected teeth from decay and permanent loss. That’s because a root canal removes the inside pulp — the soft inner tissue of the tooth that contains blood vessels and nerve fibers. 

When the pulp becomes damaged or infected, it swells and often causes extreme pain, so you can’t even chew soft food without discomfort or drink hot or cold liquids without sensitivity. 

Since a root canal is a simple dental procedure to remove all the damaged or infected pulp, why would you simply live with the pain? For most people, a root canal is the remedy to their pain, not the cause of it. Yet, the procedure has a stigma that surrounds it, so most of us tend to shy away from getting it done, even when it’s absolutely necessary. 

Root canals save millions of teeth each year

Often as simple as getting a cavity filled, root canals save millions of teeth each year by removing dead and decayed pulp, so you don’t have to lose your entire tooth. Why is this important? Keeping your natural teeth is the best way to maintain your oral health and prevent future, more complex dental work. 

It’s also a way to keep your smile looking beautiful — no gaps or spaces from missing teeth. After removing the pulp from an infected tooth, Dr. Cho cleans and disinfects the root canals. He then fills your tooth with a special material and seals the space to prevent further decay.

If the infection in your tooth was severe and your tooth is weak, Dr. Cho may place a custom-made crown, or cap, over your natural tooth, to further protect and strengthen the tooth. A dental crown closely matches your natural teeth aesthetically and functionally, so you can talk and chew foods with ease. 

Indirectly, root canals can help save nearby teeth. When you keep your natural tooth, including one covered by a crown, it helps prevent the adjacent teeth from shifting out of place or becoming decayed. 

Root canals can prevent systemic health problems

Do you know how closely connected your oral health is to your overall health and wellness? Untreated infections in a damaged or decayed tooth can quickly spread into your gums and through your bloodstream. When you don’t seek treatment for an infected or diseased tooth, an abscess can form near the tooth, causing gum inflammation, pain, and even pus drainage from the abscess. 

If the infection advances, you may experience flu-like symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and fever. A root canal removes the source of infection from your tooth, so it can’t spread throughout your body. After a root canal procedure, Dr. Cho may prescribe antibiotics just to make sure all the infection is out of your system. 

If you think you have an infected tooth, give us a call at 503-343-5495 as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. 

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