Root canal. Medieval torture. Both phrases make even the bravest of us a little queasy, but root canals are actually legal. Our natural response to, "You need a root canal," is, "Do I have to?"
If you have ever considered putting up with an aching tooth forever just to avoid a root canal, this article is for you. Stick around and find out if root canals are necessary or just one of Satan's little amusements. We will also explore root canal procedure options.
A root canal is needed if the pulp deep inside the tooth becomes infected because of an injury or untreated cavity. The infamous pain of a root canal is actually the pain that comes before the procedure takes place. A root canal allows the removal of the damaged part of the tooth (and thus, the pain) while keeping its outer structure. It is also a cheaper, shorter process compared to tooth extraction. Also, most insurance plans cover root canals.
With proper care, the restored tooth can last a lifetime without further work.
With modern methods, a root canal is relatively painless. The first thing the dentist does is numb the tooth with local anesthesia. The rest of the process goes like this:
The best alternative is to make sure that one never needs a root canal. This means taking care of one's teeth and wearing a mouth guard when playing contact sports. If prevention fails, other options are:
Another option is the removal of the entire tooth. After extraction, a dental implant can be put in. It may take more time and money than a root canal, but a dental implant encourages bone and tissue growth. Truthfully speaking, however, an extraction is a more uncomfortable procedure than a root canal.
Ozone gas can be used to irrigate the infected pulp. The gas reaches past the drilled area right into the little tubes that run from the enamel to the pulp. Ozone gas kills the bacteria in the pulp. However, there is no way of preventing future infection.
Calcium hydroxide is also used to irrigate the infected pulp. It kills the bacterial infection and dissolves any dead tissue in the tooth. Because it is toxic, calcium hydroxide is applied carefully with a syringe or small file.
Disinfection of the pulp is not widely considered as a long-term solution because re-infection could always happen. That said, it is the least invasive alternative there is.
Scientific advances in anesthesia and painkillers make a root canal quite painless. If you have a tooth that is infected, the best option is to have a permanent procedure done. Contact one of our dentists to learn more about root canals.
Request an appointment here: https://www.beverlyhillsfamilydentalgroup.com or call Beverly Hills Prestige Dental Group at (310) 286-9655 for an appointment in our Los Angeles office.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Root Canal in Los Angeles, CA.
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