The mouth is full of bacteria. In the very centre of each tooth, a tube (canal) goes up and down the root. Sometimes, bacteria manage to find a way into this canal, perhaps through a cavity. Once inside the canal, bacteria can grow and multiply in the middle of the tooth. Eventually, bacteria may reach the end of the root and move into the jawbone.
The bacteria growing inside the tooth, and their toxic products in the jawbone, cause pain. Root canals are designed to eliminate these invaders, returning the tooth to good health. During a root canal, the centre of a tooth where these invaders are living is disinfected. A filling, compatible with the human body, is then placed in the canal to prevent bacteria from returning.
Most root canal procedures relieve the pain people are feeling, rather than causing it. The procedure fixes an unhealthy situation. As well, today’s anesthetics prevent pain, while modern techniques provide comfortable procedures that are better than ever before. Endodontists, dentists who specialize in root canals, are educated in techniques to manage pain.
Some videos on the Internet and other web pages imply that getting a root canal done on a tooth will make you seriously ill. This simply is not true. Filling the root of the tooth actually prevents illness. However, if bacteria are allowed to continue to grow in a place where they do not belong, illness may occur. Putting off a necessary root canal has far more potential to cause harm than the procedure itself.
Saving the tooth is a much better option than removing it. Your ability to chew and the appearance of your smile will be affected if the tooth is pulled. The surrounding teeth will change position to try to compensate for the missing tooth. As well, nothing that is man made can quite replace what nature has given. Often, people find their quality of life is reduced with each tooth that is removed. Scientific research confirms that root canal procedures are very highly successful.
Dentists and endodontists know that root canals have a bad reputation. It is our job to let the world know that this procedure can be both safe and comfortable. If you need a root canal, removing infection and bacteria from inside your tooth will return you to health. Today’s modern medications and techniques can prevent pain during the procedure. Dispel the myths and keep your teeth to enjoy a high level of oral health for your whole life.