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Not Getting a Root Canal Could Kill You!

Feb 05, 2016

Do you get the chills when dentists talk about the possibility of a root canal? If you have worries about the pain the procedure can induce, you are not alone. The general population has many misconceptions about this simple, painless, and potentially life-saving procedure. In fact, root canals relieve pain rather than being the cause of it.

Why Get a Root Canal?

Inside the roots of your teeth, there are several empty canals that allow nerves to pass through to the middle of your tooth. Due to tooth decay, inflammation, or infection, the canal becomes filled with debris and its pulp is filled with bacteria. When this happens, there is excruciating pain and swelling around the jaw and neck if it’s left untreated. If a root canal is not performed, the infection could easily spread to your brain and potentially kill you!

What is the process?

Deep in the roots of your teeth there are river-like chambers that branch into tinier canals to house your nerves, natural tissue, and pulp. This pulp tissue becomes inflamed when there is an infection. To put it simply, the pulp chamber provides a perfect habitat for bacteria to multiply and eventually fills the chamber with a pus-filled gunk called an abscess. If left untreated, it damages your nerve and tooth permanently.

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First, your doctor applies local anesthetic to avoid any pain or discomfort. Now a hole is drilled into your crown (top part of your tooth) so the canals can be reached. Once there is a clear route to the pus-filled canals, the dentist then uses special root canal files to file away the remains and completely scrub the area clean. Distilled water is used to wash away debris during the procedure. Depending on the severity of the infection, a filling may be placed on the same day to seal up the tooth and canals. Otherwise, a medicine or a temporary filling is placed before placing the permanent fixture. The filling is made of a special formula that lasts a lifetime!

How effective is it?

The procedure of root canal has a 95% success rate and is a painless procedure. If you do not want permanent tooth and nerve damage then root canal is the only option. If root canal is delayed, resulting in permanent tooth damage, then a dental implant can serve as a replacement. However, the preventative procedure of a root canal is far more cost effective than a total dental implant.