When I mention the word root canal to a patient, they cringe and sort of move downwards in the dental chair. It’s easy to understand this, but let me tell you something…it’s just a word.
Many people think a root canal is a painful procedure. However it can be done with the patient experiencing little or no discomfort.
The root of the tooth is the part that is underneath the gum line and which anchors the tooth in the jaw. The ‘root canal’ is a channel which runs from the central nerve of the tooth to the end of each root. This channel contains the nerves and blood supply which brings nutrients to the tooth. An injury to the tooth or a large amount of decay can cause damage to these nerves and blood vessels, causing them to become infected and die. Root canal therapy is then necessary to save the tooth.
Treatment may require more than one office visit. The infected tissue is removed from the canals through a small opening in the top of the tooth. The canal ‘system’ is cleaned with special files and disinfectant to get rid of the bacteria. The root canal is then filled with a rubber-like material. The goal of the treatment is to plug up the hole at the end of the root, much like a cork plugs up a bottle.
Many people think that if you remove the nerve, there won’t be a root anymore and their tooth will fall out. But, even though the tooth no longer has a nerve in it, the actual roots of the teeth are still present and it is the roots that anchor the tooth in the jaw. So we remove the material in the roots, but not the actual roots themselves.
My Advice: If you’re going to have a root canal, don’t tell anyone. Most people will have something negative to say which will just make you more nervous. Just follow through with the procedure and you’ll see that it’ll most probably be uneventful.
In most situations, if the tooth is salvageable it is better to try to save it, rather than have it taken out!
Got questions about root canal? Get in touch with us…we can help.
About Dr. Axelrad
One of Brampton’s most recommended dentists, Dr. Robert Axelrad has owned and managed his own dental practice since 1997. Affectionately known by his patients as Brampton’s Gentle Dentist, he moved his practice to its current, state-of-the-art dental office in Brampton, Ontario in 2002 to accommodate his growing list of happy patients.