2 Jane Street, Suite 505
Toronto, ON. M6S 4W3
For many of our Toronto patients, hearing the words “root canal” inspires a wave of panic. Online misinformation has, unfortunately, given this simple and vital dental procedure a bad reputation. The truth is that there is no reason to fear a root canal!
Root canals are an incredible treatment option that effectively combats infection without the need for a tooth extraction. Essentially, a root canal puts an end to your pain, stops the spread of infection, and saves your tooth. Plus, the procedure itself is painless.
To help alleviate any nervousness surrounding your upcoming root canal procedure, we have compiled this list of important (and reassuring) facts.
1. Root canals eliminate pain, not cause it
Root canals have a bad reputation for being extremely painful. However, this is simply not the case. A root canal treatment actually marks the end of your pain and discomfort.
If you need a root canal, it’s because there is a very serious and painful infection inside your tooth. Removing the infected pulp is the only way to stop your discomfort. It is far more painful to leave your infected tooth untreated than have a root canal.
Thanks to modern dentistry techniques, your root canal treatment should be a painless procedure. Your endodontist at Bloor West Smiles will give you a local anaesthetic to numb the affected area, so you’ll barely feel a thing.
2. Getting a root canal can save your tooth
The goal of a root canal is to treat the infection while preserving your tooth. There is no true replacement for a natural tooth, so it is always preferable to have a root canal rather than pulling out a tooth. Your dentist will only recommend a tooth extraction as a last resort.
With proper care, a tooth that has undergone a root canal will last for the rest of your life. It will look and function like the rest of your teeth.
3. Root canals are an entirely safe procedure
Root canals are very common and safe procedures. Although they may sound intimidating, they are actually straightforward and minimally invasive. Your dentist at Bloor West Smiles in Toronto completes dozens of root canals every month.
4. Having a toothache does not automatically mean you need a root canal
Toothaches are uncomfortable and, often, a bit scary! Imagining the worst-case scenario is understandable. However, having a toothache does not automatically mean you need a root canal (or an extraction).
Your pain could be caused by a cavity, a crack in your tooth, gum disease, or even sinus pressure. As a result, you should contact your dentist immediately if you begin experiencing pain in one of your teeth. Pain indicates that something is wrong, and it must be treated promptly.
5. However, you may still need a root canal even if your tooth doesn’t hurt
An infection in the pulp of your tooth can only be treated with a root canal; it does not go away on its own. Therefore, subsiding pain from a toothache does not mean that the issue is resolved. It actually indicates that the infection has worsened and killed the nerves within the root of your tooth.
When the root of a tooth dies, the discomfort often goes away. If this is the case, you will need an immediate root canal to keep the infection from spreading.
6. Antibiotics do not cure tooth infections
Antibiotics cannot treat an infection within the tooth. This is because antibiotic medicine cannot effectively reach the tooth’s pulp through the bloodstream. The only way to remove the infection is with a root canal.
7. Getting a root canal prevents the spread of infection
Untreated infected root canals can cause serious problems. The longer the infection festers, the greater the likelihood that you will require a tooth extraction.
If the infection is not removed, it can spread into your gums, surrounding teeth, jaw bone, and bloodstream. Furthermore, the bacteria can form a dental abscess, which is a serious and dangerous pocket of infection. Abscesses are extremely painful and can destroy your gums and jaw bone.
Getting a root canal (and getting one quickly) is the only way to prevent the spreading and worsening of the infection.
8. A root canal protects the surrounding teeth
Root canals protect the surrounding teeth, thus preserving the function (and appearance) of your mouth.
If you forgo a root canal and do nothing, the infection can spread to the surrounding teeth and gums. You may end up needing multiple tooth extractions instead of one root canal. Having multiple teeth removed is more invasive and has a longer recovery time.
Alternatively, opting to have the infected tooth pulled out instead of treated with a root canal can lead to future oral health issues. Tooth loss can cause the surrounding teeth to shift and become loose. This can make it harder to talk and chew, and potentially lead to additional tooth loss.
9. Your tooth will need a crown afterwards
After your root canal procedure, a permanent filling or crown is used to restore the look and function of the tooth. The filling or crown reinforces the tooth and protects the inner layers and structure. Additionally, it helps prevent recurring decay or infection.
10. There is a healing period after your root canal
Root canals are a straightforward and painless procedure. Nonetheless, there is still a healing period that can last for several weeks. During this time, it’s normal to feel some discomfort, soreness, and sensitivity. If you feel severe pressure or pain for more than a few days, however, you should contact your dentist at Bloor West Smiles.
It’s crucial that you follow the root canal aftercare program laid out by your dentist. This is vital for a speedy and successful recovery.
11. Oral hygiene is crucial
Getting a root canal procedure has saved your tooth from extraction and restored your oral health. Now, it’s up to you to keep your mouth healthy. By brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting Bloor West Smiles for regular checkups, you can prevent future cavities, decay, and infection. Remember, good oral hygiene is just as important after your root canal as it was before.
Bloor West Smiles: Toronto’s Root Canal Experts
At Bloor West Smiles in Toronto, we are committed to making your root canal experience as comfortable as possible. Although these procedures can feel intimidating, they are perfectly safe and extremely common. Dr. Kostirko has performed thousands of root canals over his more than 25 years of practice.
If you’re still feeling uneasy, our knowledgeable and friendly team of dentistry professionals is available to answer any questions you may have.