A root canal may be performed for a variety of reasons. Often, it is used to relieve the pain of an infected or deeply decayed tooth. However, it may also be performed to treat chronic dental sensitivity. The procedure is endodontic. Thus, it involves the removal of the pulp, which is the soft material in the center of the tooth. The pulp houses the nerves and blood supply of the tooth. As a result, once the material becomes inflamed, it can place undue pressure on the nerves, causing the pain of a toothache.
During a root canal, the dentist uses local anesthesia to numb the tooth and the surrounding soft tissues. Then, they drill a hole in the tooth material to access the inner chambers and canals. Once they have access to the interior of the tooth, they extract the pulp. The extraction of the pulp includes removing the dental nerves. Consequently, the root canal should eliminate the pain associated with the aching tooth. To ensure that the hollowed tooth is well protected and capable of withstanding bite pressure, the dentist fills the tooth's interior and covers the natural crown of the tooth with a dental cap.
Nevertheless, a dentist may allow you to choose between extracting a tooth that has incurred internal damage or undergoing a root canal procedure. Here are a few reasons why a root canal is often the better option.
Continued Jawbone Stimulation
With the root canal, you retain your natural tooth. As a result, when you chew, the pressure from mastication still reaches the bone of your jaw to encourage the production of new bone cells. When the jawbone regularly receives stimulation, it can remain thick and healthy. However, after an extraction, if the tooth is not replaced by a dental implant, the jawbone at the extraction site may shrink.
No Dental Migration
The gap from an extraction leaves enough room for nearby teeth to move from their proper positions. The movement can cause dental misalignment. Once the teeth have assumed a new alignment pattern, they usually need to be adjusted orthodontically to straighten them again. Because your root canal-treated tooth stays in its original place, it can continue to serve as a barrier to prevent other teeth from shifting.
To learn more about the benefits of a root canal procedure, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area, such as Cottonwood Dental.