It is one of the most dreaded of all dental procedures even though it has been around for 100 years, restoring the aesthetics of a damaged tooth and removing discomfort. Of course, the procedure in question is a root canal.
If you need to have a root canal performed, you may have some questions that you may be too nervous to ask your dentist. So, in the following article, 5 FAQs about root canals or endodontics are answered so that you can learn more about this procedure.
What are root canals?
Any dental Coorparoo will tell you a root canal is a procedure, during which your dentist will drill down into the roots of your tooth and remove the source of an infection, which is usually infected pulp or other nerve endings. This will preserve the tooth, and once the canal is filled with gutta-percha and topped with a filling or crown, you will be able to use the tooth as you did before the dental infection.
Do they hurt?
There is a myth that having a root canal performed will be uncomfortable. However, this is not the case, as your dentist will ensure that the area is numbed with a local anaesthetic, or you may be offered sedation options if you are a nervous patient. Many dental teams believe they know the origin of this myth, and it is to do with the discomfort that the patient is in when they have a root canal performed. Once the root canal is completed, there should be no lingering discomfort, although the area may feel slightly tender for a few days.
Will my tooth turn black?
No, when you have had a root canal performed, the tooth that it was performed on will not turn black or even grey. Though, as the years go by, the tooth may stay a slightly darker shade of white compared to the rest of the teeth, but this is largely unnoticeable for many patients.
Although the tooth that the root canal is performed on is dead, this does not cause discolouration of the tooth and is one of the key reasons why many dentists prefer using root canals rather than extractions, as it preserves the aesthetic of the tooth.
Do they cause headaches?
No, a root canal will not cause a headache, and there is extensive research to highlight this. If you do begin suffering headaches after you have had a root canal, it may be due to a nerve being damaged when the treatment was performed, so you should seek advice from your dentist as soon as possible on how to resolve this issue.
Will they last a long time?
Unlike fillings or crowns, which are made to be used on the surface of the tooth, a root canal is underneath the gum line. So, unless you experience extensive trauma to your face or jaw, it is likely that the results of the root canal will last for the rest of your life without issue.
If the procedure has been performed incorrectly, however, you may notice that the sensation of an abscess may return. If this is the case, you need to see your dental team as soon as possible to have the roots x-rayed and a treatment plan put into place.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.