Most people cringe at the thought of a root canal. The dread associated with this procedure often stems from a lack of understanding about the root canal itself. In most cases, patients usually feel better after root canal therapy.

Your tooth has a hard outer shell, a layer of dentin, and a soft core of nerve cells called the pulp, which supplies nutrients and blood flow to the tooth. If a tooth sustains intense trauma or develops deep decay, the pulp can die. Pressure and infection will then build inside the tooth, and you often experience severe discomfort.

To save the tooth, your dentist will probably suggest root canal therapy. During the procedure, the doctor will remove the diseased tissue, clean out the inside, and seal the tooth to prevent future issues. After a root canal, your dentist will typically place a dental crown to strengthen the tooth and improve function.

Modern anesthesia makes root canal therapy similar to any other dental procedure. Laughing gas and oral sedation allow patients to relax and feel completely peaceful while the dentist works on repairing the damaged tooth. For any mild soreness, patients can take an over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Losing even one tooth can create other oral health issue such as shifting, uneven tooth wear, and other loose teeth. Replacing teeth can take extra time and require a larger financial investment. Most dentists recommend making every effort to save your natural teeth and root canal therapy is generally a good option.