Root canal. That phrase alone is enough to send shivers down anyone's spine. An estimated 41 percent of the population reported they would rather swim with sharks than visit the dentist to get a root canal. Scary as they sound, root canals are nothing to fear. They have become a staple procedure in modern dentistry. If you think you have the signs of a tooth infection but are worried about having it fixed, looking into the pros and cons of a root canal should put your mind at ease.
What Is a Root Canal Inside your tooth enamel, you have something called "pulp" that protects your tooth and nerves. However, if an infection develops, it can damage the pulp. That's where root canal treatment comes in. The dentist will clean out the problematic tooth, remove bacteria, and, most importantly, prevent decay. Pros and Cons of a Root Canal The pros of a root canal outweigh the cons in many ways. After all, having a tooth fixed is always better than letting it sit and fester. That being said, understanding the cons and disadvantages of a root canal could also help prepare you for the possible negative side effects that may arise. Pro: You Save the Tooth Part of a root canal's purpose is to save the tooth and prevent extraction. So, if a root canal is an option, you get to keep your natural tooth. Con: Multiple Appointments While root canal procedures are common, they can also entail a great deal of work. Depending on how infected the tooth is, you might have to make 3-4 trips to the dentist. Pro: Pain Relief Even the slightest amount of tooth pain can be incapacitating. A root canal would relieve your tooth pain and sensitivity. Con: Tooth Can Become Brittle Root canals create a hole in your tooth, which will leave it brittle. This could cause:
Disintegration of the entire tooth
Pro: Prevent Gaps Since a root canal allows you to keep your natural tooth, your teeth won't move to fill in the extra space. This will prevent any gaps from forming in your smile. Con: No Guarantees A root canal may be optimal over tooth extraction. However, there is still no guarantee that it will save the tooth or keep it from darkening. Pro: Prevent Illness Leaving a tooth infection untreated can lead to serious health issues such as:
The tooth decays further
Infection spreads to the jaw or brain
It could lead to sepsis, a life-threatening infection
By simply getting a root canal, you could sidestep these risky medical situations. Root Canal Side Effects Along with the cons of a root canal comes the inevitable list of possible side effects you may experience:
A few days of pain
Swelling in the mouth
Allergic reactions to antibiotics
Discomfort in the jaw
Find a Reliable Dentist If you have weighed the pros and cons of a root canal but still feel anxious, please feel free to reach out to Northland Village Dental Centre. We are a team of reliable dentists in Calgary who take our patient's comfort seriously during all dental procedures. If you think you have an infected tooth or require a root canal, please do not put it off. We urge you to visit our Root Canal Treatment page and schedule an appointment with Northland Village Dental Centre ASAP!