Root canals are dreaded unlike any other dental procedure out there, but in reality, they serve a great purpose. Getting a root canal doesn't have to be bad news. On the contrary, if your dentist wants you to have one, you should be pleased to know that that simple procedure could be saving you time and money alike. Here's what you need to know about these benefits.
What It Is
Many people dread root canals without even knowing exactly what they are. If you're one of them, then this is the simplest explanation.
A root canal is a procedure where a tooth is essentially cleaned out. Any damaged or infected interior tissues are removed from the inside of the tooth. Then the tooth is sealed back up to prevent anything like food or bacteria from getting into the opening in the tooth. This part is just like having a cavity filled.
One of the things that a root canal will save you from is wasting your time with unnecessary procedures. For example, if you need a root canal, you really only have one other option: having the tooth pulled entirely.
Unfortunately, this means spending time in the dentist's chair having this procedure done. And when everything's said and finished, you still have a missing tooth or a gap in your smile.
Money is something you'll also save on if you get a root canal. While having your tooth pulled may cost about the same as having a root canal, it's the work that you need to have done afterward that cranks up the price.
For example, if you have a missing tooth, you'll need a replacement for it. Whether you choose a bridge or a dental implant, this means more time in the dentist's chair and more money coming out of your wallet.
Of course, you might think that you can just skip getting the tooth replacement, and then you haven't wasted much time and no extra cash. Unfortunately, that could cost you something even more dear to you in the long run: more teeth.
Teeth have a symbiotic relationship with the gums and bone that support them. When you bite down on a tooth, it sends pressure into the gums and bone that keep them strong, and in turn, help to support the teeth surrounding it. Once a tooth is lost, this mechanism breaks down. Over time, the bone supporting all of your teeth can weaken, making your more likely to lose other teeth. The lessened circulation to your gums can also potentially trigger gum disease, which can also increase your risk of losing more teeth.
As you can see, a root canal isn't a last resort: it should be one of the earliest options that you look at when you have a tooth go bad. Getting a root canal will let you keep your original tooth and avoid all these other problems.