When you hear your dentist say that you need a root canal, you might immediately become very hesitant about the procedure, assuming it's complicated and may take days if not weeks to recover. While your dentist can advise you on what to expect for your procedure in particular, you might note a few commonly asked questions about root canals in general. This can help to put your mind at ease and may also help you to know what to discuss with your dentist.
1. What is a root canal?
A root canal is a procedure performed on the inside of the tooth, meaning the nerves and pulp of the teeth. Usually when a tooth is badly decayed, a root canal is needed to remove this interior tissue and the tooth is then sealed and the outer portion put back in place. This can allow you to save the tooth and not have it removed.
2. Does a root canal affect how a person eats or speaks?
The nerve inside the tooth isn't necessarily important for eating or speaking. The nerve simply senses hot or cold, which does serve as a protection for your mouth as you won't continue to drink something too hot and risk burning your gums or tongue. However, going without the nerves in one tooth shouldn't compromise these sensations inside your mouth so that you're at risk for hurting yourself when eating or drinking. The nerves and pulp inside the tooth don't affect your ability to speak clearly so you shouldn't wind up mumbling or struggling to enunciate in any way after a root canal.
3. Can a root canal be avoided?
Only your dentist can give you a proper diagnosis for your teeth in particular, but usually if the damage to your tooth has progressed to the point of needing a root canal, there is no way to avoid it. A root canal is usually performed in order to actually save the tooth and prevent cavities, infections, decay, and other such damage from getting worse.
Note that you may be able to avoid the need for a root canal in the first place by protecting your teeth from decay with a good routine of proper oral hygiene, but sometimes a root canal is needed for reasons other than a lack of brushing and flossing. You may have had an injury to the mouth that damaged the tooth or have had repeated dental procedures performed that caused deep cracks in the tooth, so that a root canal is eventually needed.Share
2 May 2016
Hi! My name is Sarah, and as a busy professional, I understand the importance of making the most of my time. That includes everything from having productive working lunches to making the most of my dental checkups. I have created this blog to help you maximise your dental checkups. In these posts, you can learn how to prepare for your checkup, which questions to ask during your checkup and more. I am also going to have posts explaining why checkups are critical to your dental health as well as the health of your entire body. Happy reading, and thanks for visiting my blog!