When the mention of a root canal leaves a doctor’s mouth, it instantly makes the patient anxious, in many cases. We all know generally what a root canal is, but most people do not know what a root canal actually is, besides being painful. Root canals are a way to save a tooth. This process allows a dentist to clean out dead pulp of a tooth, and allow the tooth to remain instead of having to extract it. This is such an important procedure to undergo, as it keeps your natural tooth intact and return back to health.

Root canals save a dying tooth by removing the dead or dying pulp. Tooth pulp exists inside of a tooth and is sensitive and soft. If the dying or dead pulp is not taken care of and removed it can spread to form a major cavity and cause inflammation. The tissue in the pulp is kept alive by the blood vessels that come from the tip of the root and travel along the root canal into the tooth.

Decay is the main reason for pulp dying. Once the decay has reached the pulp, it will keep decaying until the tooth is removed or a root canal is performed. Once it dies, the toxins from the decay will be released into the root tip and make its way into the jawbone. If not taken care of properly, the jawbone can become infected.

This is why your dentist will recommend preforming a root canal. During the procedure, they will numb the area then drill a hole into the tooth. Using various tools and equipment, they will go down inside of the tooth and scrape away the dead pulp. Most often, a root canal can take several hours. Even though it may take a long time – it is more than worth it to have this procedure done, because it saves your tooth from being extracted.

Consult with your dentist on if a root canal is an option for you, instead of undergoing an extraction to remove the tooth. Do not be worried about the dreaded root canal – remember, it saves your tooth!