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How Root Canals Save Teeth

An infected tooth is nothing to take lightly. It won’t get better on its own, and leaving it untreated can lead to more serious problems. Depending on the extent of the infection and the depth of the decay, you may need a root canal — but don’t let the term scare you. 

It’s a common procedure performed more than 15 million times a year by dentists and endodontists. If you have an untreated tooth infection that’s been causing you pain, Samir Patel, DDS of Plainsboro Family Dentistry in Plainsboro, New Jersey, can direct you on the proper course of treatment. If he determines a root canal is in order, consider yourself fortunate. That means he can eliminate your pain and save your tooth, instead of extracting it.

Why do I need a root canal?

If you have a tooth that is deeply infected or badly decayed, a simple filling won’t work. You need to get rid of the infection and decay so it doesn’t spread and make matters worse. If you ignore it and hope it will just go away, you’re putting yourself at risk for serious problems, such as:

Root canal vs. tooth extraction

You might be thinking that a root canal sounds painful, and you’d rather just have your infected tooth pulled. But a quick comparison of the two options makes it clear that you should rethink that.

Tooth extraction

And if you choose to have that extracted tooth replaced:

Root canal

How root canal saves your tooth

Whether your tooth infection began because of trauma, repeated dental work, or a compromised filling or crown, you’ve come to a point where you need a root canal. Dr. Patel considers this an opportunity to relieve your pain and save your natural tooth. 

First, he explains the entire procedure to you and answers any questions you might have. He then administers a local anesthetic to make sure you stay comfortable and feel no pain.

To access the decayed part of your tooth, Dr. Patel makes a small hole at the top and then cleans out the inside of your tooth, which is called the pulp. Once he’s removed the decayed material, he rinses it out and, if necessary, fills it with a rubbery material, then tops it off with a filling or temporary crown. If a crown is needed, you’ll come back one more time for the permanent one.

That’s it. No extraction is necessary. No gap in your smile. No bridge or dental implant needed. You walk out with your natural tooth intact. Once the anesthetic wears off in a few hours, you may feel a little soreness, but no pain.

If you have a severe tooth infection, Dr. Patel can save it with a root canal. Call Plainsboro Family Dentistry to book an appointment, or request a consultation online.

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