1. Alleviates Pain
One of the worst things to ever experience is a throbbing toothache. The discomfort can distract you from work. Not only can it devastate your productivity, but it can also ruin whatever time you have to relax. Most of the pain actually associated with a root canal is not the procedure itself or the recovery, it’s the pain caused by the infected dental pulp inside your tooth beforehand. A root canal actually involves cleaning away the damaged nerves and bacteria that are causing all this pain and soothes your toothache. A variety of anesthesia options are also available during your procedure to make it a virtually painless experience.
2. Eliminate Temperate Sensitivity
Everyone loves an ice cold drink on a hot summer’s day or a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter’s night, but infected or inflamed teeth can make this a painful experience. A great benefit of root canal therapy is that the procedure removes these damaged nerves, so you can get back to enjoying the foods you love.
3. Prevents Further Serious Infections
The infection in the dental pulp chamber of your tooth is not just going to stop at a single tooth. It can spread to other teeth or other parts of the body, further destroying your smile and oral health. When patients forgo root canal treatments they are likely to experience swelling, pain, and further infections of their teeth, gums, and other tissue in your mouth. This infection can even affect your overall health, and in some cases, be life threatening if left untreated. In fact, University of Helsinki researchers found that acute coronary syndrome is 2.7 times more common among people with infections at the tip of a tooth root.
4. Save Your Natural Smile
The goal of a root canal is to save your tooth, not replace it. While dental prosthetics may be able to restore some of the strength of your missing teeth, nothing will ever look, feel, or function like your natural teeth. So if you want to continue eating the foods you love without changing the appearance of your smile, a root canal is probably your best option.
5. Root Canals are Quick and Easy
Undergoing a tooth extraction means multiple long and costly visits to the dentist due to follow-up appointments required for a denture, bridge, or implant, not to mention these restorations could take weeks or even months before they come back from the lab. The implant process is so long that it can sometimes take up to a year before you have a tooth again. Not to mention all the extra dental care that needs to go into maintaining your prosthetic. Who really has the time for all that? Root canals on the other hand can typically be done in a single appointment, which is usually less than an hour.
6. Limited Post-Op Maintenance
Most dental prosthetics will last maybe 10 years if you’re lucky and then repairs, adjustments, or even new restorations will be required. Implants especially can be a long, ongoing process. Oftentimes, the tooth won’t even need a crown after a root canal, meaning there will be limited ongoing dental work and maintenance, saving you from tedious trips to the dentist.
7. Prevents Problems from Shifting Teeth
Did you know that your teeth actually help to support each other? When a tooth is removed or falls out due to decay it can cause the surrounding healthy teeth to shift, affecting your ability to properly chew and ruin your smile. Imagine not being able to eat your favorite foods because you can’t chew them anymore! A major root canal benefit is that the procedure aims to remove as little of your natural tooth as possible and actually save it, so you can continue chewing your favorite foods to your heart’s content
8. Virtually Pain Free
Most of the time when people think of a root canal they picture this extremely painful procedure. The truth is though that most of this pain is actually caused by the decaying and infected pulp that root canals aim to clean away. The majority of patients will experience little to no pain after their root canal procedure. Patients who experience root canals are actually six times more likely to describe it as painless than patients who have a tooth extracted.
9. Cost Savings
While a tooth extraction (>$150) may sometimes be less expensive than a routine root canal, the additional implants ($3,000-$4,500 per implant), dentures ($600-$1,000), bridges ($2,000-$15,000), or crowns ($800-$1,700) to replace your tooth afterwards certainly won’t be. Often times, a root canal is probably the least expensive option.
10. Insurance Coverage
Most dental insurance plans will cover the majority of endodontic treatments. However, most plans won’t cover or only partially cover restorative and cosmetic dental procedures. This means those dental implants or other prosthetics you’ll need to repair your smile after a tooth extraction will become costly out-of-pocket expenses.
For more information on general and surgical root canal treatments and East Coast Endodontics services, please contact our team of experienced endodontists at either our Short Pump or Mechanicsville offices. New patients are always welcome.
About the Author
Dr. Harris has been a practicing dentist and oral surgeon since 2005. In 2012, he received his Master’s of Science in Dentistry and a certificate in Endodontics. He founded East Coast Endodontics shortly after receiving his master’s degree. He also currently holds a part-time position as a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Endodontics department at Virginia Commonwealth University. View his full bio.