When it comes to dental care, many people are very self-conscious when
it comes to their smiles. While we also understand the gravity and importance
of good dental care and habits, most of us cringe at the thought of having
to go to the dentist. One of the things that scare most people about the
dentist is the horror stories that we hear about it. If we take the time
to understand the procedures that the dentist may need to do, it may take
some of the enigma out of going to the dentist. One of the most common
confusions among dental procedures is the difference between a crown and
a root canal.
Root Canal Treatment
A root canal can be painful however, if you need a root canal, chances
are you have already been in a considerable amount of pain. Going through
this procedure is going to alleviate the pain that you have been experiencing.
A root canal is performed when a cavity has reached extensive levels.
Extensive levels means that the decay has reached the pulp. The pulp is
the area of the tooth where the nerves are located. In some cases, the
nerve may even be exposed, which is extremely painful. This type of infection
cannot be simply filled because it would not stop the infection from spreading.
Other reasons that a root canal may be performed are in the case of serious
oral trauma. The root canal process itself is one that desensitizes the
tooth. The nerves and pulp are removed. This is usually done over a couple
of visits, up to four, but can also be performed in one session. This
would depend on the particular situation. After the root canal is completed,
the tooth will be brittle. At this point a post and crown will be needed.
A crown is placed on the tooth to protect the tooth after a root canal
procedure. It can also be placed on the tooth if there is an extensive
cavity that has not yet reached the pulp. In this case, the tooth will
be ground down and an impression will be made of the remaining tooth.
A temporary crown will be placed on the tooth to protect it from further
infection or damage until the permanent crown is completed. Depending
on the dentist, it can be just a few days to several weeks before the
permanent crown is complete. The temporary will then be removed and the
permanent crown will be affixed to the modified tooth. Again, a crowned
tooth does not always require a root canal. In the case of a tooth that
has not been root canaled, a post will not need to be installed. The primary
function of the post is to strengthen the tooth before crowning.
Although the difference between a crown and root canal are obvious, these
two procedures can be very closely related. If you have questions regarding
the treatment that your dentist is recommending, ask them. They will be
more than happy to explain.