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4 Rogers Street
Spring Hill, QLD, 4000
Australia

+61 7 3391 2504

Brisbane Dentist - excellence in general and aesthetic dentistry with Drs Amy Daley, Leila Haywood, UQ graduates with 20 years of experience in Spring Hill, Brisbane

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I hear that a root canal is painful. Should I just get the tooth pulled out?

I hear that a root canal is painful. Should I just get the tooth pulled out?

Root canal treatment can be painful if a tooth is left to fester with advanced decay or becomes badly infected. Usually this happens because someone doesn't realise that they have a cavity, they are frightened of the dentist and putting it off, or because they didn't get around to it.  

When teeth are attended to quickly, the treatment is normally not painful.

When the pulp of a tooth has bacteria breeding inside it, it dies.  A root canal treatment is needed to try to keep the tooth.  This is a two visit appointment where the complete inside of the tooth, including inside the roots is cleaned out entirely, and the tooth is sealed completely inside.  This means, that although the tooth is not alive anymore, it can still be kept, in most cases.  The other option is to remove the tooth, and sometimes teeth are left for so long, and crumble away, so that we have no option other than to remove them.

Even back in the 1600's people realised how precious teeth are.  

Every tooth in a man’s head is more valuable than a diamond. (Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605)

Most people do want to keep their teeth, however there are some people who for whatever reason, see themselves as losing their teeth, in time. 

However, there are consequences of losing teeth, not least amongst them that the jaw bone that holds the teeth in place shrinks back, in a process called resorption, so that the shape of the face can change over time. The bite can also change, if teeth move or drift into the space that is created by the missing tooth.  And some research indicates that the more teeth that someone has missing, the greater the chances of some diseases, such as heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Today there is a very good chance that dentists can help you to keep teeth that are very badly damaged  into the pulp, with root canal treatment and/or crown work to strengthen the broken down tooth, though it requires commitment to regular maintenance and checking with your dentist, and good home care.