When the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection, root canal therapy is used to save the tooth. By and large, people wince when they hear the term “root canal,” but root canal therapy is a safe, effective, and low-pain option for saving teeth that would otherwise have to be extracted. And, in fact, is the preferred treatment. Why is this when a tooth extraction seems so much simpler? Tooth extractions tend to cause problems for the adjacent teeth and, when dental implants and bridges are taken into consideration, are ultimately more expensive. Root canal therapy isn’t a scary procedure, and most patients experience little-to-no pain. The process consists of numbing the area around the affected tooth, removing the pulp (living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any existing decay that is present. In order to restore the tooth to its full function, the resulting space is then filled with special medicated dental materials. While some soreness may be present following the procedure, over-the-counter painkillers are typically enough to remedy the discomfort. Root canal therapy is a highly successful, routine treatment. If you are experiencing pain, contact Gregory D. Prieston, DMD, FAGD, to set up a consultation.