When a tooth is badly decayed, damaged, or infected, your Temecula dentists at Oasis Family Dental might suggest a root canal to repair and save it. Although the root canal procedure has a nasty reputation, it is largely undeserved. To see how much you know about root canal therapy, take this quiz.

True or False: Tooth extraction is a viable alternative to a root canal.

True. Some patients might opt to have an injured tooth pulled rather than treated with a root canal procedure. Typically, the area where the tooth was extracted is fitted with dental implants or partials. However, while extraction used to be the standard treatment in the past for infected or damaged teeth, dentists today prefer to use root canal therapy to save a patient’s tooth whenever possible.

True or False: Less than 1 million root canals are performed annually in the United States.

False. More than 15 million root canal procedures are performed each year in the United States.

True or False: A small sore on the gums is a symptom of a tooth infection.

True. A stubborn pimple-like sore on the gums, along with swelling and tenderness, might be a sign infection is present in the surrounding tissue.

True or False: A substance obtained from rubber trees is used to fill the empty root canal.

True. Gutta-percha—which is also used in chewing gum and golf balls—is the purified coagulated exudate from what is commonly called the rubber tree, and is the only ADA-approved material to be used to fill the empty root canal to prevent bacterial growth. When heated to a boil and then cooled, gutta-percha transforms into hard plastic.

True or False: Tooth whitening can help prevent the need for a root canal.

False. Good oral hygiene along with good safety habits, such as wearing mouth protection during sports, all help to prevent tooth injury that might lead to a root canal. Tooth whitening does not.

True or False: After a root canal, the tooth is considered dead.

False. Although the nerve has been removed, a tooth remains alive after a root canal treatment.

About Your Temecula Dentists

Your dentists at Oasis Family Dental can provide you with expert recommendations on your dental needs. We are part of Riverside Dental Group and Associates and proudly cater to families from Temecula and surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment with our dentists, call (951) 695-2290.