Root canals often have a bad rap. Simply mentioning the word sends shivers down people’s spines.
It is unclear where this myth about root canals came from. The image of the complicated, messy, painful procedure that many patients think of couldn’t be further than the truth. A root canal helps much more than it hurts.
What is a Root Canal and Why Are They Necessary?
Root canal therapy involves the dentist drilling a hole through the top of a tooth and extracting the diseased tooth nerves and damaged tooth pulp and then cleaning the inside of the tooth.
Usually, a crown is made and placed over the tooth to give the tooth strength and support and protection. The patient will go a week or two before returning to have the crown placed on the tooth. During this time, the patient should continue to care for the tooth as before the procedure. The tooth may be sensitive so hot or cold foods and beverages should be avoided. Hard, chewy or sticky foods should also be consumed in moderation. Typically, over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol is used to help lessen any pain or discomfort.
The dentist will administer anesthesia so the patient will not feel any pain. As the procedure itself involves the extraction of a tooth’s nerves, the patient experiences little, if any, pain during and shortly after the procedure.
Root canals are necessary in order to eliminate constant, sometimes debilitating tooth pain and to save the patient’s tooth. If root canal therapy is not done in a timely manner, not only will the tooth be likely lost, but the infection and decay can spread into the gum and jaw bone tissue, leading to more, severe dental issues and more extensive and costly dental procedures.
Why You Shouldn’t Fear Root Canals
If you’re putting off addressing your tooth pain or treating your tooth decay because a root canal is needed, you’re prolonging your pain and discomfort and you’re putting your dental health at risk.
Root canals are not that bad. In fact, they are nothing to fear.
Here are some things to know about root canals that you may not have heard:
Root canals aren’t nearly as painful as they are made out to be. Your tooth may be a little sore after the root canal procedure because the inside of your tooth is now exposed, but the discomfort is mild and temporary until you get a crown.
The dentist will administer anesthesia to the patient before the procedure which will numb the patient’s mouth from feeling any pain. The dentist makes sure the anesthesia is in full effect before beginning the procedure. Root canal therapy affects the tooth’s nerves which heightens the patient’s inability to feel any pain.
Minor pain may occur after the procedure because the tooth’s nerves are disrupted.
Root canals are not as complicated, invasive or time-consuming as they are made out to be. Root canals are now a common dental procedure that dentists can complete in 30-90 minutes. New and improved dental technology has made root canal therapy procedures more efficient and less invasive than ever before.
Root canals don’t mean the tooth’s roots and therefore, the tooth will be removed. Most people think root canals will lead to the destruction of a tooth’s roots, and therefore removal of the tooth. This myth is completely false. Root canals are for the purpose of saving the tooth. Root canals don’t usually impact the tooth’s roots unless the infection spread into them.
Root canals are extremely successful in saving the patient’s tooth.
Root canals aren’t things to be afraid of. If your dentist mentions the need for a root canal, don’t ignore or put it off.
Root canals are extremely effective. They are also less painful and not as extensive as most people think they are.
Severe tooth pain is not the only symptom of a possible need for a root canal. Your tooth can be infected even without any pain.
If you are due for a routine teeth cleaning and examine, call us at Jouette Smile Restorations today. Our professional dentists will be able to help assess the health of your teeth and determine whether a root canal is necessary.