April 1, 2015
Let’s get the facts out there: root canals sound absolutely terrifying. Patients tell us all the time that they could handle anything else, but they can’t handle the thought of a root canal. There is a problem with that statement, though. Most of these patients don’t even know what a root canal is!
So, how do we have so many patients who fear this procedure? How has our society become one that lets a dental procedure cause us to lose sleep? There are many different theories, but we believe the biggest culprit is our entertainment world.
How many television shows or movies have used a root canal to portray great pain for a character? There used to be some truth to that. Before anesthesia, patients were in much more pain, but we have the ability to make you completely comfortable. In fact, we can even make placing the anesthesia pain-free!
Today, we want to take some time to burst the myths surrounding a root canal. We want you to know why it would be necessary, what the actual procedure entails, and how you will feel before, during, and after the appointment. We have no reason to hide the truth from you because this is a comfortable, tooth-saving procedure!
What Makes a Root Canal Necessary?
A root canal is needed when the dental pulp of your tooth becomes infected and causes damage to the tooth’s nerve. In extreme cases, the nerve of your teeth may even die. It is this process that makes the tooth so incredibly painful!
It generally happens when a tooth is cracked, broken, or a filling becomes loose. Bacteria is able to work deep into the tooth to infect the soft inner-parts of the tooth. Sometimes root canals are necessary due to injury, but most that we perform are due to decay.
What is the Procedure?
A root canal procedure is very similar to having a cavity filled, except that we are working in a different part of the tooth. When we fill a cavity, we first remove the decayed area, clean the area, and place the filling material.
For a root canal, we have to remove a small part of the tooth so that we can access the inner pulp. We will remove the infected pulp, clean the area, and use a special filling material that will block any further infection. We finish a root canal by placing a crown that will seal your vulnerable tooth and restore full function.
What Can I Expect?
Before: Not all patients experience pain before a root canal, but most do. Most are dealing with a deeply infected tooth and are unable to eat, sleep, or function in their daily lives. Some even experience massive swelling and discomfort on the outside of their face!
During: Patients fear the procedure the most, but this will actually be the most comfortable part of the entire process! We will use our state of the art VibraJect tool to place anesthesia for the area where we will be working. VibraJect allows for pain-free injections! Once that is place, you won’t feel a thing while we work!
After: After your procedure, you will still be pretty numb, but as the anesthesia wears off, the first thing you will notice is the relief from the extreme pain you were feeling before the procedure. Your tooth might be sensitive for a few days, but it will be nothing compared the pain of an infected pulp!
Set Up Your Routine Exam to Prevent a Root Canal
Even now that you know how simple a root canal is, you probably still don’t want to sign up for one, and that’s ok! We just want you to know that this is not something to fear. It is not something to lose sleep over. It is a tooth-saving procedure that will END a lot of pain.
The best way to prevent a root canal is to maintain your routine dental appointments! We can catch problems before they turn into full-blown infections, and you may never need a root canal in your entire life!
Contact us today to set up a routine exam and cleaning. We would love to check on your teeth and give you a clean bill of health until your next cleaning and appointment!