Do you want to know how to send shudders down the backs of a patient’s spine? Mention the words “root canal” and see what happens. Our society is trained to be very, very afraid of a root canal, but it is one of the most unfortunate things for you!
Your fear of the root canal could keep you from getting the care you need, and it could result in the loss of your tooth! Being afraid of a tooth-saving procedure is like being afraid of having a broken bone set back in place. It’s understandable, but it shouldn’t keep you from the procedure.
We see patients who were so terrified of a root canal procedure that they elected not to get one, and they ended up paying the price with their tooth. You don’t have to end up that way!
We want to take a look at root canals and the power behind the negative image of this procedure. We want you to understand just what is at stake when you choose to avoid the dental care your tooth NEEDS.
The Bad Reputation of Root Canals
As we’ve mentioned, root canals have a terrible reputation! Ask people what the scariest dental procedure is, and the majority will respond with a root canal. Most haven’t never experienced one, but that’s still the response. Why?
Media plays a big role in our fears of medical procedures. Think about scenes from your favorite television show or movie. If they want to make a trip to the dentist seem scary, they use a root canal.
What does this do to you, the viewer? It makes you fear root canals!
Poor Sedation Options
There is some truth to what you see, but it is a very old truth. In past centuries, numbing agents weren’t as strong or effective as what we have today. Patients would experience excruciating pain, but that truth is no longer relevant.
We not have state of the art numbing and sedation options that make the most serious and complex dental procedures completely comfortable for every patient!
What’s Happening to Your Tooth
Let’s spend a moment talking about what is happening to your tooth that requires a root canal in the first place! If you understand why a root canal is necessary, you will feel much less fear if you are ever in need of receiving a root canal.
Parts of the Tooth
You should first understand the parts of the tooth. On the outside is the tooth enamel. This is the hard part that you see when you smile. Below the enamel is dentin, which is full of tubes that run information to the nerve of your tooth. Inside the dentin is dental pulp, which is a very soft material connected to the tooth root.
A root canal is necessary when the pulp of your tooth becomes infected. This can happen from an injury, a failed filling, or a crack in your tooth. Bacteria is able to work deep into the tooth to the pulp. The pulp becomes infected, and you experience massive amounts of pain as the infection is fed right into the root of your tooth.
Not all patients feel pain because we can detect an infection before the symptoms kick in, but other patients report excruciating pain. Some cannot lie down to sleep at night. Others cannot eat. Some even experience swelling at the site of the infection.
How a Root Canal Helps
A root canal is much like having a cavity filled. We will remove the damaged area and replace it with a sturdy restoration so that you can go back to enjoying life and the function of your teeth!
Removal of the Infection
We begin by removing the infection. We will create a small space through your enamel and dentin and use special instruments to remove the pulp of your tooth. We will also clean bacteria from the dentin tubes until the inside of your tooth is free from infection.
Preventing Further Infection
The next step is to prevent any further infection. We use a special filling material that will medicate the inside of your tooth, and we place a crown on top of your tooth to seal it from further damage. The result is a tooth that looks and feels like your natural tooth!
The Truth About Root Canal Pain
The number one fear of a root canal is the pain because that is what we see portrayed through the media. A good dentist will make sure that you don’t feel anything. Your tooth will be numb, and you can have sedation if you choose to. Our patients tell us that it is about like having a cavity filled.
The real pain came from the infection itself. After the procedure is over, you will actually feel a relief from pain!
Still have questions about a root canal? We are happy to answer them! Remember, the best way to prevent a root canal procedure is to maintain your routine appointment! Contact us today to set up your next cleaning and exam. We can’t wait to see you very soon!