While the percentage of young people with dental cavities in the United States dropped from 50% in 2012 to just over 43% in 2016, dental cavities are still the most...
Has your dentist recommended a root canal? If you have even a little bit of dental anxiety, chances are, you’re not exactly excited to schedule the procedure.
Modern attitudes and pervasive myths have led many patients to believe that root canals are painful, frightening and the absolute worst thing that could happen in the dentist’s office. But the reality is that your root canal is likely to be a lot less stressful than you expect. You owe it to yourself to learn more about the actual experience, instead of getting caught up in rumors.
We’ve compiled the top 5 reasons your root canal will be better than you think. If you still have questions about what’s ahead, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office. We’re always here to help.
Why Your Root Canal Will Be Positive
You’ll Be Numb
A fear of pain is what keeps many patients away from the office. And with the rumors about how uncomfortable root canals can be, plenty of patients are too anxious to go through with endodontic treatment. But modern dentistry makes sure that every patient feels relaxed and pain-free in the office. Your root canal should be comfortable – with the help of local anesthesia.
Your provider will numb the treatment area before they begin your root canal. If you ever feel a twinge during treatment, you should let your dentist or endodontist know so that they can numb it further.
Anesthesia provides pain relief but does not affect anxiety. If you have a fear of dental treatment, please let us know so that we can discuss your sedation options prior to your appointment. Sedation will help you maintain your calm and view dental care in a new light. If you’re afraid of needles, being sedated before your shots can also be extremely helpful so that you don’t start the procedure off already tense and nervous.
It’s Very Similar to a Filling
A root canal isn’t as complicated as you think. During the procedure, a small hole is drilled in the tooth in question. The tooth’s pulp, which contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues, is then removed through that entry hole. The tooth is then filled and sealed off so that it can remain healthy in the future.
Really, a root canal is just a deeper filling. It’s typically completed in one or two appointments, depending on the restoration that’s going to be placed post-treatment and your personal needs.
If you’ve had a filling, a root canal is going to be extremely familiar.
Your Tooth Will Feel So Much Better
If you have an infected or abscessed tooth, you’ve probably been in a significant amount of pain. While it might feel stressful to consider your already tender tooth being treated, root canal therapy will end up providing relief. Once the tooth’s pulp has been removed, the area will heal and will ultimately be pain-free. But to reach that happy place, you need to complete your root canal first.
We’ll Make Sure You’re Comfortable Before, During and After
Like we mentioned, we will numb the treatment area before endodontic treatment. But we will also ensure that you know how to treat the tooth and have the necessary resources to heal comfortably. This may involve taking over the counter or prescription painkillers, eating soft foods, and getting extra rest. Your provider will give you specific aftercare instructions that accommodate your needs.
The treated tooth may feel slightly different than your surrounding teeth for a period following treatment. But soreness should improve in the days after treatment. If you experience severe pain or lasting pressure, get in touch with your provider for an exam.
You Get to Skip an Extraction
When a tooth is damaged or infected, treatment comes down to a root canal vs. an extraction. Dentistry always strives to be conservative in its approach to your natural teeth. We will never extract a tooth unless it is absolutely necessary.
Why is it so important to avoid extraction? Because the process of rebuilding your tooth will be much more complex. When you lose a permanent tooth, you need to restore it to prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting or other problems affecting the area. This might involve a dental implant and crown, a bridge, or another treatment plan.
When you receive endodontic treatment, the affected tooth is then topped with a crown to help strengthen and protect it. This crown may need to be replaced at some point in the future, but will otherwise continue to do its job and you will be able to keep your tooth root. You will also be able to chew normally, smile comfortably and experience the same sensations you did with natural teeth.
Your root canal really can be positive, and we want to do everything possible to help out along the way. Just reach out if you’re looking for any answers or assistance.