By merely uttering the words ‘root canal’ as a dentist, you’re bound to send a shiver down the spine of at least five people in your general vicinity. For many reasons, the thought of getting a root canal can send people screaming from the room.
However, the truth is, modern dentistry advancements have enabled dentists to become far more skilled in the safe, effective and ultimately painless procedure of root canals. While traditionally it was not uncommon for dental work to be performed by a blacksmith, you can now expect a far more refined and comfortable experience – even when it comes to root canals. If you’re not familiar with a root canal procedure, at least not one performed today, then here are just a few things you can expect when it comes time to see your dentist.
The Procedure Is Straightforward
According to many people who have received a root canal, the procedure is no more painful than a tooth extraction. While it may take a little longer in most cases and does require follow-up appointments, it’s not complicated for an experienced dentist or inconvenient for a patient.
Once you arrive at your appointment, you’ll be led to your dental chair where you’ll sit while the dentist works their magic. They will remove infected or inflamed pulp from within your tooth or teeth, clean the tooth, shape it, then fill it. By filling it, they are reducing the risk of infection. This procedure is typically step one.
After you’ve had your tooth cleaned, shaped, and filled, you will then need to come back so that your dentist can fit a crown. Without a crown, you aren’t able to use your tooth correctly. A crown offers a level of protection as well as allowing your tooth to become functional once more.
There Are Several Reasons Why You Would Need A Root Canal
The reason why root canals are so common is that they are a practical solution to a range of different symptoms from which you may be suffering. If you find you’re suffering from tooth pain that doesn’t subside, pain that gets worse when you move a certain way, pain that occurs if you eat hot or cold food, you have pimple-like fistulas on your gums or abscesses, you may need a root canal.
All of these symptoms are the signs of an underlying problem – one that more than likely stems from infection or inflammation within the pulp of your teeth. A root canal is often one of the most effective options for solving the problem – aside from extracting the tooth.
Opt for Root Canal Over Extraction
Rather than get a root canal, many people believe that extraction is the best way forward. While extracting the infected tooth does solve the problem, it does open the door for several more. If you pull out a tooth, your jaw has to adapt to the strange realization that there’s one less tooth in your mouth. It can lead to speech impediments, jaw fatigue, and discomfort when chewing food as well. Unless you opt for an implant, this problem can only get worse.
If you can save your tooth with a root canal, it’s well worth doing. Even teeth which have dead pulp, or pulp that’s diseased or damaged, can be saved with a root canal. In many cases, it’s a valid solution. The only way in which extraction would be the recommended option would be if the tooth had a deep fracture or crack, or it was too weak to repair.
If you find yourself with significant tooth pain and your dentist recommends a root canal, don’t shy away from the idea. Instead, ask your dentist questions about the procedure and find out all there is to know. You may find that the concept of a root canal is more terrifying than the procedure itself.