Root Canals Aren’t as Scary as You Think

 In Endodontics

Hearing the phrase “root canal” may cause a spike of anxiety to course through your body. The root canal often has the reputation of being a painful, dreaded procedure that is best to be avoided like the plague. While it’s important to take care of your teeth to avoid tooth decay, getting a root canal, if necessary, isn’t as scary as you think.

The Truth About Root Canals

The American Association of Endodontists is seeking to debunk common root canal myths once and for all. Put your mind at ease by learning the truth about this common procedure:

  • Root canals are often feared because of the common misconception that they are extremely painful procedures. Most patients walk away realizing they are no more painful than having fillings put in.
  • A root canal is a safe procedure that does not cause additional illnesses.
  • Getting a root canal and saving your natural tooth is preferable to having the tooth extracted.

A root canal is needed if the soft tissue, called pulp, inside your tooth becomes infected or inflamed through decay or trauma. If your tooth goes untreated, worsening infection and abscesses can result. Getting a root canal is essential in alleviating your pain and keeping your mouth healthy.

What Happens During a Root Canal?

Being aware ahead of time about what happens during a root canal procedure can go a long way in reducing any fear you may feel. Its not as scary as you might think. Here’s a short version of what you can expect during your appointment:

  • An x-ray is taken to visualize the root canal shape and look for infection.
  • You will be given local anesthesia to numb the area.
  • Your dentist puts a sheet of rubber around the affected tooth to keep it dry.
  • Your dentist drills a hole into the tooth to remove the pulp and damaged nerve tissue inside.
  • The inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.

That’s it! In some cases, your dentist may choose to wait a week to seal the tooth. This is especially true in the case of a bad infection. If this happens, your dentist will place medication inside the canal and give you a temporary filling until your return appointment.

You may feel some sensitivity in the area for a few days, but the pain should be manageable with over-the-counter medications. If the affected tooth is large, as is often the case, your dentist may recommend getting a crown.

Once the sensitivity has worn off, you will begin to feel much better than you did before you had the procedure. No one will be able to tell you had a root canal done.

At South Holston Dental Designs, we use state-of-the-art procedures to give you your best and brightest smile. It’s important to us that our patients feel comfortable, especially during root canals because they arent as scary as you might think. If you’d like to make an appointment at our office, contact us today.

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