Are you suffering through dental pain because you are afraid your dentist may suggest a root canal? It’s time to get some insight as to what root canal therapy does as well as what myths often surround this time-tested procedure. Root canals have a bad reputation for one primary reason – their association with pain. What you should know, however, is that the pain is from the infection, not from the root canal itself. In fact, root canals can bring you out of pain while saving a damaged tooth!
Root canal therapy is typically suggested when the inside of the tooth becomes infected, which is usually a result of a badly damaged or decayed tooth. Once the inner pulp of the tooth is infected, the tooth is at risk for dying and the nerves of the tooth become painfully inflamed. This causes the unbearable sensitivity that patients experience when they have a tooth that needs a root canal. Infected teeth do not get better on their own.
During a root canal, the infected pulp of the tooth is carefully removed. The inner tooth chambers are further sanitized to eradicate the infection and the tooth is sealed with a special filling material. It is not uncommon for patients to need a dental crown on the affected tooth to help the tooth regain optimal integrity and strength going forward.
Root Canals Help You Avoid Extraction
The alternative to root canal therapy is often tooth extraction, which is recommended when the infection has compromised too much of the tooth to save it. Before you assume this is your quickest and cheapest solution to your infected tooth, you need to know that a permanent tooth will need to be replaced if it is extracted. Replacing a tooth typically involves a dental implant or bridge, which is far more invasive, costly and time-consuming than getting a root canal.
Ways We Keep You Comfortable During Root Canal Therapy
Still worried about pain when it comes to your root canal therapy? You’ll be happy to know that a modern dentist offers several strategies to make your root canal as comfortable as possible. In fact, most patients report their root canal as being no more painful than a dental filling.
When undergoing this endodontic procedure, your dentist will utilize several techniques and technologies to lessen or eliminate discomfort. First, your procedure will be carefully mapped out using advanced digital imaging. This allows for the least invasive approach possible. Next, the affected area of your mouth will be numbed with a local anesthetic. During your procedure, dental lasers can also be used as a minimally-invasive means of removing infected tissue. Finally, many patients opt for sedation dentistry, such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or oral sedation (sedative pill) to help them further relax in the dental chair.
Signs of an Infected Tooth
How do you know if your dental discomfort may warrant a root canal? WebMD lists the following signs that you may need a root canal:
- Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure
- Prolonged sensitivity (pain) to hot or cold temperatures (after the heat or cold has been removed)
- Discoloration (darkening) of the tooth
- Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums
- A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums
Schedule Your Root Canal with a Gentle Dentist
At Grateful Dental, you’ll notice our commitment to patient comfort from the moment you walk through our doors. We have a friendly staff and soothing amenities to help you feel at home while receiving the top quality dental care you need and deserve. When it comes to root canals, there’s nothing to fear. However, if you do have concerns or apprehensions about this procedure, please do not hesitate to reach out. We will go above and beyond to ease your fears. Remember that when a root canal is suggested, it is to bring you out of pain and save your tooth! If you are suffering from extreme tooth sensitivity, call our office today to schedule an appointment.