Our dentists pride themselves on practicing pain-free dentistry. This includes all procedures performed in our office, including the infamous root canal. Many patients fear root canals because they have misinformation about the procedure. Some of our patients have heard embellished horror stories about the process and are reluctant to permit us to go forward with a root canal. We would like to share some factual information about root canals and dispel the fear our patients feel.
WHAT IS A ROOT CANAL AND WHY IS IT NECESSARY?
A root canal is a dental procedure where a dentist, specially trained in endodontics, removes and replaces infected pulp that is inside of a tooth. After removing the pulp, we disinfect the inside of the tooth, and later fill the tooth with a substance called gutta percha. Frequently, our dentist will fit the patient for a crown to hide any visible signs of dental work and protect the tooth.
A root canal is necessary to clear away infections and prevent further complications. The pulp contains blood vessels and nerves, so if the pulp gets an infection it can be excruciating, and the patient runs the risk of the infection entering their bloodstream and spreading. A patient with infected pulp frequently experiences an abscess. An abscess happens when the bacteria within the tooth seeps out of the tooth and creates a pocket of infection in the small space between the tooth and jaw bone. If left untreated, the bacteria will spread and possibly permanently damage the jaw bone. The potential damage and infection are why it is necessary to see our endodontic dentist as soon as you sense a problem.
WHAT IS AN ENDODONTIC DENTIST?
An endodontic dentist specializes in treating the inside of your teeth. They have extensive training and are skilled in performing various therapies on the soft tooth tissue, including root canals. A dentist who is an expert in endodontics is the most qualified for root canal surgery.
WHY DO ROOT CANALS HAVE A BAD REPUTATION?
Patients experiencing a root canal in the past had verifiably worse experiences than those who get a root canal today. The main reason for the difference in the pain levels involves improvements in dental techniques. In the past dentists had difficulty numbing a tooth with decaying pulp or an abscess. These conditions made delivery of anesthetic unpredictable because the nerves and blood vessels did not function correctly. Today, your endodontic dentist has improved techniques that deliver effective pain relief. This reduces the pain of a root canal exponentially.
If you suspect that you have an infection in a tooth, do not delay, call and schedule an appointment with our office right away.
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