Is getting a root canal really as bad as all of the rumors and second-hand stories you’ve heard from your friends and family members over the years?
Not at all. In fact, today’s endodontic procedures are more efficient and comfortable than ever.
Maybe your great uncle really did have a bad root canal experience, but as with other developments in restorative dentistry, that’s simply not the case these days. All of that being said, here’s the truth and what you really need to know when it comes to the root canal that you just found out you needed:
Root Canal Treatments Don’t Hurt
As with other types of dental treatment, we pay particular attention to ensure that the tooth and area around it is thoroughly numbed before starting the procedure.
The part about a root canal that hurts isn’t the treatment at all, but rather the painful inflammation and infection that’s present before your procedure. Because the damage is caused by a dying and inflamed nerve, you may find yourself experiencing the most excruciating toothache imaginable. Endodontic therapy eliminates the source of your tooth pain.
In addition to using local anesthetic to numb the tooth, sedation dentistry options are also available to help our patients relax. If anxiety or dental phobia is a concern, simply request an analgesic such as nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) or oral sedation during your root canal.
A Root Canal Can Save Your Tooth
When a tooth nerve is dying, there is no way to treat it so that the tooth’s vitality is restored. Leaving it alone will only cause the tooth to shrink away from the inside until breaking apart or needing to be extracted.
To preserve the tooth, we can remove the dying nerve and clean the inside chamber, before sealing it off. From there, the tooth is protected with a crown. Afterward, your endodontically treated tooth is able to function and continue on as if nothing happened.
Delaying Your Root Canal Will “Hurt” More in the Long Run
Avoiding a root canal will only allow the dental infection to get worse. Pain may or may not become more severe, but the bacteria won’t go away. In fact, adjacent teeth may become infected as well. In less common situations, abscessed teeth can even spread into the brain, cause facial swelling, or require hospitalization.
In the end, the tooth will reach a point where the disease is too far advanced to treat, and it will have to be extracted. At this point, you’ll need to make additional plans to replace the missing tooth, such as invest in a bridge or dental implant.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
If you suspect that you have an abscessed or cracked tooth, or you want to get a second opinion about root canal treatment, we invite you to call. Dr. Raju Sarna and the entire Hawthorne Village Dental Care team are happy to answer any questions that you may have and do everything possible to ensure a comfortable experience.
Contact us today to schedule your endodontic consultation.