You have probably heard the saying, “I would rather get a root canal than (insert the worst thing you can think of here)” when talking to a friend about an unpleasant topic or experience. It probably has the worst reputation of any oral procedure, and it used to be fair to view it as something dreadful back before basic anesthetics and modern dental equipment.
However, with today’s medical advances, root canals are not the terrifying and painful experience our society paints them to be. In fact, most of our patients tell us after the fact that their root canal experience was surprisingly easy. Most fears about root canals are “rooted” in a lack of information about what the process actually entails, so we have assembled a basic guide for you here.
Root Canals Reduce Pain, Not Increase It
Root canals are known for being painful (more on that in a minute). In reality, however, a root canal is the process by which we can reduce and eliminate pain in your teeth and gums due to inflammation and decay. Each of your teeth has a canal that lies beneath the outer enamel and over the sensitive inner tissue of the tooth. Tooth decay and gum disease can cause this canal, also called a “pulp chamber,” to become inflamed. When this happens, you might have to have a root canal in order to reduce and eliminate that inflammation so the tooth and surrounding areas can heal.
This procedure sounds painful because your dentist will use a drill to penetrate the enamel of your tooth to access the inflamed tissues. Then the tissue is removed. (You may be cringing right now.) But the actual process in the modern dental world is not nearly as painful as it sounds! After all, we have the benefit of a variety of anesthetics and superior tools at our disposal.
At Dr. Crawford’s dental practice, we offer different types of sedation for the procedure to keep patients comfortable. Furthermore, once the procedure is over, your tooth is permanently restored so that bacteria cannot get into the canal again. Root canals fix the pain, not exacerbate it!
Root Canals Save Teeth
Root canal treatments could help you solve a lot of painful issues that, over time, lead to permanent tooth loss if left untreated. Think about these symptoms: severe pain while biting and chewing, lingering sensitivity to hot and cold, swollen gums, deep tooth decay. All of these issues are frequently caused by infections in that pulpy tissue in the canal and not only are incredibly painful, but also lead to tooth loss.
This procedure is no more painful than regular dental cleanings thanks to modern medicine, and they create lasting dental well-being that extends far into other areas of your life.
Learn more about root canals and find out if you need one by contacting Dr. Pat Crawford here.