The words "root canal" can be synonymous with something really bad, but it's time that myth was busted. Root canals are extremely common dental procedures that have successfully been carried out for many years. If you are living in fear due to some incorrect assumptions about root canals, read on for some reassurance.
What is a Root Canal and Why Do I Need One?
While it sounds serious, root canals are simple procedures. If you are about to have a root canal, then you are probably in some pain. That said, it might be helpful to think about a root canal as a way of removing the painful part of the tooth. That would the pulp area of the tooth and this procedure gets rid of the pain while preserving the visible part of the tooth. Preservation of the natural tooth is the overall goal of almost all dental work and the root canal excels at that. With no pulp left to cause pain and more decay, you can proceed toward restoration of the tooth using a cap (or crown or other measures.
How Much Pain Will There Be?
In all likelihood, none. Thanks to modern anesthesia techniques, there's is no reason to experience any pain during (or after) the root canal. When you discuss the procedure with your dentist, part of that discussion will involve various levels of pain relief both before, during, and after the appointment. Depending on your comfort level, you may want to be completely "under" using an intravenous method or you might just opt for a local numbing shot. For those with dental anxiety that could make them cancel the appointment or put off getting the work they need performed, speak to your dentist about a prescription for a calming medication taken prior to the root canal.
What Are the Risks?
As infection control practices improved, so have the safety of root canals. While there is never a time when you can say that medical or dental procedures carry a 0% chance of infection, the odds are definitely in the patient's favor for a worry-free recuperation. Modern sterilizing of dental instruments and protective gear used by the dentist and assistants almost guarantee patients a clean and uneventful root canal. You might want to look at things like this – if you don't have the root canal soon enough, you might develop a serious gum infection called an abscess. Root canals eliminate that danger, which can be deadly.
Speak to your family dentist and get your other questions answered about root canals today.