“I’d rather have a root canal than (insert something bad).”
“That’s about as enticing as a root canal.”
These are two phrases we hear a lot in our society. Root canals have become easy targets in pop culture, which has given many patients a terrible misconception about root canals. We hear the words root canal and immediately assume we’re about to experience more pain than ever before.
As a dentist, it’s my job to inform my patients and debunk the bad information they hear in movies or through searching non-reputable Internet sites. Unfortunately, perception is reality. Some patients are convinced that a root canal will be one of their worst experiences of their life. I can tell you from experience that’s far from the case! In fact, a root canal is typically no more uncomfortable than having a fillings … but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The Truth About Root Canals
Dentists and specialists across the country treat millions of people with root canal treatments every year. The endodontic therapy procedure has evolved so much that we can complete it with little sensitivity. But let’s look past the procedure and get to the core of the problem.
Many patients who need a root canal suffer from extreme pain that will not go away on its own. The pain often occurs because of an abscess at the root or an infection in the pulp. If the infection or problem is not fixed, it can spread to other healthy teeth. We use the root canal as a last resort. Not too long ago, dentists would simply pull a tooth with an abscess. But today we can save teeth with a root canal.
There was a dentist in the 1920s who advocated that patients pull teeth instead of having root canals because he claimed the filling material used would eventually make the patient sick. Surprisingly, this article still gets distributed even though it was disproved decades ago. Our office only uses the safest material to make sure we restore your tooth and give you functionality that will last for years. Depending on the amount of tooth structure left, a tooth with a root canal can last decades or even a lifetime.
Root Canals: What to Expect
Believe it or not, the treatment is actually extremely boring! Depending on the amount of canals in your tooth – each tooth has between one to three – you can be in an out of the office in about an hour. During a root canal, we clean out the infected canal and then use a filling material to build up the tooth. Once the tooth is prepared, we restore it with a natural-looking crown.
The best part is that you can do all of this right here in our office. Typical dental offices don’t offer root canals – but rather work with specialists. We have taken additional training to provide you this service for your convenience. We don’t want our patients to have to travel from office to office to get the care they need.
I understand that while we tell patients not to be afraid of root canal therapy, some of you still struggle with a fear of the dentist. If you consider yourself to be in that category, we have ways to make you comfortable in the chair. We offer a full range of sedation options. With sedation dentistry, you can complete your treatment without having to face the sights, sounds, and smells of the procedure.
The important thing to take away from this post is that root canal has changed for the better and it saves the tooth! My guess is you want to keep all of your teeth as long as you can. Call my office at 972-905-9266 to schedule your appointment today!