Over the many years that root canals have been performed; this treatment has been given a bad reputation – one that it doesn’t deserve. We have heard of the travails of root canal patients in movies, comedy sketches, and even from word-of-mouth. The thing is, if you were to talk to someone who has had a root canal personally, you might find here a completely different story.
Much of the information about root canal therapy that is regarded as truth is nothing more than hearsay. Furthermore, we have also to point out that methods of treating deep infection in teeth have improved a great deal over time. So, if you’ve heard that a root canal is scary or painful, that it won’t improve your oral health or could make you sick, we should talk. In fact, let’s take a look at some of the misunderstandings we need to overcome right now.
Root Canal Treatment Does NOT Hurt
There are a few common reasons why root canals have been perceived or portrayed as painful:
- A diseased tooth may develop an intense toothache before treatment.
- When you expect pain, your sensitivity during treatment may be heightened.
- Early dental treatments were somewhat of a trial and error process. Some treatments need a bit more anesthetic than others.
Modern dentistry not only has better anesthetic techniques, but there is also a greater understanding now that many patients feel nervous when undergoing treatment such as root canal therapy. We encourage our patients to talk with us before their procedure about anxiety. Together, we can develop strategies that improve relaxation during the restorative treatment.
A Tooth that Needs a Root Canal May Not Hurt
There is a common assumption that, if you need a root canal, you’ll probably know it because your tooth will hurt – a lot. The death of a tooth doesn’t always follow this pattern, though. Sometimes, a dentist observes a physical problem such as a fistula, or small “a pimple” that sits on the gum tissue below an unhealthy tooth. This small sore prevents the buildup of pressure in the tooth and, as such, prevents pain that would indicate infection.
Tooth Extraction is NOT a Better Solution to Infection
In recent years, it has become common to believe that extracting an infected tooth is a better solution than removing the infected part of the tooth. Whenever we have the opportunity to preserve natural tooth structure, we do. Removing infected pulp and nerve tissue, and filling the sterilized canals with inert material allows us to support the natural anatomy of the mouth without a prosthesis such as a dental implant or bridge.
We are a dental office for your whole family. Contact our Hedgesville office at (304) 754-8803 to schedule routine care that decreases your risk of needing a root canal.