A root canal has a particularly scary name that can worry even the bravest of people. But there are a lot of misconceptions about the procedure. When you know the facts about a root canal, you will see that there is really nothing to be afraid of.
You need a root canal when there is an infection or inflammation within the pulp of the tooth. The pulp lies within the centre of the tooth and extends into the roots. It contains blood vessels and nerves that help keep the tooth ‘live’. Due to extensive decay or cracks that start on the surface and extending into the pulp, inflammations and infections can arise within the blood vessels and nerves, which is why the damage can be so painful.
When the pulp and its nerves are irreversibly infected, you are left with two options: (1) remove the tooth entirely; or (2) keep the tooth and treat the infection using root canal therapy.
When you actually get past the storytelling, the main reason people talk about the pain of a root canal isn’t because of the procedure itself. It’s the infection that necessitates the procedure. When a tooth’s nerve tissue within the pulp becomes infected or inflamed due to decay or injury, it hurts. And it can hurt like hell! Often a secondary infection in the form of an abscess can form at the base of the tooth as well. When it fills with pus, it places a lot of pressure on the nerves in the area. Again, that adds to the pain.
The other reason this procedure has acquired a bad rap over the years is because of old technology. In the past, rotary drills required a lot of pressure to clean out the tooth. That pressure created heat, which in turn heated the nerve, causing pain. The sound of the drill itself created stress in clients, which made them even more sensitive to pain.
In the last decade, advances in dental technology have resulted in root canal therapy that is of no more discomfort than having a tooth filled. Here are some of the reasons you don’t need to fear root canal at The Dental Room:
In a few decades as technology continues to advance, and more people experience modern root canal therapy, the scary stories will get harder to believe.
However, it is important to prevent things from getting to this point. Dental disease is very often silent until it reaches the pulp. Many people go to the dentist only when they have a toothache, and usually extensive treatment is required. But regular maintenance visits will help pick up any problems and save you time, any discomfort and costs.
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