Few dental treatments are surrounded by more myths than the root canal procedure. For some people, the name itself conjures up images of horrible suffering inflicted inside some medieval torture device. In reality, most patients find the procedure to be necessary and quite comfortable. Besides, any temporary discomfort that you may experience after a root canal is nothing compared to what would happen if you left a root canal problem untreated.
Root canal treatment methods have advanced in recent times. The purpose of the root canal is to conserve the structure of the tooth, making it stronger and extending its healthy life. All root canal procedures are now performed microscopically using special devices that involve the removal of of less tooth dentin, meaning more tooth structure is available for us to restore. This results in stronger teeth in the long term.
You may be surprised to learn that around 14 million people undergo root canal procedures annually. Unfortunately, many people avoid having a root canal until it becomes absolutely necessary, due to fear of pain and discomfort. The reality is that discomfort resulting from a damaged or diseased tooth is far greater than what happens at a dental office.
Something as small as a hairline crack in a tooth can lead to the invasion of bacteria that reach the tooth pulp and cause a tooth nerve infection. If your tooth becomes infected, you will likely begin experiencing severe sensitivity to temperature fluctuations in your mouth. You may also undergo swelling around your gum line. An x-ray may be needed to uncover the true extent and nature of the tooth damage.
Many patients are pleasantly surprised to learn that root canal procedures are normally fairly simple and routine. In most cases, a root canal only requires one office visit. After performing a complete examination, we will numb the area of treatment. Most patients find that the mild discomfort experienced is nothing more than that of a regular filling.
Once we have completely cleaned out bacteria and debris, we will seal your tooth to protect it against additional decay or damage. We will also seal the inside of your tooth to further strengthen it. If additional work, like a cosmetic restoration, is necessary, it can be performed also.
Following your root canal procedure, you should notice almost immediate pain relief. This is because the pressure on the tooth nerve caused by the infection has been alleviated. Most patients require nothing more than over-the-counter pain relievers to manage any post-procedure discomfort. You may also want to restrict chewing to the other side of your mouth for a few days.
If you have experienced tooth trauma or fear that you may have a tooth abscess, you should contact the office of Image Dental & Orthodontics immediately to set up a visit. At that time, we can make the determination if you require a root canal procedure.