If your dentist has told you that you need a root canal, it’s not as bad as you think. It actually may alleviate dental pain and sensitivity in the affected tooth permanently. And it probably won’t be as painful as you imagine.
Root canals are routine dental procedures that are intended to help you save your natural tooth. Thanks to modern, more painless dental techniques, they are more common today than they were in the past when the damaged or diseased tooth probably would more likely just be pulled out.
What Is a Root Canal?
When a tooth becomes damaged or diseased, the interior portion of the tooth called the pulp is affected. The pulp is composed of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue — all of which help grow the root of your tooth as you mature into adulthood.
Once the tooth has fully grown, you don’t really need the pulp because the tooth can be nourished and replenished by its surrounding tissues. A root canal removes the pulp while preserving the tooth. It’s a procedure that usually can be done in a single appointment or two appointments. And with the use of modern dental techniques, it can be mostly painless.
Root Canals Get a Bad Rep
In popular culture, the term “root canal” is usually used to refer to something truly unpleasant and painful. In reality, that’s not the case anymore. Early root canals sometimes took hours and could be incredibly uncomfortable and painful. But not anymore.
If your dentist tells you that you need a root canal, don’t worry. In most instances, the procedure is relatively quick and painless. The worst part is probably having your dentist working inside your mouth for a little while.
But the benefits are worth it. When you get to keep your natural tooth, it promotes more efficient chewing, biting force and sensation, and natural appearance. It also will help protect the surrounding teeth from excessive wear or strain.