Root canals get a bad rap. Most people associate root canals with pain, discomfort, and long hours in the dentist’s chair.
Actually, thanks to modern dental techniques and advancements in anesthesia and pain management, root canals usually aren’t very painful at all. In fact, many people who get a root canal leave their dentist’s office wondering what all the fuss was about.
So You Need a Root Canal? So What?
Today’s dentistry isn’t like the old days when dentists were feared and hated. In the past, the most common treatment for an infected tooth root was to pull the tooth out, a procedure that actually was painful and left you with a gap in your smile!
Today, root canals are performed when the area underneath the tooth, called the root, is either infected or damaged. Your dentist will remove the damaged tissue and replace the infected pulp with an inert material. The procedure usually is quick, painless and often can be performed in a single appointment.
Dentists typically use novocaine or another pain-killing drug to deaden the nerves surrounding the affected area so while they are working on your tooth, you won’t feel any pain at all. The only pinch you may experience when the novocaine is injected into the gum — and even that usually will be minimized or even eliminated by use of a numbing gel applied to the area beforehand.
Don’t Fear the Root Canal
A root canal is nothing to be worried about. In fact, it’s something you should look forward to having if you need it because it’s going to eliminate the cause of tooth pain as well as protect your teeth from further infection and risk. It may even save your tooth from having to be pulled later.
If your dentist tells you that you need a root canal, thanks to modern dentistry it is really nothing to get worked up about. Don’t believe the hype.