Nothing can strike fear in the heart of a patient in a dental chair faster than the term "root canal." Many people are frightened of the idea of undergoing root canal therapy, but often, these fears are unfounded and related to myths regarding the procedure. This quick guide will help to separate fact from fiction, so that you can make an informed decision about your dental care.
The term "root" in root canal makes many people believe that the procedure somehow involves cutting into the gums to access the roots of the teeth, but this is not the case. A root canal is a procedure used to remove diseased or damaged material from inside the tooth. Known as the pulp, this material contains blood vessels and nerves that come from the roots of the teeth.
The procedure involves drilling into the tooth and then removing the pulp. An antiseptic rinse is used to disinfect the area. Then, a rubber-like material called gutta percha is placed beneath the tooth and a crown is placed over it for protection. At no time will the dentist cut into the gum tissue to access the roots.
If you have in infection or abscess, removing the diseased pulp can allow the infection to clear up. Untreated, the infection can become so severe that blood flow to the tooth ceases, causing it to die and require removal. Infections can also spread to the rest of the mouth, and over time, result in the loss of multiple teeth. As a result, you simply can't underestimate the importance of undergoing a root canal if your dentist has recommended one.
Any type of dental work that involves drilling into the tooth can cause pain, but there are a wide variety of anesthetic options available that make root canals painless. In a survey conducted by the American Association of Endodontists, patients who had actually undergone a root canal were 6 times more likely to say a root canal was painless than those who had never undergone one, showing how much of a myth the discomfort associated with root canals is.
Root canals are considered endodontics treatments and are not performed by all general dentists. You should select a dentist who is experienced in endodontics to perform your root canal if you are in need of one.
Dr. Davis is highly experienced in endodontics and will use the latest technology to make your treatment as painless and simple as possible. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.