Root canals are a common dental procedure that dentists handle every day. Better understand this practice and get relevant and helpful facts here!
Roughly 41,000 root canals are performed by dentists and endodontic surgeons in the US each day, with about 15 million root canals being completed each year — root canals are serious dental procedures, but not rare.
At Reliant Dental Group in West Roxbury, our patient-centered care and innovative dental services are what distinguish us. If you plan to have a root canal, follow along in today’s post vital information regarding the procedure.
All You Need To Know About a Root Canal
A root canal is performed to an injured or diseased tooth typically resulting from penetrating decay, tooth traumas, chipped or cracked teeth, ongoing dental procedures to the tooth, or a flawed crown.
Within your teeth is the dentin and beyond the dentin is an important soft tissue known as the pulp. The pulp reaches below and into the roots and contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue which is responsible for the growth and development of your teeth.
The pulp keeps your teeth thriving and nourishes them all throughout your lifetime, so if the pulp becomes infected or inflamed it can compromise the tooth.
A root canal aims to mitigate the infection by cleaning out the pulp, making your tooth healthy and pain-free.
Why get a root canal?
If the infection or decay remains in your tooth, not only is it exceptionally painful, but it can also lead to tooth loss — saving the natural tooth is always the dentists first priority.
When a root canal is performed it provides many benefits such as:
- Improved chewing
- Normal biting and chewing
- Protects the surrounding teeth from wear and tear
- Helps maintain the structure as a whole
Root Canal Myths
The dental industry gets a bad rap and it likely has the most myths surrounding various dental procedures. These myths can prevent people from seeking the treatment they need, so let’s put root canal myths to rest!
Myth 1: Root canals are agonizing.
The procedure involves treating your tooth internally, and perhaps long ago root canals were painful, but that is not the case today. Root canal technology and dental innovation have come a long way to keep patients relaxed and comfortable.
Many describe the experience similar to getting a cavity filled, and oftentimes, the swelling and pain you suffer from before your tooth is treated with a root canal are far greater than the actual dental procedure. And, the root canal is a great reprieve from the pain and discomfort you had been dealing with.
Myth 2: Root canals will only make you sicker.
There is an outdated, poorly researched study that made the claim that people will suffer a lifetime of health complications if they undergo a root canal — this study spread like wildfire and stuck as truth, but it’s so far from it!
It’s important to save a diseased or injured tooth if possible, so a root canal is often the first course of action — root canals have a very high success rate that last a lifetime and improve your health!
Myth 3: It’s a better choice to completely extract the tooth than save it.
As it’s been said time and time again, saving your natural tooth is invariably the best choice, and while artificial teeth have come a long way, they can never fully replicate the look and feel of your natural tooth.
In some cases a tooth needs to be pulled, but if it can be saved to maintain the structure and health of your mouth, it will.
Additional Root Canal Information
Contrary to what some have come to believe, root canals are typically not an arduous process. In one to two appointments that shouldn’t go over 90 minutes, you can address the issue and be well on your way to a healthy, pain-free smile.
Sometimes it can be difficult to know if a root canal is warranted. The damage to the tooth will be more severe than a cavity, and you will have likely had an event that spawned the need for one — getting hit in the tooth in sports, cracking it while eating, etc.
This is why dental cleanings are so crucial to your dental health — they can identify these issues and treat them early on.
Root canals, although steeped in myths, are performed by dentists on a daily basis and are a common procedure that many undergo annually.
To schedule an appointment, connect with our West Roxbury office today!