Even the mention of a root canal can be terrifying. The procedure has gained a cultural significance of being painful, and all around unpleasant. But ask most people what exactly is a root canal, and they don’t have an answer. Is it something to truly fear? The answer to this question is pretty easy: no, despite what you might think. Root canals are performed to save teeth from infection, and protect your gums. Though it’s commonly assumed root canals cause a significant amount of pain, they actually cure pain by eliminating infection that has attacked the nerve of a tooth. If you think you might need a root canal, this blog is for you.
What is a Root Canal?
Our teeth are naturally protected by a layer of enamel. Although enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, bacteria can attach to teeth and slowly wear it down using an acidic excretion. Past the enamel and through the dentin is a soft tissue called pulp, which contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. When bacteria breaks into the pulp layer of a tooth, it can infect the tooth, cause immense pain, and even slip into your bloodstream. Root canals, also known as endodontic treatment, are used to treat infected pulp by decontaminating the tooth and protecting it from further microbial invasion.
Are Root Canals Painful?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions when a patient is told they need a root canal. That’s okay. While root canal therapy may have been painful in the past, modern endodontic procedures and technology provide an easy experience. Remember that root canal therapy is almost always performed when damage to a tooth has become irreversible without treatment, and is already causing pain. Many patients surveyed on their root canal procedure said it was no more painful than getting a cavity filled. And after the procedure, pain from the infection goes away.
Do the Benefits of Root Canal Therapy Last?
A root canal requires the removal of the nerve and blood supply to a tooth. Over time, the enamel and dentin can eventually become brittle. This makes the tooth more vulnerable to trauma. This is why most dentist suggest restorative dentistry be included in a root canal procedure. A dental crown placed over a treated tooth will protect it. When treated this way, a tooth can last for years, even decades. They have about the same success rate as dental implants.
There is no need to be afraid of a root canal. Using modern numbing techniques, the procedure can be easy and comfortable. If you find yourself feeling afraid or anxious, speaking with your dentist can help. Sedation dentistry has helped many overcome their fear of dental procedures, and there are even drug-free options, such as NuCalm. Unlike most dentists, we even offer IV sedation for deeper relaxation.
Compassionate approaches to dentistry exist in Anchorage, Alaska!
If you’re in need of a root canal, call us at (907) 349-0022 or contact us and come see why PIPS endodontic treatment is a better, most comfortable root canal solution in Anchorage, Alaska!