Few events inspire the kind of terror felt when the term “root canal” is mentioned. Most of us have been conditioned to think of the procedure as akin to medieval torture. The truth is that root canals do not actually cause discomfort. And any minor discomfort you may feel after the procedure is much less than what you would experience if you had not had your root canal treated properly.
Dental trauma often leads to a requirement for a root canal. Cracked or fractured teeth can lead to nerves becoming sensitive and bacteria invading the tooth, leading to infection. Other common causes of dental trauma that require a root canal are a damaged dental pulp, a dislodged tooth, or an abscessed tooth.
Root canals are extremely common in the United States. About 15 million people annually have them. Unfortunately, many people delay having a root canal because of the stories that they have heard about the procedure. In reality, the pain resulting from a damaged tooth that goes unrepaired is far worse than anything happening at the dental office.
When is a Root Canal Necessary?
Patients may become extremely sensitive to extreme temperatures after the onset of infection. Persistent swelling may also occur around the gum line. Sometimes, damage is not noticeable, and a x-ray is needed to reveal the true extent of the damage.
The damaged tooth that is untreated can lead to serious complications. At first, the swelling spreads in the mouth area, eventually affecting the face and neck. At this point, the infection can grow worse and result in bone loss around the nerve.
The root canal procedure is fairly straightforward and only requires one office visit. After we examine you, we will numb the treatment area. The sensations you experience at this time are no different than that of a regular filling. We then clean out bacteria and debris, sealing your tooth to safeguard against decay or further damage. We also seal the inside of your tooth to protect it.