When patients learn that root canal treatment is recommended in their case, they often respond with dread. Unfortunately, they may believe misperceptions about this intervention. Before you start getting anxious about this treatment, educate yourself about the reality of a root canal.
The most prevalent myth is that root canal therapy is associated with significant pain. While in the past, the experience may have been rather unpleasant, that is no longer the case. Modern instruments and techniques, in combination with highly effective anesthetics, help to make this procedure no more painful than having a cavity filled. In fact, because the treatment is provided to address a problem like an abscess or infection that is actually causing pain for the patient, it is likely to make you feel better rather than worse.
Another persistent myth is that you can just have the tooth extracted in order to avoid the more invasive treatment. While this is technically true, it is always preferred to save a biological tooth whenever possible. Your dentist may only want to provide an extraction as an absolute last resort.
Some patients may also have misinformation about root canal treatment causing other diseases elsewhere in the body. This is a very outdated belief that has no scientific evidence supporting it.
It may also be helpful for you to understand the procedure itself. The dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic and may offer sedation to help the patient relax more. After the anesthetic has taken effect, the dentist will drill a small hole in the tooth to access the root canal chamber. Then, the diseased pulp tissue is removed from that chamber, which is subsequently cleaned and filled with an inert rubber-like substance to prevent bacteria from invading the area again. The procedure is usually completed in about a half-hour to an hour, although more complex procedures may take a little longer.
Has a root canal been recommended for you? Is this proposed course of treatment making you anxious? Talk to our dentist to get the facts and dispel any myths or misconceptions you may have about this procedure.
Contact the office of Barry H. Buchanan, DDS, today!