Have you been putting off a much needed root canal because of horror stories that you have heard in the past? If so, you can rest assured that dentistry has come a long way to ensure your comfort with this procedure. The most common reason why dental problems are left untreated for so long is simply due to the lack of knowledge and idea that major procedures such as a root canal is a lengthy and painful process to fix. Having the knowledge of why you are experiencing so much pain and what the process for a root canal actually entails can oftentimes alleviate the majority of the anxiety and stress associated with going to the dentist.
Root canals are performed when the inside of the tooth has decayed to the point that an infection of the tooth pulp has occurred, an abscess has formed, or both. If caught at a fairly early stage, the tooth is still salvageable. This procedure involves removing the nerves and pulp from the inside of the tooth and cleaning it out. Doing this will reduce the chances of new bacteria infecting the pulp chamber (which could form an abscess). Once the hollowed tooth has been cleaned and sealed, the pain you were previously feeling should be eliminated entirely due to the infected tissues and nerve being removed. It typically takes two appointments to get a root canal completely finished and with local anesthetic it is essentially painless.
It is easy to confuse a root canal infection with your basic cavity or tooth ache. Some common signs of a root canal infection consist of:
- Unusual sensitivity to hot or cold substances
- Extreme pain when applying pressure such as chewing
- Swelling of the gums along with a pimple-like development around the infected tooth
Root canals are preventable by keeping up on your dental hygiene. Ways of doing this would be to:
- See your dentist on a regular basis
- Get any chips or cracks in your teeth repaired
- Brush and floss your teeth daily
- Improve your diet
- Use a night guard if grinding your teeth in your sleep is a common occurrence
Many dentist offices are going above and beyond to ensure your experience with any dental service is a pleasant one. Some of the things modern dentist offices offer now days are sedation, massage chairs, aromatherapy, paraffin hand wax, personal televisions, and warming blankets. This is done to help ease your stress and help motivate you to see your dentist on a regular basis to prevent much bigger procedures in the long run. Even though some pain associated with dental procedures is inevitable, there are many advancements with modern dentistry that greatly reduces the pain.