Have you been ignoring tooth pain due to the fear of having to undergo a root canal treatment? You’re not alone. Up to 15% of the people living in the United States avoid seeking dental care due to fears and misconceptions.
We have seen many patients show up at MediDental Care ready to find a solution to their tooth pain only to panic when we recommend root canal as the best solution. Most of the time, the patient's anxiety is triggered by fear of the unknown as well as widespread myths and mistaken beliefs.
Having an understanding of the actual nature of root canal therapy will set you free from your fear, pain, and possible loss of the affected tooth. Read on to learn about the root canal procedure and why you shouldn’t fear it.
Anatomy of the Tooth
To understand root canal therapy, you need to know the basic anatomy of the tooth.
The dental pulp is the innermost section of your tooth. It is made up of nerve fibers, lymph vessels, and blood capillaries. When your tooth is injured in a traumatic incident or as a result of a cavity becoming too big, the nerve fibers can become irritated or infected. When bacteria gain access to the pulp, you start to experience pain.
Root canal treatment can ease the pain. The therapy removes the inflamed tissues, thereby eliminating the cause of pain. Your MediDental Care dentist uses anesthesia to numb the affected area before using specialized tools to remove the pulp.
After the procedure, the area is cleaned and dried, and the empty space is filled with a rubber-like material. A cap-like restoration that mimics the crown is placed over the tooth. Your tooth is now able to perform its normal day-to-day functions, and the pain should be gone.
Reasons Not to Fear a Root Canal
The MediDental Care team has put together a list of six reasons why a root canal is nothing you should fear.
It may not actually hurt
Top among the misconceptions about root canal treatment is that it is excruciatingly painful. That is not the case. A survey done by the American Association of Endodontists indicates that those who have had a root canal are more likely to describe it as painless.
Before beginning the procedure, your dentist injects an aesthetic that numbs the area around the affected tooth. This shields you from pain all through the treatment. The prick of the injection is the extent of the pain you feel.
Post-procedure pain is over soon enough
Another reason for fearing a root canal is the possibility of pain after the treatment. It’s likely that you may experience a bit of soreness afterward, but it is nothing that over-the-counter painkillers cannot take care of. If you are at risk of infection, your dentist can also prescribe an antibiotic to fight it off.
Root canal saves your tooth
Root canal treatment is performed so that you won't lose your tooth despite the infection inside. Most of the teeth treated this way last a lifetime as long as the patient exercises proper dental hygiene.
Another great advantage is that people cannot easily notice that you had a root canal. The crown added after the treatment leaves your tooth looking natural and as good as new.
You do not spend ages in the chair
Root canal treatment takes several hours to complete. But it probably takes much less time than you expect, especially if you load some of your favorite e-books and music onto your phone before the appointment.
In less severe cases, you can have the entire procedure done in one sitting. For more severe ones, you may have to come back later. In your initial consultation, your dentist lets you know how long the treatment will take to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Your dentist works with you
At MediDental Care, our staff takes your concerns seriously. We understand that your fears may not be calmed even after you learn about the straightforwardness of the treatment. Feel free to let your dentist know if you are worried. They will take more time to ensure you are comfortable throughout the procedure. But we can only help if you openly communicate your concerns.
Root canal does not have to be expensive
For some people, the other fear greater than pain is that of a costly bill. Root canal is admittedly more expensive than filling because it takes more time and skills. But it is more affordable than other dental procedures like tooth replacement and extraction — which may become necessary if you delay seeking treatment.
You do not have to put up with the pain of an infected tooth. Call MediDental Care in Astoria, Queens, for an appointment or fill out the online form on this website.