If the words “root canal” cause your heart to race and your hands to get sweaty, know that you are not alone. But you should also know that the bad reputation of the root canal, a valuable therapy that can help us save a tooth that might otherwise have to be extracted, is not accurate.
Recently, the American Association of Endodontists (the branch of dental medicine specializing in root canals) conducted a survey of dental patients. They found that half of all their respondents identified root canals as a painful dental procedure. What they also found was that people who have actually had a root canal are six times more likely to describe root canal therapy as a painless procedure!
Why are people who have never even had a root canal claiming that the procedure hurts? It could be because, in the past, we didn’t have the technology available now that allows us to perform root canals comfortably. It could be that people don’t understand the procedure and have built it up in their heads to be something that it’s not.
At AZ Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, we take every possible step to ensure that you are comfortable while we perform your dental care.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a procedure that is performed when you have an injury or infection that has damaged the root and nerve of your tooth. Often, this damage, since it affects the nerve, can be quite painful (and perhaps people associate the pain of the infection with the root canal and that’s one of the reasons for the bad reputation). The goal of the root canal is to remove the damaged nerve, which relieves your pain, and then clean and disinfect the interior of your tooth to avoid future infection.
Once your tooth has been cleaned, the interior will be sealed with a filling. Often, a crown is placed over the tooth to protect and support it.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
If you are in pain, don’t hesitate another moment – call our office immediately so that we can assess the cause of your pain and provide treatment.
It is possible to feel no pain and still need a root canal. This is usually an indication that the nerve has actually died. This situation may occur if your tooth has been damaged by an injury or has actually broken. If you experience an injury to your tooth, let us know so that we can check it out and make sure that everything is okay.