If you were to create a list of your favorite things to do, a root canal probably wouldn’t make the cut. While there are still many misconceptions about root canals, the reputation of this endodontic therapy is finally beginning to improve. A recent survey by the American Association of Endodontists found that 54% of Americans are apprehensive about root canals, a decrease from 60% in 2013.
It’s no secret that root canals have a negative stigma in today’s culture. However, you should know that the reality of the procedure is really not that bad. In fact, it is no more uncomfortable than getting a dental filling. If you’ve been told you need a root canal, you are likely in significant or unbearable pain – pain that can only be relieved by this time-tested treatment of removing infected tooth pulp.
Not only can root canal therapy take away your infected tooth pain, but it can save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted. The next step for a removed permanent tooth is a dental implant, which a procedure far more intensive and invasive than root canal therapy.
Do You need a Root Canal?
During a root canal procedure, your dentist will remove the infected tissue from the innermost layer of your tooth. This is known as the pulp of the tooth. Your dental pulp is what allows you to feel stimuli on your teeth, like hot and cold temperatures. Therefore, you can understand why an infection in this area of your tooth can be so painful. After removing the infected tissues, the canal is cleaned and filled with a special material to “seal out” any future bacteria.
Signs of infection inside your tooth include:
- Tenderness in the gums surrounding a tooth
- Discoloration of the tooth
- A small bump on your gums near the tooth that hurts
- Severe pain when pressure is placed on a tooth, such as while eating
At Smiles by Seese, we proudly use the latest dental technology and technique to perform root canal therapy. We love helping patients understand that endodontic treatment is nothing to fear. In fact, if you have an infected tooth, you should welcome your root canal appointment.