Root Canal Dentist
No dental procedure inspires more fear among patients than the root canal. Like many things in life, however, this fear is mostly unfounded and largely rooted in urban legends. Certain movies have also given patients unrealistic expectations about this common procedure.
This may be why so many patients who have actually undergone a root canal procedure have such a feeling of immediate relief, because it was nothing like what they expected. Before calling your root canal dentist to cancel your appointment, make sure that you learn what is really involved with a root canal procedure.
Needing a Root Canal
A root canal procedure is necessary whenever the dental pulp of a tooth becomes infected. Commonly performed by a root canal dentist, or endodontist, the procedure will help to relieve your pain and allow you to keep your tooth. The dental pulp is the heart of every tooth, containing nerves and a blood supply. When infection reaches this point, it is extremely painful for the individual involved. A root canal procedure involves the removal of the dental pulp, which is refilled to prevent further damage.
Abscessed Tooth Symptoms:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Severe toothache
- Pain that can radiate to the jaw or neck area
Your root canal dentist or endodontist will begin by examining your tooth, which may include a physical examination and x-rays. You will be given a local anesthetic so that your tooth is numb throughout the procedure.
The root canal dentist will drill into the crown of your tooth, allowing access for dental instruments that will be used to clean out the infected dental pulp. The space will be cleaned out to make room for a filling to replace the dental pulp.
Next, the now hollow area will be filled with a suitable material like gutta-percha. Dental cement may also be used to seal the area and prevent further damage.
Finally, you will be provided with a temporary filling until a dental crown is ready to strengthen the treated tooth, which will have been somewhat weakened by the root canal procedure.
Root Canal Myths
Now that we’ve described the procedure itself, let’s dispel a couple of those root canal myths that you may have heard about.
Myth #1: Root Canals Are Extremely Painful
The reason that people typically schedule root canal procedures is due to the extreme pain that they are already in because of an infection of the dental pulp. Any discomfort that you experience during this procedure is nothing compared to what you would feel if you left your tooth untreated. Advancements in dental technology have led to a faster procedure that involves less discomfort.
Myth #2: Root Canal Procedures Make You Sick
This is a ridiculous myth that some people conjure up to avoid needed dental procedures. People claim that the procedure creates hordes of bacteria that spread throughout the body, making you sick. Over a century of medical research has found that oral bacteria can indeed spread systemically. However, a root canal procedure, performed by your root canal dentist, dramatically reduces bacteria by removing the source of infection: the dental pulp.
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