Our previous blog post discussed dental anxiety. Today’s post is focused on one of the causes of anxiety for many patients — root canals.
Before you stop reading, we want you to know that many times, you can take steps to avoid a root canal treatment. We’ll be discussing those below.
But just as important, we want you to know that root canals are not nearly as bad as you may think. With modern dental tools and techniques, which we use at Overmeyer Family Dental, your root canal can be performed practically pain-free. We’ll discuss how we can do this at our Orlando, FL, dentist office as well.
The Reasons We Do Root Canals
Root canals are often misunderstood. This is a treatment to alleviate or prevent pain. It’s not meant to be a cause of pain for anyone.
Root canals are performed to remove infections from teeth. Teeth become infected when bacteria reach the innermost parts of the tooth, namely the pulp chamber and the root canals.
Both of these parts of the tooth have pulp, a soft connective tissue. The root canals are openings where blood vessels and nerves enter the tooth.
When bacteria infect the pulp, the tissue can become inflamed. This can put pressure on the nerves, causing pain. You may feel this pain in a few different ways.
It could be a lingering pain that never goes away completely. It could be a sharp a pain that increases when you try to bite or chew with the infected tooth.
You may notice your tooth is more sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks as well as to sweets. You might notice swelling of the gum tissue near your infected tooth, and you could see a “pimple” that appears on your gums as well.
Last but not least, you may notice your tooth has become darker with time.
If you notice any of these things, contact us quickly to get treated as soon as possible. We want to end your pain if needed and prevent pain whenever possible.
How To Avoid A Root Canal
In general, root canal treatments are needed when tooth decay or gum disease has gone untreated or when someone has suffered an injury such as a broken or cracked tooth. Any of these things can expose the pulp to bacteria.
Good preventive care (brushing, flossing, regular checkups) often can stop decay from spreading before it causes a tooth infection. Even if you have a cavity, a dental filling or a dental crown is all you need as long as you seek help before the decay eats into the center of the tooth.
Likewise, gum disease can lead to gum recession, which can expose the roots of your teeth. This allows plaque and tartar to form on your roots, which is how bacteria can eat into the root canal. Getting help for gum disease treatments early can prevent this from happening.
Accidents are trickier since you can’t predict when one might occur. If you are an athlete, however, you can take precautions during practices and games, however. Wearing a custom-fitted athletic mouthguard can prevent or minimize the effects of an injury to the mouth.
How You Can Have A Painless Root Canal Procedure
If all you know about root canals comes from someone else’s stories or from movies and television, then we understand why you might be worried about this procedure. Fortunately, modern dentistry has come a long way, and we have ways of making root canals more like a large dental filling.
With sedation dentistry, we can make sure you don’t feel anything during the procedure itself. After the infection is removed, we will fill the tooth with a material that helps it retain its shape and reduces your risk of another infection. When the tooth is sealed (often with a dental crown), your tooth will look as good or better than it ever has.
With the infection removed, you should notice a dramatic reduction in pain in the days that follow. Before you know it, you’ll be eating as comfortably as you could before the infection occurred.
Stop The Pain And Keep Smiling