Why Do Root Canals Get a Bad Rap?

root canal

photo credit: MaciejBledowski | Adobe Stock

3 Questions That Will Uncover the Truth About Root Canal Therapy’s Bad Rap

Root canal therapy: the term can cause anyone’s stress to rise, but that isn’t fair to the procedure. Root canal therapy is a fantastic procedure that saves teeth. Unfortunately, it has been given a bad rap. If your dentist has said you need root canal therapy, and you are nervous, check out these three questions that will uncover the truth.

Why Is a Root Canal Therapy Necessary?

Just like any part of your body, your teeth can become infected. This usually occurs when severe decay has reached the pulp of the tooth and causes an abscess. You can’t simply take a dose of antibiotics to fight this infection because the infection will keep coming back.

There are only two ways to treat a tooth abscess. Root canal therapy is one method to solve the infection. The process involves removing the affected pulp (nerves/blood vessels) and removing the battering that may be in this area. Without root canal therapy, the only other way to treat a tooth infection is to have the tooth extracted. That’s why root canal therapy is so great. It saves your tooth.

Is Root Canal Therapy Painful?

During root canal therapy, the tooth is completely numb by local anesthetics , so even though the procedure affects your tooth pulp (which contains vulnerable nerves), you shouldn’t feel anything. After the procedure, the area around the tooth may feel a little tender, but your dentist will probably prescribe pain medications or suggest over-the-counter pain medications you should take.

If you are particularly nervous about the procedure, the dentist can also use sedation options to relive your stress and anxiety. Sedation options like inhalation sedation, oral sedation and IV conscious sedation let you feel at peace during the procedure. You’ll be calm but aware of what is happening and able to respond to the dentist.

So Why Do People Fear Root Canal Therapy?

If root canal therapy doesn’t hurt, why do people get so nervous when they hear they need the procedure? People constantly associate root canal therapy with pain, and it’s most likely because many people who need root canal therapy are already in severe pain. A tooth abscess puts pressure directly on your tooth nerves, which can cause pain that keeps you up at night.

Somehow, people have started to associate this pain with the root canal procedure. Of course, if you are suffering from a tooth infection, you should look forward to root canal therapy. Even prescription strength pain medications aren’t always enough to alleviate the pain of a tooth infection, but root canal therapy will get rid of the infection and the pressure, reducing the pain.

Root canal therapy shouldn’t be a source of fear or anxiety because the procedure isn’t painful. It’s designed to alleviate your pain. If you have an infection, don’t allow your fear to control you. For more information about root canal therapy, contact Landmark Dental Group in Santa Cruz today.

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