How many times have you heard someone say “I’d rather have a root canal” than endure something else as if the pain for a root canal was amongst the worst treatments one could go through. Although the pain that is associated with the infection in the tooth can be painful the actual procedure is quite painless. To help break this common misconception about the excruciating pains supposedly experienced with a root canal we will discuss the procedure and use another figure of speech of why “it’s really not so bad.”
A root canal or endodontic treatment is the name of the procedure used to treat the inner area of a diseased tooth. The inner area of the tooth is made of pulp tissue which contains a few nerve fibers but mostly consists of tiny blood vessels that give it its vitality. The majority of our teeth lie below the gum line and this is the area that comprises the roots. Within the tooth’s roots there are hollow spaces or canals which contain the pulp tissue mentioned above. When this portion of the tooth becomes inflamed or diseased it can cause severe pain or become infected.
To help alleviate the pain associated with inflammation or infection root canal treatment is suggested to remove the inflamed or infected pulp. A dentist will cleanse the damaged area, enlarge it and sterilize it so that a complete tooth extraction is not necessary. After the procedure the emptied out tooth area can be filled with tooth-like materials that seal the tooth and help it prevent further bacterial infection. A dental crown may be placed over your tooth to restore its vitality.
With modern advancements in dentistry including sedation dentistry and anesthesia any pains that are associated with the treatment are prevented. Most patients experience very little to mild discomfort during the procedure and a day or two of post-operative discomfort. These options are much better than losing the tooth completely.