Misleading stories can plant irrational fear

Waiting too long can be dangerous

The entire root canal process is safe

People can find out that they need a root canal several different ways. They can have pain in their mouth that doesn’t go away or it hurts for them to bite down. If they have a hot or cold beverage, it may still hurt after the beverage is long finished. There may be swelling in the gum area. They may not even feel anything and a dentist may find a dead tooth while doing an exam. It’s how they react when they find they need one – usually it’s fear.

Why are they afraid? They may have heard stories from friends or relatives about a nightmare experience, which undoubtedly left an impression. As it turns out, those fears are largely unfounded. Here’s why one shouldn’t be afraid of root canals.

The Procedure Is Largely Painless

Once the root canal procedure has begun, it’s actually no more painful than having a cavity filled. People largely remember the pain of the infected or decayed tooth before getting in the dentist’s chair. That may make them more agitated. The dentist or specialist will numb the problem area, isolate it with a rubber dam and then file holes in the tooth to remove the pulp and root of the infected or damaged tooth.

After that, the treatment can go a couple of ways. If there is an infection that could linger or cause problems, antibiotics may be put in the newly filed holes to prevent any long-term issues. If the tooth and surrounding area are deemed to be sufficiently cleaned and infection-free, then the dentist or specialist will seal up the tooth and put on a crown to protect what is now a dead tooth.

It Is Not Time-Consuming

Dental technology has improved greatly over the decades. Root canals, which were first used in dentistry in the late 1830’s, have been refined while the conditions under which they are done have improved exponentially. Sterile instruments, which were an afterthought back then, are standard.

Now the root canals can typically be done in one or two short sessions. It all depends on the state of the tooth and the surrounding area. It can also take longer if a specialist has to be brought in instead of a general dentist.

The restoration process is what takes the most time – this is not factored into the general time estimate. Ensuring that the tooth will remain safely protected afterwards is not something that should be done quickly or taken lightly. It is often here where other horror stories have surfaced, when patients have said that the dead tooth had broken afterwards. It is only if there were shortcuts taken that there might be problems.

It Is Safe

There was some research done that showed a possible correlation between root canals and health problems like heart disease and cancer thanks to bacteria that might be under the canal. It’s been nearly 100 years since that study and there have been a lot of changes since then, including a study that shows that even a mouth freshly cleaned at the dentist’s office has bacteria in it. Root canals are as safe and routine that a procedure can be.

Dr. Dorothy Anasinski and her staff at Dental Specialists of Niles are very skilled at root canals and making sure they go smoothly for patients.