Root canals are endodontic procedures that involve the removal of the pulp or living material that lies inside of a tooth. The pulp contains the dental nerves, which may become inflamed if the tooth is infected. The inflamed nerves can cause excruciating pain that can sometimes only be alleviated by their removal.
Once the pulp and nerves are removed and the interior of the tooth is cleaned and sealed, a filling is applied. Your dentist then covers the tooth with a dental crown for protection and strength.
Root canals are beneficial, but they are sometimes still viewed with fear. Here are a few reasons not to be fearful of an upcoming root canal:
In the past, root canals and other dental procedures may have been difficult to tolerate. However, nowadays, many dentists offer various forms of sedation to make a root canal more comfortable. Oral medication may be prescribed to help you remain calm during your root canal. In addition, before your dentist begins the procedure, he or she will likely inject numbing medication, such as lidocaine, into the gums surrounding the affected tooth. You may experience a slight pinch form the injection, but during the subsequent parts of the surgical procedure, your tooth and gums will already be numb.
If you exhibit significant anxiety during your procedure, your dentist may offer you nitrous oxide, which is also called laughing gas. This medication is administered through inhalation and helps you feel calm and relaxed.
Restoration of Your Tooth
It's easy to fear something that will harm you. However, a root canal is designed to help salvage a tooth that may require extraction otherwise.
If a tooth infection becomes severe, it can spread to adjacent teeth or even to your jawbone. Some infections can even move to your bloodstream and cause you to become ill enough for hospitalization. The consequences of avoiding a root canal are much more frightening than the actual procedure itself.
No More Pain
The root canal is performed to alleviate your discomfort, not add to it. People who need a root canal often display painful symptoms, such as a throbbing toothache, sensitivity to heat and cold, and gum tenderness. These symptoms should go away after your procedure has been performed.
If you are scheduled to have a root canal, contact your dentist to discuss your anxiety about the procedure. He or she may be able to offer details about your procedure to lessen your fear during your appointment.
To learn more, contact a dental clinic like Michels & Gauquie Cosmetic and Family Dentistry.