If you've never had a root canal, you're probably feeling anxious about your upcoming procedure. Root canals have developed a bad reputation - but we're here to put those false assumptions to rest. Your root canal allows you to heal and protect a troubled tooth. And the procedure isn't as scary as many patients think.
Curious about why your root canal is the right step? Read on to learn why root canals are much more pleasant than you might think.
Why Your Root Canal Is Nothing to Stress About
It's similar to a regular filling
Many patients think that a root canal is going to be significantly more invasive than a filling. And while treatment does delve deeper into a tooth than with a typical cavity, it's remarkably similar to a standard filling. A tiny hole is drilled in the tongue-facing side of your tooth. Small instruments are then inserted through the hole so that Dr. Singh can remove the infected tooth pulp. The tooth is then filled with protective cement, and the hold is sealed off. It's as easy as that!
Your dentist will also use a dental dam to isolate the tooth so that the treatment area can be kept clean. While this may feel a little different, you’ll get used to it quickly – and many patients prefer it because it isolates their tongue from the treatment area.
You'll be numb during treatment
If you’re receiving a root canal, you’ve probably been in pain for some time. The last thing you want is for the treatment process to cause even more discomfort. Fortunately, you’ll be completely numb during the root canal procedure. Your dentist will provide shots of local anesthetic to prevent you from experiencing pain during your endodontic treatment. The main sensation most patients experience is pressure as the tooth’s pulp is removed.
Your pain will be resolved
As we just mentioned, you’ve probably been experiencing horrible twinges throughout the day leading up to your root canal. Once treatment is completed, the infected pulp has been fully removed – meaning that the tooth will no longer experience those uncomfortable sensations. You’ll be able to move forward in comfort.
You're preventing the need for more invasive treatment
The alternatives to a root canal are much more serious. If the infected pulp is not removed, consequences like gum disease and the need for tooth extraction could come into play. A root canal allows you to take a proactive step and avoid these more involved conditions and procedures.
The procedure is fast
For a single tooth, treatment will be similar in length to a standard filling. There are a few extra steps because of the necessary x-rays and care to keep the tooth clean to prevent infection from returning. But these don’t add a significant amount of time. You’ll be out of the office and healing at home before you know it.
Sedation is available
If you have dental anxiety, the thought of shots and drilling may not be manageable. Let us know if you're interested in learning more about sedation. We'll lay out your options and come up with a plan that leaves you feeling comfortable during your procedure.
The treated tooth won't be noticeable
After treatment is complete and your tooth has healed, Dr. Singh will provide either bonding or a crown to protect the tooth. This dental work will match your surrounding teeth and will allow you to smile confidently. Over time, you'll likely forget that you even had a root canal on the affected tooth.
You'll be feeling better soon
While there will be an initial period of discomfort, you'll feel like yourself again within less than a week. We'll provide aftercare instructions to help you soothe the area, and you can take over-the-counter pain medication to manage swelling or soreness. Most patients notice that the discomfort is mostly gone after just a few days.
You're saving your tooth
Dentistry is inherently conservative - we want all our patients to retain their teeth as long as possible, and we do as little as we can to impact natural tooth structure. A root canal allows you to keep your tooth and prevent the need for an extraction and dental implant or bridge. It's the best way to heal your smile and prevent the problem from worsening. And that makes a root canal as appealing as it gets!
Have questions about your root canal? Give us a call at 607-758-7700 to speak to a member of our team.