There’s a tremendous difference between knowing about a procedure and actually preparing for it. In dental terms, root canals may be the perfect example of this difference. Most people have heard of root canals, and they hold generally negative feelings about them as a concept. When faced with actually having one, however, vague feelings are often supplanted by outright fear.

Understanding Root Canal Treatment: Dispelling Myths and Easing Fears

Thanks to modern dental science, the anxiety is unwarranted. But, you have to know that to relax. The less information you have, the more likely you are to stress out. This post will help by giving you a better understanding of what’s involved with root canal treatment.

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Each year, dentists in the U.S. perform more than 15 million root canal procedures. Why are they so common and what do they solve? The short answer is root canal infections. Let’s learn more:

What are root canal infections?

Teeth aren’t solid all the way through — they’re made up of layers. The hard, outer surface of a tooth is called enamel. The inner layer is called dentin and is a porous, almost sponge-like tissue. At the center of each tooth is a collection of soft tissue called pulp.

The pulp contains the nerves and blood vessels that allow the tooth to grow. It’s full of cells called odontoblasts that keep the tooth healthy.

A root canal removes the pulp of a tooth that’s been infected or damaged by tooth decay or other injuries. Root canals can save teeth and are considered very safe. Read more at Healthline…

An infection that does not receive treatment can lead to tooth loss. This will require you to replace the missing tooth with a bridge, partial plate or implant. However, with a root canal procedure, the natural tooth can be saved.

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So, how do you know if you need root canal treatment? Are there any specific symptoms you should check for? The following article has some good info:

How do you know if you need a root canal?

There are many things that can damage the pulp or nerve of the tooth. Often a patient will feel pain or other symptoms that alert them to needing root canal treatment, but many times there are no symptoms or warnings. The following are some of the more common reasons for needing root canal treatment.

Pain: A toothache is the most common symptom of needing a root canal. The pain that comes from a tooth needing a root canal is fairly specific. If the tooth is still alive, the affected person will experience extreme sensitivity to hot or cold liquids or foods and that sensitivity will continue even after the hot or cold stimulus is taken away from the tooth. Heat sensitivity, instead of cold, is a symptom that is very specific to a tooth requiring root canal treatment. The tooth may start to hurt spontaneously, in the middle of the night, or sometimes when the patient isn’t even using the affected tooth to eat or drink. The pain can progress to a very severe generalized headache that may cause the person to even forget what initially caused the pain.  Read more at MedicineNet…

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms discussed above, get in touch with your dentist as soon as possible to determine the cause.

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Now, let’s get down to brass tacks and talk about pain — the thing that makes so many people afraid of having a root canal. The piece below is essential reading:

Getting a root canal is relatively painless and extremely effective. You’ll be back to smiling, biting and chewing with ease in no time.

Saving the natural tooth with root canal treatment has many advantages:

  • Efficient chewing
  • Normal biting force and sensation
  • Natural appearance
  • Protects other teeth from excessive wear or strain…

Does a root canal hurt?
Since patients are given anesthesia, a root canal isn’t more painful than a regular dental procedure, such as a filling or getting a wisdom tooth removed. However, a root canal is generally a bit sore or numb after the procedure, and can even cause mild discomfort for a few days.

Can I go to school or work after getting a root canal?
Although you will most likely be numb for 2-4 hours following the procedure, most patients are able to return to school or work directly following a root canal. Read more at American Association of Endodontists…

Now you see that root canal treatment is nothing like the horrible experience it’s made out to be — especially when you’re dealing with a skilled dentist like Dr. Jolene Dague. She performs root canals regularly at Dague Dental Solutions and knows how to keep her patients comfortable and pain-free.

If you’re looking for a dentist you can trust to perform a root canal procedure, Dr. Dague and her staff are the team to turn to. Contact Dague Dental Solutions today to schedule your exam and treatment. Call (563) 386-9770 or use the contact form on our website to reach us. We look forward to speaking with you soon.