For most people, the mere mention of a root canal sets off alarm bells in the body. These bells come in the form of nervous thoughts and sensations – that fight-or-flight response we’ve all heard about. While this is a totally normal response, most fear of root canals is based on mis-information. We feel that by giving you the right information, we can help you understand the process better and calm your fears about this routine procedure.
This is not just your average list of root canal FAQs. Here, we aim to tackle the toughest questions that you can throw our way.
I’ve heard that root canals aren’t as painful as they used to be. How can that be true?
- Better Instruments: Endodontic instruments have improved greatly over the years. They are more precise than ever, allowing us to target only necessary areas and avoid excess irritation.
- Better Anesthetics: The anesthetics we use today are more effective and less likely to cause negative reactions than in the past. In addition, we can use an anesthetic that has adrenaline or epinephrine added to it to make it last longer. The longer it lasts, the less pain you will feel.
- Better Imaging: Modern imaging allows for a more precise treatment and lessens the need to cause irritation in non-infected areas.
- Better Understanding: Today, we have a better understanding of both your body and the microorganisms that cause infected roots. This results in less invasive treatments and better overall care for you.
What can I do to calm my nerves?
- Know the Facts:
- Over 15 million root canals are performed each year.
- Root canals save your natural teeth and save money down the road.
- Root canals are safe.
- Root canals relieve pain caused by infection – they don’t cause pain!
- Ask Questions: Sometimes patients are unsure about a specific part of the procedure and remain silent. We want you to ask questions! Usually we are able to set your mind at ease if you simply ask us.
- Plug In: Many patients bring music and earphones to the appointment to help pass the time in the chair. Ask us if this is an option for you before your appointment.
Why not just remove the tooth?
When a tooth hurts, often a person’s first reaction is to get rid of the tooth. However, we know that missing teeth cause bigger health problems and expenses down the road. The first choice in dental care is ALWAYS to save the tooth when possible. Root canal treatment saves teeth. In fact, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment can last just as long as the healthy teeth in your mouth!