Have you ever heard the idiom “It was about as much fun as a root canal” used to describe an unpleasant experience? Back in the day, root canals earned a reputation for being quite painful. Unfortunately, they still seem to get a bad rap they don’t deserve.
Today, modern technology has made a root canal in Annapolis no more uncomfortable than getting a filling. If a nagging toothache turns unbearable, these questions can help ease any anxiety you have about the restorative procedure.
Why do people need root canals?
Root canal therapy is needed when the internal part of a tooth, called the pulp, becomes infected or damaged by tooth decay or injury. Root canals are important because they can literally save your tooth. In fact, as many as 24 million teeth are saved by the procedure in the US every year.
How do I know if I need a root canal?
Your dentist in Annapolis will have to make the diagnosis. Often, root canals are not the first procedure needed on a tooth. A filling or other treatment may be a viable preventive step.
See your dentist as soon as possible if you have a broken tooth, a lost filling, a toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold that remains even after the liquid or food has been removed, a swelling on the gum near the tooth, or a tooth that turns dark.
Are root canals painful?
Having a root canal is less painful than needing one! You’re already enduring the worst part.
Due to options in anesthesia available today, root canals are quite comfortable. Local anesthesia numbs the area and blocks any pain. You can return to your normal activities immediately.
For patients with anxiety about dental procedures, conscious sedation make total relaxation a great choice. You might not even remember the procedure later. However, with conscious sedation, you will need a ride to and from the dentist’s office, and you may need a few hours to feel fully awake afterwards.
After the procedure, your teeth may be sensitive and your mouth will feel a bit sore, but over-the-counter pain relievers should be all you need. You will need to keep your mouth clean and not bite down with the affected tooth. Within a few days, you will be able to resume chewing, brushing and flossing as usual.
What other procedures are required after the root canal?
After the procedure, your dentist may decide that a filling is all you need. Or you may need to have a crown placed to protect the weakened tooth. Crowns will require a second and third visit.
After that, for most people, the tooth is saved and no further treatment is needed. A small percentage of patients may require additional root canal therapy.
What happens if I don’t have a recommended root canal?
There’s no way around it. You will have continued pain and eventually lose the tooth. Put yourself out of your misery! See your dentist to find out how easy it can be to end the pain and save your tooth.
About the Author
Dr. Barry Grosshandler has been serving patients in the Annapolis area for over 38 years. He and his team are dedicated to your comfort and highly trained to make sure your smile and your experience give root canals a better reputation. Contact us at (410) 263-2003 to find out how we can ease your anxiety about root canals and other treatments.