If you have a severely damaged or decayed tooth, your dentist will likely recommend a root canal to save it from an extraction. While more than 15 million are performed every year, they are only suggested when there are no other viable treatments to rehabilitate a tooth. If your dentist has recommended one, your first thought may be to avoid it at all cost. Let’s face it, root canals have a bad reputation for being painful, but you have nothing to fear. New advancements in dentistry now make them no worse than a traditional filling.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is an endodontic procedure that extracts the inner layer of your tooth, known as the pulp. By removing the tooth’s nerve center, you prevent the infection from spreading. After the decay and pulp are removed, the tooth is sterilized and sealed using a special material called gutta-percha. A custom-made dental crown is then placed over it to restore its function and appearance.
Is a Root Canal Necessary?
When a tooth has been damaged by decay and infection, having it pulled may seem like the simple solution. While this solves the problem short-term, it creates a new list of challenges. You will need a prosthetic tooth for the rest of your life to protect your remaining teeth while promoting your oral health and functions.
You may still be on the fence about the treatment because you have heard they have a high failure rate or they are expensive. Neither of these myths is true. Now, root canals have a lifetime success of over 85%. Although they may cost more than an extraction upfront, they are more cost-effective long-term because you will not need to pay for a replacement tooth for the remainder of your life.
Are Root Canals Scary?
There is a lot of misconception surrounding the procedure due to how they were performed in the past. Before modern advancements, the treatment was quite uncomfortable; however, not they are virtually pain-free.
New anesthetics and technology make the treatment comfortable while also being more effective. If you are still a bit apprehensive about your upcoming appointment, there are several tips to help you relax.
- Focus on your breathing in a quiet area to help steady your heart rate to decrease your stress level.
- Soothing music can calm your nerves while also reducing the sounds of the dental office.
- Aromatherapy using pure essential oils can help to reduce your anxiety.
- Head into your treatment feeling well prepared about what you can expect to give you the peace of mind you need to feel confident about your decision.
Save Your Smile!
If you need a root canal, there is no need to worry. Your dentist will help you conquer your fear to save your smile.
About Kent Dental Clinic
Kent Dental Clinic provides comprehensive services to the community to help your smile last for a lifetime. Besides preventive care, we also offer restorative treatments to save damaged teeth. If you need a root canal, we can help. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.