Getting to the Root of Your Root Canal Fears with the Help of Your Colorado Springs Dentist
It’s not surprising that a vast majority of patients associate negative thoughts with the mention of a root canal, also known as endodontic therapy. But what many patients fail to recognize is that root canal treatment can actually save your diseased tooth that would otherwise have to be extracted.
There are many misconceptions about root canal treatment, but the more educated you are about root canal therapy and the benefits it offers, the less apprehension you will feel about the procedure. Discuss your fears with your Colorado Springs dentist to dispel the long-standing myths and reduce nervousness you have about the procedure.
What Exactly is a Root Canal?
Located in the center of every tooth is the pulp which provides nutrients to the nerves of each tooth. When a tooth is infected, it can spread to the pulp. If the pulp dies, you are at risk of losing the tooth. This means the pulp will need removed in order to save your tooth. And that’s where root canal therapy comes in. Root canal therapy involves the dentist making a small hole in the tooth to remove the infection, along with the infected nerves and blood vessels located inside the tooth roots. The inside of the roots are then cleaned and shaped, and a tooth-filling material is placed to block infection from the tooth.
Dispelling the Root Canal Reputation
The perception of endodontic therapy being painful started years ago when today’s technologies and anesthetics didn’t exist. Advances in dentistry today have made it possible for a dentist to administer root canal therapy that is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. In fact, according to the American Association of Endodontics, a recent survey revealed that patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as "painless" than patients who have not had root canal therapy. Most patients who have root canal experience little or no discomfort or pain, and enjoy a restored tooth that can last almost as long as its healthy original. That’s because when patients go to their dentist with a severe toothache caused by damaged tissues, root canal treatment removes this damaged tissue, thereby relieving the pain you are experiencing
Early Detection for Easy Treatment
Root canals are perfectly preventable with regular flossing, brushing and routine visits with your Colorado Springs dentist. The earlier you identify a diseased tooth, the better your chances of saving and fully recovering the tooth. Look for the following signs and symptoms to detect an infected pulp:
- A broken tooth
- A discolored tooth, with or without pain
- Sensitivity to cold and heat
- Swelling around the effected tooth
- Tenderness to touch and chewing
Whether an untreated cavity or a trauma has infected your tooth, you’ll want to see your Colorado Springs dentist right away. When a tooth is severely decayed, root canal therapy is usually the only option for saving the tooth. Talk with your dentist about any fears or doubts you have about the procedure. This can ease any apprehension before the procedure is preformed, and help you feel more comfortable about the treatment. Root canal therapy doesn’t have to be scary if you know what to expect.