Everyone has heard the horror stories of having a root canal. Root canals have been compared to being stabbed, giving birth, ancient torture or even death itself. The truth is a root canal is a pain free experience. An Endodontist – a specialist – performs most root canals, although your general dentist can do the procedure also. Modern root canal therapy is used when you have an infection. The doctor numbs the area, cleans out the canals of the tooth and fills them with a special substance called gutta-percha.
This allows the infection to heal. The procedure which usually takes less than an hour can actually relive the pain you were having prior to the treatment. It is important to remember that once you have had a root canal the tooth is much weaker and usually needs to be supported by a metal post (which is inserted into the tooth) and a crown or cap.
The post and crown restore the tooth. If you do not finish the treatment (post and crown)– and it’s easy forget about once you are no longer in pain – you run the risk of cracking or breaking the tooth which will probably lead to having to extract it. Most of the pain comes in the time before the root canal and the days immediately following the procedure. In my experience most people are relieved of all pain after the root canal.
To sum it all up a root canal procedure is not painful. The process is fairly quick and, for the patient, easy. There’s no need to fear having a root canal!
Posted in: General and Family Dentistry