Are you scared because all you’ve heard and possibly read about a root canal sums up as “extremely painful” and you have been booked for one by your dentist? Then this is the very article you should be reading because root canals can actually be painless!
The sometimes unbearable pain that comes from an infected tooth has led many to believe that the procedure needed to eliminate this very pain is also painful.
Saying that a root canal is therefore painful is nothing but a myth; and one which this post seeks to dispel by enlightening you on what exactly a root canal is, why the procedure is painless, and why you should opt for a root canal instead of tooth extraction.
What is a root canal?
Our tooth consists of 3 layers- the enamel, dentin, and a third layer known as the pulp. The first two layers are hard, and decay or erosion to these layers happen slowly and can be easily and quickly managed.
The pulp- which is the third layer is, however, the soft tissue containing the blood vessels and nerves of your tooth, and infection to this layer may take a few sessions with your dentist to clean and sort out; as this infection could have rapidly extended to the supporting structures of the tooth. When this happens to the pulp, it is at this point that a root canal procedure is needed.
A root canal is, therefore, a treatment procedure done to eliminate pain, and to repair a damaged or infected tooth. It is a deep dental procedure that requires filling up a damaged tooth after removing the damaged area and disinfecting it.
During this procedure, the canals of the tooth are properly cleaned, and the nerve and pulp are removed along with some part of the root to ensure all the bacteria responsible for the infection have been removed. The hurt pulp is then replaced by a rubber-like material called gutta-percha; after which your tooth is restored with a crown or filling.
Why is root canal perceived to be painful?
Remember that a root canal is done on the third layer of your tooth, and this very layer is the “nerve house” which contains both the soft nerves and blood vessels that communicate pain to our brain. This is why pain in this tooth can be really excruciating. It’s like having pain in the very pain sensor.
Aside from this, factors like the inadequate application of anesthesia, lack of proper instruments during a root canal procedure and the lack of appropriate medications could also be some of the factors associated with the pain experienced by some people during a root canal.
Why is a root canal now painless?
Thanks to advancement in root canal technology, dentists now have high-tech equipment and techniques that help to make the procedure practically painless.
For instance, nickel-titanium files have replaced stainless steel files which were used in cleaning out the root canals. A nickel-titanium file is more flexible, less prone to breakage, and also allows the complete removal of infections in the pulp. However, readily available local anesthetics, Modern dental instruments, microscopes, x-rays and apex locators all make a root canal procedure now totally painless.
Here at Angel Dental in El Monte, we care about you as our patient, and we are happy to work with you and help you through a root canal, fears and all. Many people are fearful at first, but our staff is sensitive to your feelings, and we help you work through your fears step by step. Call us for an appointment today to discuss your possible root canal 626-444-2002.