Despite Their Reputation, Root Canals Don’t Really Hurt
When it comes to Edmond dental care, no procedure carries a worse reputation for causing discomfort than a root canal.
For many patients, simply hearing the term “root canal” is enough to cause them to squirm uncomfortably in their chair. After all, a root involved drills and needles and all the things we dislike about visiting the dentist. However, a new study shows the pain associated with root canals more fiction than fact.
In actuality, a root canal doesn’t cause nearly as much discomfort as what many people think when compared to other dental procedures. When asked to self-report their experiences at the dentist, the study participants found the procedure to cause no more discomfort than other types of dental work, such as deep cleanings and fillings.
More Myth Than Fact
As part of their study, researchers from the Adelaide Dental School selected nearly 1,100 Australians between the ages of 30 to 61 to participate in submitting health information through questionnaires, medical records, and dental records. The participants self-rated dental health score was later checked when they underwent dental work and then again two years later.
When participants who underwent the procedure were asked to describe their root canal experiences, it was favorably compared to other dental care procedures such as tooth restoration, tooth extraction, filling placement, or gum disease treatment.
While no one our Edmond dental care office would claim that these types of procedures cause no discomfort, they certainly don’t cause the type of anxiety inducing pain that most people associate with the procedure.
Sure, undergoing a root canal may cause some slight discomfort, but it’s nothing that can’t be managed by a little topical pain medication.
Sadly, the reputation carried by root canals may cause far too many patients to avoid what could be a tooth saving procedure.
Root Canal to the Rescue
Each year millions of root canals are performed worldwide, with over 22 million performed in the U.S. alone. A root canal works to save a tooth badly damaged by tooth decay or dental disease.
When the roots of a tooth become badly damaged as a result of decay, a root canal is required to save the tooth. During a root canal at our Edmond dental care office, our doctors remove the delicate roots and pulp that sit at the center of a tooth. Once the organic material in the center of a tooth has been removed, the tooth is then cleaned and sealed. With further decay now stopped, and the integrity of the tooth maintained by filling and sealing it, the tooth is now saved and returned to health.
When patients avoid receiving a root canal due to feelings of dental anxiety or out of a fear of discomfort, they jeopardize their long-term oral health. Without treatment, a tooth that requires a root canal will eventually die, resulting in permanent tooth loss.
Patients who fear a root canal are also less likely to undergo other complicated dental procedures such as a dental implant or bridge. When a tooth goes missing in a smile, it causes teeth that neighbor the gap to move out of position. This can create a smile that’s crooked, crowded, or misaligned.
Even more troubling, failing to replace a missing tooth can result in the underlying bone structure that holds our teeth into position to erode, leading to the loss of more teeth in the future.
So while a root canal may seem scary, the procedure could actually help to save the health and appearance of your smile.
If you have any questions about root canal or other dental procedures, make sure to ask any member of our team during your next appointment at our Edmond dental care office.