A root canal procedure in Milton – it’s nothing to be scared of
Scott and Derry Dental Care in Milton, ON offers a full range of basic and advanced dental treatments. Patients are often excited about cosmetic improvements, and unconcerned about restorations. Yet, there is one procedure that tends to raise anxiety in even the calmest patient, and that is the root canal. Fortunately, this fear is based in myth, misunderstanding, and outdated information. Here we will explain a bit about the procedure and what it accomplishes, starting with the most important fact – it is nothing to be scared of.
Top three root canal myths
Of all dental procedures, why do people fear this one so much? These widely held – and wildly inaccurate – beliefs are largely responsible.
- Pain – Two-thirds of Americans cite pain as their number one fear about root canals, according to an AAE (American Association of Endodontists) survey. Several decades ago, that fear may have been warranted, as early endodontic methodology was imprecise. Thankfully, we are well past that era. Modern technology, techniques, and medications make root canal treatment as comfortable as a routine tooth filling.
- Illness – This popular myth is perpetuated on social media, disreputable websites, and offline sources. It stems from a theory that was developed, and debunked, many years ago. Despite the fact that there is no supporting scientific evidence linking illness to root canal treatment, it is still repeated to this day.
- Unnecessary treatment – “Isn’t it better to just pull the tooth?” That is one of the most common questions that our patients ask. Occasionally, a tooth is too loose or too damaged, and would not last long even with root canal therapy – and we recommend extraction in those cases. We only recommend root canal therapy when the tooth is savable, and it has a good prognosis after treatment. Whenever possible, keeping your own natural teeth is the best option, and root canal therapy makes that possible.
What is root canal treatment?
We’ve covered what root can therapy isn’t. It is not painful, disease-causing, unnecessary, or something to fear. What is it then? The simple answer is a procedure that stops pain and saves your tooth.
In many ways, root canal treatment is similar to a basic dental filling. Both procedures begin with removing diseased, damaged, or infected tissue, and finally restoring the tooth. The important difference is that a filling treats enamel and dentin, which are hard materials that comprise a tooth’s outer layers. On the other hand, root canal therapy treats dental pulp, which is the soft tissue inside of teeth. The dental pulp is difficult to access, and it contains the nerve, making root canal treatment a far more challenging, complex process. However, with sophisticated technology in skilled hands such as those of Dr. Jifri and her team, both procedures are equally safe, reliable, and comfortable for the patient.
The steps of the procedure include:
- Preparation – Forget what you’ve heard about pain. We completely numb the tooth with local anesthetic, so you shouldn’t feel anything more than a little pressure during treatment.
- Access – Once the anesthetic has taken effect, your dentist will create a very small opening in the upper part of the tooth.
- Cleaning – Specialized endodontic instruments are used to remove the diseased pulp and shape the chamber. The inside of the tooth is sterilized to remove any lingering infection.
- Filling – We fill the prepared root canal and pulp chamber with gutta percha, which is a rubber-like material that seals out bacteria and contaminants.
- Restoration – After root canal treatment, the tooth will have little to no blood supply, because vascular tissues are in the pulp. This is not harmful, but it makes the tooth a bit brittle. Therefore, we apply a dental crown, which protects it as well as restoring its appearance and functionality.
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Why you should never postpone dental care
A frequent or chronic toothache is a sign that something is wrong. It could be something as simple as a cavity that has nearly exposed the nerve, in which case it can be corrected with a basic filling. If not treated, it will continue growing until it reaches the pulp, allowing infection inside your tooth, increasing the pain. Over time, the toothaches keep getting worse, infection can spread to the bone, abscesses on the gums may form, and more. Simple stated, it keeps getting worse until it is treated.Back to Root Canals Page