It’s true: root canals can have quite a reputation. But any dentist in Clinton, NJ, and beyond will tell you this commonly performed procedure is just another step in maintaining a healthy mouth. Separating fact from fiction can be difficult, especially if you are anticipating your first root canal treatment. Debunking common myths surrounding this procedure can help you go into your appointment informed, and with some extra peace of mind. Drs. Carson Ferris-Zeolla and Victoria Uryniak of Quality Dentistry at Walnut Pond practice cosmetic dentistry, family dentistry, and emergency care in the Clinton or Annandale, NJ area, and can help clear up the facts around root canal procedures. Schedule an appointment or consultation today by calling 908-200-7007.
Myth: Treatment is extremely painful.
This is the most popular myth floating around. It most likely came about because, typically, patients feel a tremendous amount of pain before undergoing treatment. Pain and discomfort from abscessed, or infected, teeth can interfere with quality of life. Several types of pain are common:
- Throbbing pain radiating from the tooth into the jawbone, ears, neck, or sinuses
- Increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Dull, persistent jaw pain
- Sharp pain when biting or chewing
After nursing pain for a few days or weeks, it’s not uncommon for patients to be a little jumpy in the dentist chair. However, for Dr. Uryniak or Dr. Ferris-Zeolla, patient comfort is a top priority. Before the procedure, the affected tooth is completely numbed with anesthetic. Once the infection is removed, patients can feel a dramatic difference in pain levels. It’s quite normal to experience some swelling, tenderness, or sensitivity after the procedure, but these symptoms usually subside after just a few days. Of course, it’s important to follow all directions from the dentist for a comfortable recovery.
Myth: It’s a temporary solution.
Root canals are not a quick fix. They are a long-lasting, safe treatment for infected teeth. From beginning to end, the process helps ensure the outcome is a strong, healthy tooth that can be permanently maintained with good dental hygiene.
What happens during treatment?
- First, the patient is numbed before treatment begins, and could be given optional sedation medications to help them relax during the procedure.
- An opening is made on the crown of the affected tooth.
- The pulp, or soft tissues in the center of the tooth, is removed.
- Each hollow canal, extending through the root of the tooth, is cleaned and shaped.
- The dentist then fills the inner chambers of the tooth with a strong, rubbery material.
- A temporary filling or crown may be placed while a protective crown is made, or the crown is fitted and placed the same day.
With a simple root canal procedure, you can expect to be in and out of the dentist chair in less than two hours. If the tooth and gums are taken care of, the healed tooth can last a lifetime.
Myth: The procedure is only necessary if you are in pain.
Just because you don’t feel pain, doesn’t mean a tooth isn’t infected. The infection may be in its early stages. By taking care of it sooner rather than later, you can bypass extreme pain that is common with longstanding tooth infections.
It’s important to attend regular check-ups and cleanings so a dentist can spot any tooth damage early. By putting off treatment, you could face a more invasive procedure, more acute pain, and a much higher bill.
Root canal myths are common, but can lead to unnecessary dental anxiety; it’s important to always check the facts with a dentist before you make any dental health decisions. If you’re in the Clinton or Annandale area, schedule a consultation with Dr. Carson Ferris-Zeolla or Dr. Victoria Uryniak by calling 908-200-7007. They can examine your unique situation, address any concerns you may have, and advise on next steps.