The Misunderstood Root Canal Treatment

  • May 25, 2016

If you are of a certain age, then you may remember the comedian Rodney Dangerfield. His catchphrase during his act was that he gets “no respect.”

You might say that root canal treatments are the Rodney Dangerfield of dentistry. They don’t get the respect they deserve because many people believe things that are wrong about this treatment.

You may even believe a few of these things yourself. Today, our team at Beaumont Family Dentistry wants to give you a better understanding of why root canal procedures are not the worst thing that can happen to you.

If you live in anywhere in Central Kentucky and you are experiencing symptoms like a toothache that won’t go away, you’ll want to get to one of our dentist offices in Lexington, KY. You may find that a root canal treatment is exactly what you need.

Wouldn’t It Be Better To Remove Your Tooth?

In most cases, no, it would not.

Root canal treatments are one of the many ways dentists try to preserve as much of your tooth as possible. This is the same reason we do fillings and create dental crowns for our patients.

Whenever we can, we will make our best effort to save the healthy parts of your tooth.

Root canal treatments are necessary when the pulp on the inside of your tooth has become infected or inflamed. The inside of your tooth is where you have blood vessels and nerves, which may explain why your tooth hurts so much.

If you don’t take steps to treat the infection soon enough, then we might need to remove the tooth completely. However, if we can remove the infection to save the rest of your tooth, then that is what we will recommend.

Don’t Root Canal Treatments Hurt?

You may have seen movies that make this seem like the case, but the reality is that root canal treatments are practically pain-free in modern dentistry.

At our dentist offices in Lexington, we take steps to make sure our patients don’t feel a thing during a root canal procedure.

This starts when we apply a local anesthetic to the infected tooth and the surrounding tissues. This will prevent you from feeling any pain during the procedure.

We also know that many patients experience dental anxiety. Even patients who are normally comfortable receiving dental care may become nervous if they find out they need a root canal treatment.

We can provide sedation dentistry for those patients. We offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oral conscious sedation at all three of our locations. Our Hamburg office also offers IV sedation.

Each of these options provides an analgesic effect. This means they will block you from feeling any pain while you are under their effects. Many patients also find that they don’t recall anything about the treatments they receive when under dental sedation.

Will A Root Canal Make Me Sick?

No, it will not.

More than 100 years ago, one dentist mistakenly believed that root canal procedures contributed to other illnesses. As more dental researchers looked into this, they found that he was wrong.

In fact, he was so wrong that the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) published a special issue in 1951 to explain the science that demonstrated root canals were healthy and to explain the flaws in the earlier research.

One of the biggest problems is that researchers 100 years ago did not understand what caused people to become sick as well as doctors do today.

If Your Tooth Doesn’t Hurt, Then You Don’t Need A Root Canal, Right?

This isn’t always true.

If your teeth are healthy, they won’t hurt, and you don’t need a root canal on healthy teeth.

Nevertheless, you can have tooth decay for a long time without feeling any pain. The same is true for gum disease.

And the infections that create the need for root canal treatments may not hurt either at first.

It is possible (if you come to our office for routine cleanings and examinations) that we will spot an infection before it becomes painful. In those cases, we may recommend a root canal treatment to save you from more problems — and pain — in the future.

Respect The Root Canal

With good oral health habits and routine visits to our dentist offices in Lexington, our hope is that you will never have a reason to need a root canal treatment. If we do recommend a root canal procedure, you can feel confident that our professional dental staff will do everything we can to make your treatment as comfortable and pain-free as possible.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, fill out our online form or call the Beaumont Family Dentistry that is closest to you.

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