For some the mere mention of the words root canal is enough to squirm. For years this procedure has been associated with pain, discomfort and suffering, this is a wide-held belief constantly reinforced by the media, such as movies and Sitcoms. But, is it really as bad as people make it out to be?
For dental professionals the answer is a resounding “NO!”, the root canal belief is wrongly founded and it’s in fact detrimental to public health, as people would rather suffer throught the pain than getting a root canal.
So the root canal isn’t painful?
Not at all, actually it’s quite the opposite, according to the American Association of Endodontists, a root canal is a procedure that actually reduces pain. With the modern advances in anesthesia and surgical techniques, the discomfort of a root canal is similar to that experienced with a tooth filling, that is, not very much.
Sure, there are some very small side-effects, for example, after a root canal most patients are very sensitive in the area, especially to sudden changes in temperature, but this is the case for almost every single dental procedure out there.
So, why do people think that root canals are painful?, it’s a simple confusion really, what is actually extremely painful is the swelling caused by damaged or infected teeth, some people can actually spend days without any sleep due to the pain; while a root canal does offer a considerable relief, one cannot expect that a damaged area won’t stop hurting overnight, the body needs time to heal, the good news is that the dentist can prescribe medication to help with the discomfort, which will be a thing of the past in but a few days.
Why don’t you just extract the tooth?
Obviously, another solution would be to take out the tooth and replace it with an implant, but here is the deal, most dentists agree that a natural tooth is always preferable than an artificial one for several reasons:
- If the area is infected you can’t place the implant right away, the dentist has to wait until the area heals properly.
- It’s more expensive to place the implant than it is to repair the tooth.
- Implants may have side-effects.
So, given the option, a dentist will do everything they can to save the real tooth, of course, every case is unique, and in some cases the damage may be so great that the best solution is a full-on extraction.
With this in mind, don’t be afraid of the dentist, ironically, by trying to avoid “pain” you might just end up in a worse situation, here in Los Algodones we strive for the well-being of our patients, and that means helping them avoid as much discomfort as possible.