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Why Root Canals Don’t Deserve Their Bad Reputation

June 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — deborahsbishop @ 3:22 pm
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There are several myths and horror stories surrounding root canals that can lead people to needlessly allow problems to get much worse. In fact, a root canal can take the pain out of a miserable toothache in one or two sessions. Read on to learn more about how root canals are routine and perfectly humane dental procedures.

What is a Root Canal?

Root canals are devised to remove the living tissues from the pulp chamber of the tooth before sanitizing it from the inside and sealing it back up, generally with a dental crown. Cavities that affect only the enamel do not cause pain because they do not reach any nerve endings in the tooth. If you are experiencing a toothache, chances are good that a cavity or crack has worked its way into the pulp chamber of the tooth. In this case, a root canal can save the tooth, eliminate the infection, and keep it from spreading to the rest of the body.

How Do Root Canals Work?

Root canals usually take longer than most restorative procedures because they require more steps to complete. Sometimes they require two appointments. Some people might consider dental sedation to remain calm during this lengthier time in the chair.

Modern root canals are completely painless. They are comprised of the following steps:

  1. Local anesthetic numbs the tooth receiving the procedure.
  2. Removal of bacteria and decayed tooth matter.
  3. The tooth’s interior is sanitized and smoothed to thoroughly clear out the infection, going deep into the canals of the root (hence the term “root canal”).
  4. To keep the tooth feeling and working as it did before, it is filled with dental cement and a rubbery substance called gutta-percha.
  5. The tooth is sealed with a crown or dental filling.

Root canals have a high lifetime success rate and can prevent painful and expensive dental treatments later. They save teeth from extraction and anesthesia makes the procedure completely painless. If you need a root canal, modern dental science has you in good hands.

About the Author

Dr. Deborah Bishop earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine at the University of Alabama School of Dentistry before attending an endodontic residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She went on to work as an adjunct clinical professor in her alma mater’s endodontics department. She and her staff provide compassionate endodontic care for the people of Huntsville, AL, and beyond. For more information about root canals, contact her office online or at (256) 882-5161.

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