Root canals: Separating fact from myth

The words ‘root canal’ can often strike terror in the hearts of patients. If you’ve been told that you need a root canal or if you are scheduled for one soon and are experiencing anxiety about the procedure, read on to gain a little clarity on what to expect.

First of all, the need for a root canal can most often be avoided with proper oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. By catching any decay early, you have the opportunity to stop it before it worsens and the root and pulp of the tooth become infected. If decay has already progressed to this point, then a root canal will be necessary. If left untreated, the infection can spread and cause an abscess which can lead to more serious health problems.

If you are in need of a root canal, you are probably already experiencing a lot of discomfort. Pain, swelling and sensitivity to hot and cold are often the first signs of an infected tooth root. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should come in as soon as possible. During your root canal, we will use local anaesthetic to make sure you are comfortable, as well as provide medication to help ease anxiety. We will do our best to ensure that the procedure is as painless as possible. Once the dead pulp is removed, a filling will be placed, much like a regular cavity. A root canal is generally no more uncomfortable than a regular filling, although the procedure is more complex. In fact, you will likely feel a lot of relief following the root canal, as you will rid of the infection which is causing the pain and inflammation. A root canal is not something to be feared; it’s a necessary treatment and something to be embraced if you are suffering from an infected tooth root and pulp.

A tooth that has undergone a root canal will inevitably be weakened. A crown will be necessary to strengthen the tooth after the root canal. A crown is a dental restoration that is fashioned to fit over the tooth and will look and feel just like the real tooth below. The crown will likely be placed at a separate appointment.

At Coast Dental Centre in Maple Ridge, we’ve safely and effectively done countless root canals. Root canals are one of the most common dental treatments and really not something to be afraid of.

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