Why is it that actual pain often doesn’t harm us as much as the fear of pain? For many, the mere mention of “root canal” instills the kind of anxiety that can keep them away from the dentist until the pain is unbearable. However, as technology advances and the options for oral care expand, the once-dreaded root canal may have finally met its match.
Signs You May Need A Root Canal
Inside every tooth is a pulp full of connective tissue and nerves. If this pulp becomes diseased or injured, the important and delicate pulp dies. If you don’t remove the decayed area, your tooth will become infected and may have to be pulled out completely. But fortunately, even teeth with disease deep in the nerve can be preserved with a root canal. Other signs you may need a root canal include:
- Serious pain when eating
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- A small, pimple-like bump on the gums
- Darkening of the tooth
- Tenderness or swelling in the gums
Why Is There a Stigma Around Root Canals?
The traditional approach to root canals involves drilling a wide section of the tooth and then using a series of files to pull out infected tissue within the canal. The area is then sealed to prevent an abscess. Unfortunately, this process is imperfect, as debris taken from the canal risks being forced into other areas of the tooth, leading to additional infection and protracted healing time. There’s also the chance that some of the debris will not be captured, resulting in additional time in the dentist’s chair. It’s no wonder patients experience anxiety about root canals.
Time to Leave the Anxiety in the Past
No need to fear, root canals of the future are here. New systems for treating root canals are far less invasive, requiring little more than a pinpoint drill area. The technology uses sound waves, fluids and negative pressure to clean out and sterilize the canal. The pressurized system forces all the debris out and leaves nothing behind to bother the rest of the tooth. Results are far more effective than the traditional method, reducing post-procedure pain and usually eliminating the need for follow-up treatments. Think of this root canal system as a power washer for your tooth. Benefits of this type of treatment include:
- Less pain
- Reduced need for follow-up sessions
- Fewer antibiotics prescribed
- Quicker healing time
- Better overall experience
Dentists who hold specialized certifications can also employ IV sedation to ease anxiety and stress for patients undergoing root canals or other advanced procedures. Sedation can be used in varying degrees to allow patients to achieve a sense of calm or even fall asleep, depending on their preference.
The Bottom Line – Don’t Live in Pain
LifeSmiles by Dr. Randy Mitchmore provides premier dental care in a relaxing, anxiety-free environment. Dr. Mitchmore and his staff use the most up-to-date technology and training available today, including IV sedation. To discuss how you can improve your smile and stop the pain, contact us today.