Worried About A Root Canal? Here's Why You Shouldn't Be

There's no reason to be alarmed when your dentist tells you that you need a root canal. You might have heard that it's painful or that it's unlikely to work and might make your problem worse. In fact, you might prefer that your dentist just removes the tooth so a prosthetic replacement can be fitted. If you're still concerned about the prospect of a root canal, it's time to face facts.

Common (and Quick)

Root canals are a common part of general dentistry—extremely common, in fact (and there are some 15 million root canals performed each year in the US). Your dentist accesses the tooth (often via the cavity or breakage that resulted in the root canal) and removes the infected internal nerve (the pulp of the tooth). The empty pulp chamber is cleaned, filled, and then the tooth is sealed with a filling, which is often followed by a dental crown. It can be over in as little as 30 minutes

It Won't Hurt

Although it's brief, surely a root canal must hurt? It would hurt, aside from the fact that your dentist will numb your jaw prior to beginning work, and the injection is the only part of the process likely to cause discomfort. Once it takes effect (which will be quick), you won't feel a thing. In fact, when the infected nerve was causing pain, its removal will result in fast relief.

Extremely Low Failure Rate

So while it's quick and comfortable, what about if the root canal doesn't actually work? This can't be entirely ruled out, but it's statistically unlikely. A wide-ranging study examined some 1.5 million teeth that had undergone a root canal over a period of five years. Of these, 90% were perfectly healthy after five years. Of the remaining 10%, 3% needed secondary work (another root canal), and only 7% required extraction. So you only have around a 7% chance of the work being ultimately unsuccessful.

The Last Resort

Those unlucky few who required extraction only received this option as a last resort, so there's no need to ask your dentist to jump the gun and extract your problematic tooth. You'd probably have difficulty convincing them anyway. It's always better to restore a tooth when possible, as extraction and replacement are unnecessarily traumatic (not to mention the added time and financial cost). 

Hopefully, you now feel more comfortable about your upcoming root canal. Remember that it's a simple and effective procedure, and perhaps most comfortingly, it's wonderfully predictable. Reach out to a dentist near you, such as Mark A. Massa, DDS, Inc, for more information. 

About Me

Tooth Pain and Gum Inflammation: Get Answers Here

About seven months ago, my gums began to bleed whenever I brushed my teeth. At first, I didn't think much about the blood, as it was only a small amount at the time. But as time passed, my gums began to bleed a lot, even when I didn't brush my teeth. I also experienced a weird taste in my mouth that made my breath smell foul. My sister suggested that I make an appointment with a dentist. She recognized the signs of gum disease and knew that if I didn't seek treatment now, the disease would only get worse. I took my sister's advice and visited a local dentist. The dentist diagnosed me with advanced gum disease and began treatment immediately. If you notice strange things happening in your mouth, don't ignore them. My blog can help you learn more about your oral health and how to protect it. Thanks.

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