If you’re like most people, the words “root canal” can strike you with a sense of fear. Root canals are seen as a negative experience to avoid at all costs. Though root canals often get a bad rap, they are necessary in order to keep your teeth and therefore maintain your smile.
Problems Avoided By Root Canals
Root canals are needed when the inside (or pulp) of a tooth is severely damaged or infected. If left untreated, the tooth will decay and fall out. The infection or damage can spread to the tooth’s roots where it can lead to bone loss, and swelling of areas of the head, face and neck. If not treated, the infected pulp becomes vulnerable to bacteria causing the pulp to be filled with puss. A tooth in this condition is called an abscessed tooth. Abscessed teeth can also lead to the before mentioned problems as well as cause drainage problems in the tooth roots where puss and other secretions can drain into the gums, the cheeks and even the skin.
Symptoms Indicating Your Need For a Root Canal
The most common symptoms that indicate you may need a root canal include pain, tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, tooth discoloration, tooth sensitivity to touching or chewing, and tenderness, swelling and drainage of the lymph nodes of the surrounding bone and gum tissues. In some instances, however, there may not be any symptoms. This makes it important to see your dentist on a regular basis as he or she can perform x-rays of your mouth that can detect infected teeth.
Why Root Canals Are Not to be Feared
As mentioned before, root canals save your teeth. By keeping your teeth, you maintain your beautiful, natural smile and save yourself from future, possibly prolonged, expensive dental work. Saving your teeth are important as your teeth do not grow back if lost.
They’re Not As Painful As You Think
There is a lot of fear around root canals concerning the extent of the procedure and its costs. Many people assume that root canals are painful. While they may have been in the past, new technology and advancements in anesthesia have made the procedure no more painful than getting fillings. According to a WebMD article, the majority of people who had a root canal mentioned being comfortable during the procedure and experienced only minimal pain.
The pain that you’ll likely experience will happen after the procedure, but that can be alleviated through over-the-counter, non-Aspirin pain medications. The amount of pain generally correlates to the extent of the root canal and the degree of pain you had before the procedure.
A root canal procedure will require multiple office visits with the first having your mouth x-rayed to determine if a root canal is necessary. If so, visits for local anesthesia, the procedure itself and a follow-up tooth restoration will be required.
Cost Can Vary, But is Worth It
The costs of root canals will vary based upon the extent of the procedure. If a root canal is done on a molar, it will likely cost more as well. Though the cost can be substantial, it is cheaper than what you may have to pay should the tooth become abscessed. Most insurance companies will pay for some of the root canal costs as well.
As teeth pulp infection occurs deep within a tooth, it is important to practice god, daily oral hygiene practices. It is also important to have your teeth professionally cleaned regularly. Root canals can also be brought on by trauma to the mouth or face. At Britton Dental we have custom made mouth guards that will not only give you the most comfortable fit, but will protect your teeth from trauma that can result in a root canal. If you experience any tooth pain or discomfort, call us today for a root canal assessment.