If there’s any one dental procedure that is dreaded by most people, it is root canal therapy. Almost every other dental treatment term sounds better: filling, caps, crowns, bridges, implants, but “root canal” sounds downright scary! And we have all heard the expression “I’d rather have a root canal than….”.
When you need your "root canal" worked on, it’s called “root canal therapy” or “root canal treatment,” or the dental term, “endodontic therapy.” The root canal is the center of the tooth where the circulatory system and nerves are located. When there is an infection or abscess at the bottom of the tooth it is necessary to perform this procedure in hope of “saving” the tooth. Root canal therapy is needed when the damage goes beyond what can be treated with a filling. Often it is because there is extensive decay from an untreated cavity. We may also recommend a root canal if we feel future infection is the tooth is inevitable.
An infected tooth can be very painful and so many people associate that pain from the infection to the actual root canal procedure. If you have ever had a swollen face due to a serious tooth infection and you have bitten down into something, you can relate. That being said, the pain is usually coming from the infection, not the treatment itself. This “painful infection” coupled with the fact that some dentists often require multiple visits for root canal treatments, its often where these "root canal horror stories" originate from.
Thankfully our office offers single visit root canal treatment! We have two specialty doctors (Endodontists) in our office that will make sure your visit is painless and you are comfortable throughout the process. Raphaelson Dental Associates offers extended and emergency hours if you ever run into a hairy situation. Our doctors treat infection right away with antibiotics and administer Novocaine to ensure a pain-free procedure. So don’t be afraid if you need root canal therapy — you will finally get the relief from the constant “infection pain” you are experiencing. And honestly, in most cases, our patients feel relieved to have had root canal therapy done.
The procedure involves opening the tooth to allow for removal of infected or dead dental pulp. The tooth is comprehensively cleaned, including any cracks and canals. With special tools, our Endodontists will reshape the canals and fill the tooth with a cutting edge biocompatible filling material. A crown is almost always recommended after a root canal. Patients MUST see us quickly for a restoration, or the tooth will not have a chance of lasting without one.
Keep in mind, regular hygiene visits and routine check ups are essential for preventing and detecting dental problems. If a small cavity is identified in its earliest stages we can prevent pain and save you money.