The term “root canal” is one of those things that, in common parlance, has taken on a life of its own. Just hearing those words makes some people tremble with apprehension. But in reality, root canals get a bad rap. They are a common dental procedure whose benefits far outweigh the costs.
What Is a Root Canal, Anyway?
In the simplest terms, root canals save teeth. It may seem obvious, but the best teeth are your natural teeth. Yet sometimes, a natural tooth develops problems due to several causes, such as:
- Cracks or fractures in the tooth
- One or more substantial cavities
- An abscess or tooth infection
- Another tooth injury without a visible fracture
Under these conditions, your Charlotte, NC dentist may decide it’s better to remove the inner parts of the tooth, known collectively as the pulp, seal it up and then cap the tooth with a crown to preserve it over the long term.
Myth #1 – Pulling the Tooth Is a Better Solution
A common expression is that you don’t cure a headache by cutting off your head. This holds true for teeth as well. An extracted tooth, like your head, won’t grow back. Every dentist in Charlotte, NC will agree that saving a tooth is far preferable to replacing it.
Myth #2 – Root Canals Are Painful
The most common fear about a root canal is that it’s going to hurt. The truth is that what really hurts is the infection inside the tooth, and the procedure is actually what relieves the pain. Your dentist will ensure that the procedure itself is guarded against pain by using anesthetics intended to completely numb the area around the tooth. The treatment is then aided by your dentist’s care, skill, and the use of precision instruments.
Myth #3 – Dentists Ignore Your Anxiety about Root Canals
Even though your dentist knows that root canals are nothing to be feared, your perceptions of them are very real. Anxiety never helps in any procedure, which is why we offer the calming benefits of nitrous oxide, an odorless gas inhaled through a small mask that enables you to relax, taking the edge off your experience of the procedure. Better yet, it leaves no lasting side effects such that you will even be able to drive yourself home afterward.
As you can see, root canals are not nearly as bad as you might have thought. In fact, a root canal is so much better than the alternatives. So if you’re experiencing pain and/or swelling or know you have a broken tooth, your best course of action is to contact us right away.