Despite our best efforts to educate our patients, certain myths about dentistry persist. The most common is that root canals are a difficult or uncomfortable procedure.
The truth is that dentistry has seen some really impressive advances in technology and techniques in recent decades. These improvements, combined with the skill of an experienced dentist and the support of a caring team add up to a procedure that’s no more complicated than filling a tooth!
How Root Canals Save Teeth
Root canals are performed to address a severe infection of the dental pulp deep inside your teeth. The pulp holds the blood supply, nerves, and tissue that keep the tooth alive. This area can be become inflamed and infected due to severe decay, repeated dental procedures, or other trauma to the tooth.
When this part of your tooth is involved, a root canal is your only option for removing the infection and saving the tooth. Without the procedure, you would likely experience severe pain and discomfort, and the only other option is to remove the tooth. This isn’t a good option at all because saving tooth structure is always a priority.
Symptoms of Root Canal Infection
Your dentist is the only person who can determine if you need a root canal. However, some warning signs you can look for are:
- Intense tooth pain that gets worse over time
- A raised bump on the gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Swelling, tenderness, or inflammation
Please call us as soon as possible if you notice any of these symptoms. Avoiding treatment will only result in more intense pain and an increased risk for tooth loss.
The Root Canal Procedure
In spite of what you have probably heard, a root canal is a very straightforward procedure.
Dr. Tibbs makes a tiny hole in your tooth to reach the infection. Then he uses specialized endodontic instruments to gently and thoroughly clear away the infected material. When the infection is removed, he will fill and seal the tooth.
That’s all there is to it! Dr. Tibbs will place a temporary filling that will need to be replaced with a dental crown about two weeks after the procedure.
Your Comfort Is Our Priority
We understand that the bad reputation of root canals causes many patients to be fearful of the procedure.
If you need a root canal, Dr. Tibbs will ensure that your mouth is completely numb before beginning the procedure, so there’s no risk of any discomfort. But dental anxiety is different for everyone, so if you need some help to relax, we can offer you the benefits of comfortable nitrous oxide sedation.
Please Don’t Put Off Treatment!
We understand your fears, but an infected root canal won’t go away on its own, and postponing treatment will only result in increased pain. The sooner we see you, the better chance we have of restoring function and preserving the tooth.
If you suspect you need a root canal or are in pain, please contact our Winston-Salem dental office, and we will get you in as soon as possible, usually the same day.