The words “root canal” evoke feelings of fear and dread in many people. However, the perception that root canals are painful and scary is largely due to early root canal treatment methods that are no longer in use, according to the American Association of Endodontists. In fact, getting a root canal really isn’t that big of a deal.
Read on to learn why you shouldn’t fear a root canal.
Root canals don’t cause pain; they stop pain
With dentistry advancements made in recent decades, root canals are no longer painful or lengthy procedures. Rather, they stop the pain caused by infected dental pulp.
The main reason you won’t feel pain during the procedure is the local anesthetic used. Before performing the root canal, the dentist will inject a numbing agent in the gums. After that, you won’t feel much of anything. Root canal patients experience very little post-procedure pain; most patients, in fact, experience pain relief from a root canal.
If you don’t believe me, just ask someone who’s had a root canal recently – a survey from the American Association of Endodontists reveals that patients who have had a root canal are six times more likely to describe the procedure as “painless” compared to those who have never had one.
Root canals save your tooth
A root canal is the last thing you can do to save a badly damaged tooth. The alternative to getting a root canal is having the tooth extracted and getting a bridge, dental implant, or partial denture in its place. Think a root canal sounds so bad now?
A root canal doesn’t just save your tooth temporarily – with proper dental care, most root canals will last the rest of your life, and you will never feel pain in that tooth again.
Root canals don’t take much time
It is a myth that root canals take many hours and multiple visits to complete. Most root canals take between 45 minutes and 2 hours, and only require one or two appointments. (The second appointment is a quick one, which usually involves fitting the permanent crown over the tooth). If your dentist is using laser technology, the procedure could be completed even faster.
Knowledge is power
Still scared? The best way to get over your fear of root canals is to learn more about them. Once you have a better idea of what a root canal is and why it is performed, I guarantee you that you will have less apprehension about getting one.
There are many resources you can consult online, such as MayoClinic. If you just have a few minutes to research, here is a short YouTube video where a dentist talks about why root canal fear is unwarranted.