A root canal tends to create a lot of apprehension and fear in many patients. After all, the treatment has had plenty of bad things said about it in the past, and its inaccurate reputation of being scary and incredibly painful has stuck with it throughout the years. However, the team at our dental office in Madison wants to let our patients know that the horror stories of root canals of the past are no longer relevant in the world of today’s modern dentistry.
The Painless Truth of Root Canals
When your dentist in Madison recommends a root canal, it’s typically because decay has reached so far into the tooth that a traditional filling won’t fix it completely. Chances are pain levels are also pretty high. A root canal can remove the decay in its entirety and actually ease the pain. So essentially, root canals do not contribute to pain, but rather relieve it.
What’s a Root Canal Treatment Like?
When going in for a root canal, your dentist will first numb the area to reduce any discomfort and to make the treatment pretty pain free. Then the actual procedure begins. A root canal procedure typically includes:
- Making a tiny hole to allow your dental team access to the inside of the tooth where all the roots and nerves are located that are causing so much pain.
- Emptying the nerves, pulp, and blood vessels from the inner tooth. This makes it impossible for the tooth to feel any pain.
- Sealing the tooth and placing a dental crown to keep the inside of the tooth protected.
What Are Some Signs That a Root Canal May be Necessary?
- Tooth Pain. First and foremost, tooth pain is the most obvious sign that something isn’t right in your mouth and that you may need a root canal. However, not every toothache automatically constitutes root canal treatment. If the pain increases when eating, biting down, or with any pressure, you may need a root canal to make the pain go away.
- Sensitivity. If you experience tooth sensitivity regularly, there’s probably no reason to be too concerned. But if you have sensitivity while eating or drinking hot or cold foods or beverages, and that sensitivity pain lingers around for awhile even after the source of heat or cold is removed, a root canal may be appropriate.
- Gum Inflammation. Just because a root canal is a treatment done on a tooth doesn’t mean teeth are the only place where symptoms appear. Gum tissue nearby the infected tooth can also exhibit some symptoms. For example, painful or swollen gums, or any small, raised bumps on the gums are usually telltale signs that a root canal may be necessary.
At our Madison dental office, we always encourage our patients to call us right away if they suspect a dental problem or if they’re experiencing pain. If you are having any of the symptoms above, we welcome you to call us too. We’ll complete a thorough exam to find the source of your symptoms and recommend the appropriate treatment for you. If that treatment happens to be a root canal, don’t fear. You’ll have relief in no time.