A root canal procedure is associated with excruciating pain. This is a misconception which probably originates from the fact the early root canal procedures were painful. With advanced anesthetics and state-of-the-art technology, such a procedure is now no more painful than filling a cavity.
Some of the concerns may be alleviated by knowing the answers. A few are listed below:
- With today’s technology most procedures require no more than one or two office visits.
- A crowned tooth is not necessarily destined for a root canal procedure. The tooth could be decayed or abscessed which calls for the procedure, but the crown has no bearing on the condition.
- Root canals do not induce illness, nor are those who have undergone the procedure more prone to falling ill.
- The roots of the tooth are not removed during a root canal, only the pulp inside the tooth.
- A root canal poses no threat to a pregnant woman. A small X-ray is necessary which is aimed at the mouth and not the abdomen. Furthermore, the dentist will shield the woman from the rays with a lead apron. The rays have minimal radiation exposure. Anesthetics used are safe during pregnancy.
- After a root canal procedure, the tooth could last a lifetime with good oral hygiene and regular dental visits.
- Often, the pulp of a tooth might be infected or damaged, showing no external signs or giving pain. This will necessitate further treatment, perhaps a root canal. It is a misapprehension that root canal treatment is always preceded with pain. If a tooth had received proper and timely attention it could well have been saved.
- The natural tooth functions best and is hence best preserved. Options like dental implants, bridges and dentures are no substitute for natural teeth. It is preferable to save a natural tooth with root canal treatment.
- Post treatment, it is advisable to have a follow-up with the dentist. Since the pulp has been removed the tooth is dry and brittle, and would require a permanent restoration to prevent it from fracturing.
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