When a patient gets the news that he or she needs a root canal, their immediate response is usually a bit of nervousness about the idea. However, once they understand just why they need a root canal, what the procedure involves and how it will benefit them, patients are usually put at ease.
Root canals are sometimes necessary because of the basic structure of your teeth. Just underneath the white enamel layer of your teeth is the inner soft tissue known as pulp. The pulp of the tooth is where the nerves and blood vessels are located that maintain the health of the root of the tooth as it develops over the years. But after a tooth has finished developing, it no longer needs this pulp. A root canal procedure removes the pulp from the tooth when a dentist deems it necessary to protect the tooth.
The pulp inside of a tooth can sometimes become infected and painfully inflamed, requiring a root canal to fix the problem. These kinds of issues can occur for any number of reasons, such as a cavity allowing bacteria to enter into the pulp and infect it. Damaged or cracked teeth or other dental issues like gingivitis can also lead to pulp infections that require a root canal.
Despite what people expect, a root canal procedure does not result in unusual pain and discomfort. Root canals are no more uncomfortable than getting standard fillings. Dentists like Dr. My G. Tran make patients comfortable prior to the root canal procedure, which can often be performed in a single appointment. Although dentists will sometimes schedule another appointment to follow up on the patient’s condition, the procedure itself usually takes only an hour, with patients then going home with care instructions. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used for pain, with patients advised to avoid crunchy or tough to chew foods for a while.
In addition to alleviating any pain or discomfort, the primary benefit for patients of a root canal is saving the tooth in question. It can also help protect surrounding teeth, present a more pleasing appearance, and preserve the patient’s self-confidence. Patients who have root canals also enjoy a normal, more effective chewing ability that helps them avoid other health problems later in life. When a root canal is carried out by a qualified and experienced dentist like Dr. Tran, the tooth undergoing the procedure can last for the rest of the patient’s life.
While patients are usually concerned and even a bit nervous when they learn they need a root canal, once they understand the real facts about root canals they are usually much less worried about the procedure. A qualified and experienced dentist like Dr. Tran can provide you with a safe, relatively pain-free root canal that can help protect your smile and your dental health for years to come.