The (Unscary) Truth Behind Root Canals

Many people cringe when they hear the words “root canal.” Unfortunately, this common dental procedure has received a bad rap over the years. While dental care has come a long way, many old myths about root canals still exist.

What is a root canal?

The inside of each tooth contains soft tissue called pulp. This pulp lies below the gum line and contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. A tooth’s pulp can become infected or inflamed for several reasons. A deep cavity can cause an infection. An injury to or a chip in the tooth can irritate the pulp.

During development, a child’s teeth need the pulp to grow and stay healthy. However, adult teeth can function well without the pulp. Removing the infected or inflamed pulp is called a root canal. After the pulp is removed, the area underneath the tooth is filled and sealed with a safe, rubber-like material.

What are the benefits of a root canal?

Having a root canal done eliminates tooth pain and sensitivity while allowing you to keep your tooth. Keeping your natural teeth will enable you to have proper alignment and efficient biting during eating. You also avoid more invasive procedures, like having to have a tooth removed.

Does a root canal hurt?

At Hanson Dental, a patient’s comfort comes first and foremost during any dental procedure. The experience of having a root canal is similar to having a cavity filled or a wisdom tooth removed.

A root canal is done and over within one to two hours. Most patients experience no downtime afterward. Your mouth may feel numb for a few hours after a root canal, but you can usually resume your normal activities like work or school.

If you hear the words,  “You need a root canal”, you have no reason to fear the procedure. A root canal is safe and will provide much-needed pain relief. 

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