If you are mentally preparing yourself for an upcoming root canal, then you might have read or heard all kinds of things about how painful or scary root canals are. However, you have no reason to be worried. To help assuage your fears, here is an examination of what root canals are and why you need one:
What is a root canal?
In the most basic terms, a root canal is an excavation of infected dental pulp. The pulp is essentially the inner component of the tooth and surrounds the nerves. One of the main reasons that an infection in the pulp is so dangerous is that such an infection can pretty easily spread into the nerves, at which point you will have a very serious problem on your hands.
The procedure is quite simple, but is often elongated by a second, related procedure: crown fitting. The removal of dental pulp almost always results in a tooth that has lost a lot of its structural integrity. To fill in the gaps and return your tooth to its normal shape and function, your dentist will need to measure your tooth and create a temporary crown. The measurements will be used to create a final crown, which will be ready in several weeks. The installation of the final crown will involve a very quick and painless trip to the dentist.
So why are root canals so infamous?
Many people will often associate bad memories with root canals, and for a pretty good reason: there is usually a lot of pain involved. However, these negative feelings actually stem from the time directly before the root canal, likely when an infection crept dangerously close to some dental nerves.
Root canals only become necessary when you have a deep and persistent dental infection that threatens your teeth. This infection will be incredibly painful as it approaches your nerves in your dental pulp. However, the actual removal of that dental pulp will be much less painful than the infection itself. Therefore, a root canal will actually alleviate a good deal of your pain, rather than being a painful experience itself.
Ultimately, you don't need to be worried about your upcoming root canal. It will make you feel a lot better and isn't a particularly long or complicated process. You may feel a bit of discomfort after the procedure, but that should diminish in time and your mouth should feel perfectly natural once you have the final crown installed. For more information, talk to a professional like Dodson Endodontics.