March 31, 2015 - 4:42am
Is There Pain-Free Root Canal Treatment?
Many people fear root canal therapy because they think it is going to be a very painful procedure. They are mistaken. This treatment method is specialized for a particular dental problem and has been perfected over the years. Often there is no good alternative to root canal therapy, so if the dentist recommends this treatment you should consider it as sound advice. If you need to get a root canal treatment, but are frightened to experience the pain, there are a number of things you should know about this procedure and the types of sedation and pain-control the dentist can provide during treatment.
The Purpose of Root Canal Treatment
The tooth is made of several layers of tissue: the enamel (outermost layer) protects the tooth and is also the hardest part of the human body; the dentin (second layer) is a porous, semi-hard tissue also made up of minerals; the cementum (thin, third layer) protects and coats the tooth roots; and the pulp (innermost layer) is the soft tissue located inside the canals of the tooth roots and directly connected to the nerves.
When bacteria form cavities on the tooth surface, they slowly make their way to the center of the tooth, where the pulp is located. Once bacteria reaches the pulp, they infect it and the body reacts by sending signals to the brain your body recognizes as pain. The pain becomes more and more unbearable, signaling that the pulp is being infected and destroyed by bacteria. The solution for this problem is a root canal treatment. With this treatment the dentist aims to remove the infected pulp within the root canals to eliminate pain, eradicate infection and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
Why Should You Get a Root Canal?
Getting a root canal treatment is a serious decision because it involves the total rehabilitation of your tooth. However, this procedure is much better than the extraction of your entire tooth. After a root canal procedure, you can still keep your tooth and it will remain intact for the rest of your life. On the other hand, if you choose to have it extracted, you will need to replace the missing tooth with a dental prosthetic or risk more serious dental complications.
Is It Painful?
In the past decades, root canal treatment was moderately painful because of the tools and techniques dentists used. They had no other alternatives. Fortunately, in the past few decades technology and science has improved dentistry by leaps and bounds. Today you have the choice of getting sedation, a local anesthesia or general anesthesia to help relieve pain and anxiety during your dental treatments. Dentists also use high-powered devices, making the root canal procedure easier, more efficient and faster to perform. The devices also provide better accuracy and precision which reduces the risk of your dentist messing up the treatment process. Now modern root canal treatment only takes a short period of time and a couple of visits to complete, reducing your downtime and enabling you to resume your daily activities as soon as you can.
As mentioned above, root canal therapy today is no longer the same procedure of fifty years ago. It has evolved in many ways, from the techniques used by dentists to the materials and equipment for every step. You don’t need a painless alternative because root canal therapy itself is already painless. What causes pain after the procedure is the change in the tooth and replacements of the infected pulp with gutta-percha. This slight discomfort will subside in a matter of days and you won’t even remember the pain afterwards.