Root canal. These two words, on their own, can strike fear into the hearts of even the toughest men and women on the planet. While many would willingly go through extreme adventures such as skydiving, bungee jumping, or even automobile racing with much anticipation and excitement, it’s likely that the same people would cringe at the very thought of sitting on a dentist’s chair, waiting for root canal surgery to be performed. It’s enough to make anyone faint — and with such a reputation, few people would consider it good news when their dentist tells them that the solution to their dental woes is this very procedure (even if it can effectively resolve the issues once and for all).
To help people understand this type of dental surgery more, and to alleviate the fears and anxieties usually associated with it, provided below are key points to consider, outlined by a seasoned dentist New York residents will be glad to know that root canal surgery treats and saves millions of teeth in the United States every year, and may be the very treatment option that they need.
What is it?
Root canal surgery, also known as endodontic treatment, treats the inside of a tooth. Under the enamel and a layer called dentin, there is a soft tissue called pulp which contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. The pulp can become infected or inflamed (due to severe decay, chips or cracks on the tooth, repetitive dental procedures, or faulty applications of crowns).
When this infection occurs, you’ll experience pain due to the formation of an abscess at the tooth’s root, swelling (which can spread to areas of the face, neck and head), bone loss close to the tooth, or drainage problems.
How does it work?
Root canal surgery must be done to remove the infected pulp and to clean out and disinfect the inside of the tooth. Afterwards, the tooth is filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha, and then the tooth is fixed with a filling or crown so that the tooth can begin to function normally once again.
Is it painful?
Your seasoned and certified (and friendly) New York dentist will tell you that despite all the jokes and stories about it, root canal surgery is actually quite similar to getting a routine filling. As long as you approach a qualified and skillful dentist, the procedure can be performed properly to suit your specific condition and circumstances, and can be completed even in just one appointment or two.
What happens after?
After root canal surgery, you’ll be able to chew more efficiently and without pain. Your bite will return to normal, the surrounding teeth will be protected from similar or further damage, and your smile will have a more natural appearance.