Root canals have a reputation for being just about the most painful procedure ever created. Do they deserve this? What is a root canal, anyway? If your dentist has told you that you need a root canal, you may be scared, and you may have some questions. Root canals are actually quite important for good oral health – here are some things you should know about root canals.
Why would anyone need a root canal?
Your tooth may look all right on the outside, but if you have swollen gums, pain when chewing, or sudden sensitivity to hot or cold, you may have damaged pulp within the tooth. “Pulp” is the tissue within your teeth, and it is made up of nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels. It can become infected if your tooth has been injured or damaged, has a cavity that hasn’t been treated, or if your tooth is cracked or chipped, all of which can give bacteria the chance to move in.
A root canal is simply a procedure to get rid of this infected pulp. Before the procedure, your gums will be numbed. The pulp is removed, your tooth is cleaned out and coated with an antibiotic, and then your tooth is covered with a crown.
How bad will a root canal hurt?
In a recent study, less than 20% of participants said it was the most painful dental procedure they had ever had. Patients report that a root canal hurts about as much as getting a tooth filling; it is not clear where root canals got such a painful reputation. After a root canal, your mouth will feel sore, but an over-the-counter medication can help with the pain.
It seems that root canals aren’t as painful as they have been made out to be. And, a root canal is an important procedure to have, not only so that you have healthy teeth but so that your tooth doesn’t cause you pain and discomfort in the future. If you are having tooth pain or any other problem, don’t hesitate – call Dr. Samuel Jirik and make an appointment. Call the Cabot, Arkansas, office at (501) 843-9561 today!