Hearing the words, ”root canal treatment,” can often trigger fear and anxiety for many people. In plain terms, a root canal treatment is designed to eliminate bacteria that is trapped in the root of a tooth. When a tooth gets a root canal, the infected nerve of the tooth is removed. The space where the nerve used to be gets carefully cleaned and disinfected and then finally, filled and sealed. Root canal treatments help you keep your natural tooth in place so that you can continue to eat the foods you love and preserve your smile. Typically a crown or filling is done afterwards to protect the newly treated tooth.
DO I NEED TO BE WORRIED IF MY DENTIST TELLS ME I NEED A ROOT CANAL?
Of course not! Root canal therapies are done on millions of teeth each year. The teeth are saved by relieving pain and making the tooth healthier by removing the infection. It is a very common and typically a very painless procedure.
DO I NEED A ROOT CANAL?
Root canals therapies are frequently done when a tooth is experiencing symptoms like sensitivity or pain. Other symptoms that may mean you need a root canal treatment will include.
- Lingering sensitivity to hot and/or cold
- Swollen or tender gums
- Deep decay
- Pimple on the gums
- Severe pain while chewing or biting
- Chipped or broken tooth
DOES A ROOT
Since anesthetics are used prior to starting a root canal procedure, it is not more painful than other dental procedures, like fillings or crowns. Most people tell us that they feel much better after their root canal procedures as they were previously experiencing toothaches.
- Generally you will feel a bit of soreness and mild discomfort after your root canal therapy.
- Most of the horror stories you hear about painful root canal treatments come from teeth that have very severe infections that were a result of postponing treatment.
- Typically when the infection is treated promptly, you can avoid the complications of a severe infection and you won’t have a horror story to tell afterwards.
DR. ELINA FOOKS
Dr. Fooks graduated Cum Laude from Brandeis University and received her Doctorate of Dental Medicine from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. She continued her training at New York Presbyterian Hospital, and in 2003, she graduated from the Endodontics program at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, where she now serves on the faculty as an assistant clinical professor.
Dr. Fooks is a member of the American Dental Association, American Association of Endodontists, and Massachusetts Association of Endodontists.