Why you shouldn’t be afraid of a root canal

The word ‘root canal’ has a negative connotation which any patients fear to hear. To get rid of your fears and anxieties, first you have to understand what a root canal is and why it isn’t that scary.

To begin, a root canal is a treatment procedure completed by a dentist. Its aim is to remove the infection within your tooth that’s causing you pain.

Some Basic Anatomy

A tooth has a nerve supply; this is how you can feel sensations like hot and cold. When this nerve starts to die – due to infection – you experience some pain. As the infection builds up, so does the pressure within the tooth. This is when people experience the most pain.

Does it hurt to get rid of the infection and nerve?

Almost all root canal procedures are completed under local anaesthetic. So you shouldn’t feel anything!

Is the procedure straight forward?

Yes! The dentist will use a special sheet (rubber dam) so isolate your toot to keep it clean and dry, away from your tongue and saliva. The dentist will alleviate the pressure in your tooth and remove the infection, and usually your symptoms will subside within the following days. You will need to come back a few more times to finish off the treatment completely.

How long does it take?

Usually root canals required 3-4 visits to your dentist and each visit can range from roughly 1-2 hours.

Why do I need so many visits?

Each visit, the dentist applies a topical antibiotic directly inside the tooth. They also clean and re-clean the inside of the tooth to make sure the infection won’t come back. The final appointment involves putting a brand new permanent filling on the tooth to increase strength and longevity.

Why shouldn’t I just get my tooth extracted, isn’t it a lot cheaper?

There are always other treatment options which can be discussed with your dentist. When you have an extraction you lose a tooth. But, that tooth could have potentially lasted you the rest of your life.

Ultimately, it is best to chat with your dentist to gather all information and to form a plan that fits you the best!

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the clinic on (03) 9048 1026

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