Relax. Root Canals Can Be a Gentle, Pain Free Experience
Most people dread root canals. That’s understandable. Root canals have a reputation that’s hard to shake. But keep in mind that modern root canals are so much easier than what was done 20 years ago. The truth is a root canal hurts most in the pocketbook. The actual procedure itself can be downright relaxing with the right dentist and the right sedatives.
Most patients don’t believe us —until they’ve had their first root canal. The truth is that because of modern pain relief and new technology, root canals really aren’t all that uncomfortable. You’ll feel a little pinch in the beginning as we apply the numbing agent. Other than that, you won’t feel a thing —or at least shouldn’t. If you ever feel uncomfortable, tell us. We’ll make it better. We try to help our patients feel as relaxed as possible. That’s what gentle dentistry is all about.
Yes, root canals can be painless — trust us!
The Root Canal Procedure
When the pulp inside your tooth becomes infected or inflamed, it must be removed or you risk serious infection — a process known as a root canal. Severe pain and perhaps even abscess may result from an infected tooth, which can lead to a host of complications for your teeth, gums and jaw.
A root canal involves cleaning the pulp from the tooth with very small instruments. The chamber is then shaped to hold a biocompatible material to fill the space. The rubber-like material is called gutta-percha and is used to effectively seal off the root canal from bacteria and potential infection. The opening is closed with a temporary filling so the tooth can later be restored. In some cases, a crown may be necessary following a root canal.
We use a new technology called GentleWave for our root canal procedures. Instead of small drills and scraping, it uses a cleaning fluid and vibrations to dislodge all the infected pulp. It’s more effective than the traditional method of performing a root canal, is less traumatic to the tooth, and has a faster recovery time than drilling. The way we perform root canals, between the numbing, the gentle work and the GentleWave, will have you surprised at how okay you feel during and after the process.
How Old Are Your Root Canals?
Unfortunately, root canals don’t always last forever. The good news is the odds are in your favor — 95% of all root canals are successful and will last a lifetime. A lot of it comes down to the precision of the original root canal. A poorly done root canal has a higher chance of failure. Success rates improve if the root canal is fully covered by a crown and you keep up on brushing and flossing.
And keep in mind just because your tooth has a root canal doesn’t mean it’s safe from decay. In fact, you could get a deep cavity in that tooth and not even feel it because the nerve ending is gone. Regular dental cleanings and checkups are still as important as ever. Keeping up on your dental care should hopefully minimize your need for future root canals.
A Word to the Wise
Pay attention to your body. If you are feeling severe dental pain that is not responding to over the counter medication, contact us for an emergency dental appointment. We’ll take a look to see if a root canal is necessary. If needed, we can do one quickly to relieve your pain and protect your tooth.
Beckham Square Family Dental: Gentle Dentistry for the Entire Family
We understand dental anxiety — especially when it comes to root canals! We’re here for you. Anything we can do to make your experience feel more relaxed and comfortable, just ask!
Here are a few things we’d suggest when you come in for a root canal. Bring in some soothing relaxing music that puts you at ease. You can load it on your phone and listen with one headphone in so you can still hear directions from your dentist. We are happy to provide nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to help you relax. And if you ever need more numbing agent — don’t be afraid to ask.
It might also be a good idea to bring whatever makes you feel comfortable — say a relaxing Afghan or blanket. Comfortable shoes and clothing can also help.
We’re the combined practices of Dr. Schmerler and Dr. Malavich and have been serving the Cincinnati, Sharonville, and Springdale areas for years. Yes, we are currently accepting new patients! Give us a call or fill out our convenient online contact form to make an appointment.