If you’ve never had a root canal, you might think it’s one of the most painful and traumatic dental procedures of all time. Despite the rumors and urban legends, a root canal is not painful and is actually a tool used to treat and relieve the pain caused by infection and tooth decay.
At Scott Young, DDS, your comfort and well-being is our first priority. Our dentists offer a range of cosmetic and general dentistry services at our office in The Woodlands, Texas, to prevent and repair oral health problems that cause pain, including tooth decay and gum disease.
The truth about root canal therapy
One of the oldest myths in dentistry is that a root canal is extremely painful. In reality, a root canal procedure is very similar to getting a dental filling. Our team will apply a topical anesthetic in most cases to numb the area and keep you comfortable during the procedure.
A root canal is necessary when the pulp (the soft tissue inside each tooth) becomes infected and inflamed by bacteria. Bacteria can reach the pulp tissue through tooth decay or a crack or fracture in the tooth. Tooth pulp consists of a network of blood vessels and nerve endings, and an infection is not only painful, but it can lead to permanent damage to the tooth.
To perform a root canal, our providers create a small hole to remove all of the bacteria and damaged pulp tissue. Once all of the bacteria and damaged tissue have been removed, the tooth is sealed and bonded.
Not only does a root canal eliminate pain, but it also saves the tooth from needing an extraction.
Signs you might need a root canal
The best way to protect yourself from oral health problems is to practice good oral hygiene, eat a healthy diet, avoid smoking, and visit our office every six months for a check-up and dental cleaning.
But even if you do everything right, accidents happen and sometimes a small chip or crack is all it takes for bacteria to burrow into a tooth. Schedule an appointment as soon as possible if you have a toothache, develop extreme sensitivity to hot or cold, notice a brown or dark spot on your tooth, or have signs of an infection.
If you experience dental fear or anxiety, we offer solutions like sedation dentistry to help you get the dental care you need. For more information about root canal therapy and other services, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists. You can also request an appointment online.