I'm Really Nervous About My Upcoming Root Canal

I'm Really Nervous About My Upcoming Root Canal

Roughly 15 million root canals are performed each year in the United States, helping women and men avoid tooth loss and preserve their beautiful smiles. Still, despite that large number, plenty of people are anxious about having this time-tested, tooth-saving treatment.

Marvin Taylor, DDS, and the team at Dr. Taylor’s Family Dental Center work hard to help patients in Waterford, Michigan, learn the facts about root canals so they feel confident about their procedure and their results. If you’re nervous about your upcoming root canal, here’s what you should know.

What is a root canal?

Root canals are designed for one specific purpose: to preserve a tooth that’s badly damaged by decay, trauma, or infection. 

A root canal is sort of like a filling, but instead of treating the more superficial layers of your tooth, it gets rid of decay and infection in the inner part of your tooth — the pulp portion where nerves and blood vessels are located. The pulp is contained in channels or “canals” that extend from the center of each tooth down to the end of the tooth root.

During a root canal, Dr. Taylor uses special instruments and techniques to reach these canals and extract the damaged or infected pulp. Then, he carefully cleans the canals, seals them, and fills them with a special material to protect and strengthen the tooth. 

Once the pulp portion is removed, the tooth “shell” needs protection. That’s where a crown comes in. After making an impression of your tooth, Dr. Taylor places a temporary crown to protect your tooth while the permanent crown is being made. You’ll come back in a couple weeks to have the permanent crown installed.

Forget what you think you know about root canals

There’s one major reason why root canals make people anxious: a persistent — and untrue — rumor that the procedure is unusually painful. In fact, today’s root canals use the most advanced pain management treatments available, helping patients remain comfortable during their treatment and afterward, too.

Dr. Taylor numbs your tooth using local anesthetic, and he also offers sedation to help anxious patients relax — even doze — during their treatment. After your appointment, you can expect some discomfort and even some swelling in the area, which can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication and some ice to reduce inflammation, if needed.

Permanent crown placement happens a couple of weeks later. While many patients are completely comfortable during their crown placement fitting, you can opt for local anesthetic to numb the tooth while the new crown is adjusted.

Preserving your smile

If you’re still nervous about your root canal, consider this: Once your tooth is restored, you won’t suffer from painful symptoms caused by deep decay. And you also won’t have to worry about losing the tooth, having it pulled, or dealing with deep infection spreading to your jaw bone.

Root canals play an important role in helping millions of people maintain their teeth and their smiles. To learn more about root canal treatment at Dr. Taylor’s Family Dental Center, call 248-681-8100 or book an appointment online today.

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