Root canal therapy has a reputation for being a particularly unpleasant dental procedure. Whenever people talk about it it’s probably to mention how painful it supposedly is. Some patients even choose to avoid it altogether. However, such fears are unwarranted; in reality, root canals in Longmont are no more uncomfortable than other dental treatments and avoiding them can actually cause you far more pain in the long run.
Why Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?
Everyone knows that if you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, the bacteria in your mouth will form plaque and eventually create cavities. Once they’ve eaten through the outer layers, they’ll be able to attack far the far more vulnerable and sensitive area of the tooth known as the pulp. Infected pulp can be very painful, and you might experience other unpleasant symptoms such as a fever or a sensitivity to sweet foods. Leave an infection alone for too long, and eventually the damage it causes will be irreversible, forcing your dentist to extract the tooth.
Undergoing root canal therapy will relieve your pain and let you keep your smile intact. After numbing the area, the dentist will create an access hole in the tooth so that they can remove the pulp along with any bacteria, decayed nerve tissues and debris. Once that’s done, the tooth will be resealed to protect it from further damage. Since the pulp and the nerves are gone, you won’t feel anything in that tooth, but it will still perform all of its necessary functions.
Is Root Canal Therapy Painful?
The idea that root canals hurt more than other dental procedures is a misconception that’s been around for years. In truth, studies have found that many patients who have undergone the procedure don’t feel that the experience was significantly worse than, for example, having a cavity filled. In fact, one of the main goals of the surgery is to stop the tooth from hurting!
That said, after your root canal you might experience some sensitivity and inflammation; this can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication and will eventually subside. You’ll need to avoid chewing on the side with the affected tooth for a few days. You can brush, floss and use antiseptic mouthwash as you normally would to keep your mouth healthy.
What if I Decide Not to Get a Root Canal?
Some patients might choose to have their tooth extracted rather than get a root canal. However, missing teeth can cause all sorts of new problems, such as a limited diet and a changing bite. You can fill the gap with a bridge or a dental implant, but this can be costly and will require additional dental visits.
It’s always better to save your natural teeth whenever possible. If you have a severe toothache that lasts more for a couple of days, talk to your dentist. If they say you need a root canal, don’t be afraid; the surgery is the solution for your discomfort!
About the Practice
At Longmont Complete Dentistry, Dr. James Maurer and Dr. Dan Maurer provide a comfortable dental experience for patients of all ages. Dr. James has been practicing dentistry for over 20 years, and Dr. Dan is proud to be working alongside his father. If you have a toothache and suspect you might need root canal therapy or another treatment, contact them via their website or call (303) 772-7000.