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Root Canal Awareness

Posted on 4/11/2022 by Nancy Shiba DDS
Root Canal AwarenessDid you know that one in four Americans avoid the dentist out of fear? And according to the American Dental Association, that fear is most commonly associated with the words "root canal." But what exactly is a root canal, and why are they so dreaded?

What is a root canal and what are the symptoms of needing one?

A root canal is a dental procedure that helps save a tooth damaged by decay or infection. The pulp inside the tooth, which contains nerve endings and blood vessels, becomes infected and needs to be removed. The root canal removes the infected pulp, cleans and disinfects the inside of the tooth, and fills it with a sealant material.

More common symptoms include pain when biting or chewing, tooth sensitivity to heat or cold, gum tenderness, and tooth discoloration. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it's essential to see a dentist as soon as possible.

Who needs a root canal?

Not everyone needs a root canal. For example, if you have mild tooth decay or minor infection, your dentist may be able to treat it with a filling or antibiotics. But if the infection is more severe, a root canal may be necessary.

The procedure for a root canal

Root canal procedures have gotten a bad rap over the years, but thanks to advances in dentistry, they are now much more comfortable than they used to be. Today, root canals are performed using local anesthesia, so you shouldn't feel any pain during the procedure.

The first step is to open the tooth so that the pulp can be removed. Then, the pulp and nerve endings are removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. The whole process usually takes about an hour or two, and you'll likely need to come back for a follow-up visit to make sure everything is healing correctly.

Root canal procedures may seem daunting, but they're pretty standard and nothing to be afraid of. Modern dentistry is also much more comfortable than it used to be. If you think you may need a root canal, don't hesitate to contact your dentist. They will be happy to answer any questions and help put your mind at ease.

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Nancy Shiba, DDS, 125 N Jackson Ave, Suite 103, San Jose, CA 95116-1914 : (669) 306-7669 : : 4/20/2024