Why a Root Canal Is Nothing to Fear

Root canals have a reputation for being painful to endure and miserable to recover from. This causes fear and anxiety in patients who need this tooth-saving procedure. Thanks to advancements in dentistry, getting a root canal is neither intensely painful nor tough to recover from. Here’s why there’s no need to fear having a root canal procedure.

At Nunn Family Dentistry, we’re committed to transforming lives through top-quality dental care for the entire family. Dr. Clayton Nunn is a compassionate dentist with more than two decades of experience caring for smiles of all ages at his practice in Tomball, Texas.

Root canal to the rescue

First, let’s take a look at the anatomy of teeth. Tooth enamel, the outer covering of teeth, is the hardest substance in the body. Teeth themselves are pretty sturdy, too, as they’re harder than bone. But inside, teeth have a hollow space (the root canal) that consists of a pulp chamber made up of soft tissues -- nerves and blood vessels that provide nourishment to the tooth.

Dental decay is the most common reason for needing a root canal procedure. Deep decay can damage the tooth and dental pulp. In order to save the natural tooth, Dr. Dunn may recommend a root canal.

It’s virtually pain free

Thanks to modern root canal techniques, patients no longer have to worry about excessive pain from root canal treatments. In fact, recovery from a root canal is typically more comfortable than having a tooth extracted. Believe it or not, most patients who undergo a root canal treatment describe it as painless.

Once the root canal treatment is complete you receive a crown or other restoration to restore your tooth’s function. A crown replaces the part of the tooth that sits above the gums.

An infected tooth can cause a severe toothache. When this is the case your prescriber may prescribe an antibiotic before the root canal procedure to address the infected tooth. In general, you shouldn’t have any more discomfort from a root canal than when you have while getting a tooth filled. 

What to expect during a root canal

Root canal treatment is highly effective at preserving your natural tooth. With modern dentistry techniques, root canal therapy is also comfortable. You can expect to have an X-ray of your mouth prior to the root canal to locate the tooth that is causing problems.

Dr. Nunn numbs the affected area to keep you comfortable. The he removes the infected and inflamed pulp and carefully cleans the inside of the hollow space (root canal). A tiny temporary filling is placed to close the hole that accessed the pulp. Afterward, Dr. Nunn may prescribe pain medication and antibiotics.

You get a temporary crown, and then return to see us for your custom-made permanent crown to be placed. Once your root canal treatment is complete, you’ll have a restored tooth that feels and functions like a natural tooth.

Saving your natural teeth

Patients often wonder whether it’s better to have a badly decayed tooth extracted instead of having a root canal. In the short term, extracting an infected tooth that’s causing you pain and discomfort may seem like a good idea. However, it can have long-term consequences.

When you bite down to chew, the force and pressure is distributed evenly. Missing one or more teeth places additional pressure on the remaining teeth. Additionally, a missing tooth can cause the jawbone to weaken. The empty space also causes teeth to shift, which can compromise your bite and lead to even more problems. In the long run, a root canal is the better option.

Root canal therapy is nothing to fear. Don’t let misinformation cause you to feel reluctant about this tooth-saving procedure. For more information on root canal therapy and for all of your dental care needs, contact us at Nunn Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment, or make your request online today.

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