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Posted on: December 24, 2012
Top 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of a Root Canal
Root canals have the reputation of being scary and painful, but the truth is, this dental procedure benefits patients much more than it harms them. Root canals are performed to save the tooth when you have an infection that is affecting the nerve in its root. Not only can a root canal procedure protect your mouth from further damage, it eliminates the pain you may have been experiencing lately because of the infection.
If you have a root canal procedure coming up, you might be psyching yourself up and getting more afraid – unnecessarily so! Here are three reasons you should not be nervous for your upcoming appointment.
#1: It may not actually hurt
The bad reputation of root canals may predate the modern procedure. Like many medical procedures, root canals have advanced over the past few decades and thus become less painful. According to the American Association of Endodontists, a survey found that patients who have had a root canal are six times more likely to describe it as "painless" then those who have never had the treatment. Before the procedure, a dentist will inject a numbing anesthetic medicine around the infected tooth, which will feel like a slight prick on your gum. After that, you may not feel much at all.
#2: It will be over by tomorrow
The other reason people fear root canals is because of possible post-surgery pain, complications or lack of functionality. While you may have some pain after the procedure, it's generally nothing some over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen can't help. Most people return to their normal routine the next day. If you're at risk of an infection, your dentist will give you an antibiotic to fight it off.
#3: Your tooth will be saved
The goal of a root canal is to save the tooth, despite the infection inside, and it's hugely successful in doing so. According to The Mayo Clinic, many teeth treated with this therapy can last a lifetime if you maintain proper dental hygiene. Plus, it will not be outwardly visible, so you can put the whole experience behind you. In the final step of the procedure, your dentist will put a crown or filling on top of the tooth to make it look good as new.