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Root Canal -- Necessary Evil Or Helpful Friend

Apr 27, 2008
Everyone gets a little tense when they hear the words, root canal. Relax the procedure will help you tremendously.

Probably, after finding out that you needed to have a root canal, you told a friend. What did your friend do? He or she immediately shared with you the gruesome details of the pain and suffering experienced by Aunt Bessie or Uncle Ben with their root canal back in 1962.

With that new piece of information your anxiety meter probably red-lined. Relax. It is the 21st century not 1962. There have been many advances made over the years. The important thing to remember is that a root canal procedure removes the nerve or nerves of the tooth. Where do the sensors send the brain its pain reports? The nerves. If the nerve is removed that particular pain transmitter is no longer there. Hence no pain.

Now can there be some discomfort? Yes that is possible. But let me be very clear. A root canal procedure is done to alleviate current or future pain.

Let's look at the steps taken in doing a root canal.

After examining your tooth you're dentist will do x-rays. This will give him a picture of the tooth that he will be working on. The x-rays will provide him with important information needed to assist him in determining the health of the tooth. With this information he will determine the treatment necessary to insure the health of your tooth.

During the x-rays, the technician will place a piece of x-ray film in your mouth. It will usually be held in place by a small "wing" that you bite. This prevents movement so that the picture will not be blurred. It only takes a moment. The technician will also place an apron over you during the x-ray. This is a precaution that will protect your body from the tiny amount of radiation used to take the x-ray. This procedure is completely painless and the x-ray itself only takes a moment.

Once your dentist determines that a root canal is necessary, you will have several options. The important thing at this point is to ensure that you and your dentist communicate. He will tell you what he deems important. This may not cover everything that you might be interested in knowing. The way to find out is to ask. Any concerned dentist will be glad to spend time with you answering your questions. After all, he wants you to be comfortable and to have a high confidence level in him.

If the tooth or area around the tooth is infected your dentist may elect to prescribe a regimen of antibiotics to halt the infection prior to the procedure. This may result in waiting a few days until the antibiotics have done their work. Once the antibiotics have run their course then the procedure will be scheduled.

General dentists are trained in root canal therapy and are qualified to do most root canals. However if your dentist believes it would be better for you to see a specialist he may recommend that you see an endodontist.

The endodontist specializes in the inside of the tooth. Whether it is the general dentist or the endodontist the procedure will be basically the same.

First the tooth will be numbed using a local anesthetic. Once your dentist is confident that the local anesthetic has taken effect he will begin the procedure.

The tooth will be cleaned down to the root area. Then the nerve will be removed with a small file. This will remove all of the nerve in the canal. Once that is accomplished the canal will be filled with a medicated substance and a temporary crown put in place.

In the past, this was normally done in two separate procedures. But modern advances are suggesting that the complete procedure may be done in only one visit. Your dentist will determine which procedure is in your best interest.

Once the procedure is successfully completed you will have a finished tooth that will continue to function well for many years.

Now you may be thinking that you can just wait and everything will be okay. Unfortunately that will not happen. Your body needs the protection given by having the root canal done. A sick, dead or dying canal area provides a great place for bacteria to breed and grow. Left unattended the infection will worsen and you will be experiencing pain that could become excruciating.

Don't wait. If your dentist makes the decision that a root canal is necessary, have it done as soon as possible. You will be glad you did. For once the root is gone, the pain will be gone.
About the Author
Don Robertson is co-founder of Benefit Discount Services. Through his company he provides significant Dental discounts to his customers. You can learn more by going to http://www.webenefityou.com.
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