Did you recently find out you need a root canal? You’re not alone. More than 41,000 people get root canals every day, making them one of the most common dental procedures in the United States.
And if you’re nervous about your root canal, you’re not alone there, either. Despite being a routine procedure, root canals are one of the top five most-feared dental treatments. But the good news is: They’re not as scary as most people think.
Our team at Your Community Smile, led by Narjes Abtahi, DDS, specializes in root canals, and many of our patients are shocked to discover just how painless and simple the procedure is. Still nervous? Here’s what you really need to know about root canals.
The facts about root canals
To help you understand root canals, let’s start by taking a closer look at the anatomy of your teeth. The enamel on the outside of your teeth is very strong, and it protects soft pulp and nerves on the inside.
Sometimes, the pulp gets damaged, infected, or decayed — often causing pain and compromising the structural integrity of your tooth. A root canal is a procedure that treats the damage and decay inside your tooth, effectively saving the tooth so you can avoid extraction.
Root canals have a reputation as a complicated, painful dental procedure. But the truth is that they’re safe, simple, and effective.
Root canals are outpatient procedures
Dr. Abtahi performs root canals on an outpatient basis, which means you can go home shortly after your procedure is over. We use local anesthesia to numb the tooth and nearby tissues, make a small hole, and clean out the pulp canal inside your tooth.
We treat the tooth for infection and seal the hole, and then you’re free to go. Most of the time, there’s nothing special you need to do after a root canal and you can return to your usual activities after your anesthetic wears off.
Root canals don’t require stitches
Contrary to popular belief, root canals aren’t oral surgery. We don’t make any incisions in your gums, and there’s no need for stitches.
The hole we make in your tooth is very small, and we permanently seal it with filling material when we’ve cleared out the infection. The filling protects the area and helps prevent bacteria from getting back inside your tooth.
Root canals relieve pain
Infection, injury, and decay are a few of the most common reasons that Dr. Abtahi recommends a root canal. These conditions can cause significant tooth pain, and a root canal treats the problem at the source. Many people notice an immediate reduction in pain, with any side effects of the procedure disappearing within a day or two.
Root canals save your natural tooth
One of the best benefits of a root canal is that it can save your natural tooth. Treating injury or infection with a root canal stops damage from progressing, and helps you avoid complications like worsening tooth pain, tooth loss, or extraction.
By saving your natural tooth with a root canal, you don’t have to deal with removing your tooth and placing synthetic bone or dealing with an extensive restoration procedure later on. Plus, your smile stays complete.
Root canals have a bad reputation. But the fact is that they’re an effective way to eliminate tooth pain and protect your smile — all with little to no downtime. Make an appointment at Your Community Smile today. Book online or call our Lansdowne, Virginia, office at 703-565-2667.