The root canal procedure has a bad reputation among the general population. Unfortunately, that reputation is largely due to a lack of knowledge. A lot has changed over the years, enough that the modern root canal is quite different from what dentists offered in years past.
Your dentist informing you of the need for a root canal is not the end of the world. If you’re like most patients, you will come through your root canal with flying colors. Root canals are not nearly as uncomfortable and difficult as they used to be.
Here are three things to know about the root canal procedure:
1. It Might Save Your Tooth
The primary reason for performing a root canal is to remove inflamed or infected pulp in order to prevent abscess or relieve an existing abscess. An abscess is dangerous to both the affected tooth and the rest of the body. Why? Because the infection from an abscess can spread to other parts of the body where it can do quite a bit of damage.
A root canal is designed to remove damaged pulp, thereby preventing or relieving abscess. The empty space is then filled and sealed to prevent future infection. The dentist then puts a crown on the tooth or, if necessary, uses other restorative measures to save and protect the tooth.
2. Patients Report General Comfort
Root canals have a reputation for being rather painful. Fortunately, the pain associated with the procedure is greatly exaggerated. According to the American Association of Endodontists, most patients report “that they are comfortable during the procedure” thanks to modern anesthetics and dental techniques.
3. Dental Insurance Covers the Cost
The standard rule for dental insurance is that it usually covers the cost of a root canal. Some plans only cover part of the cost, requiring patients to make up the remainder out of pocket. In the event a patient has no dental insurance, many dentists are more than happy to work out payment plans that allow the person to get the dental work they need. Credit cards and cash are typically accepted as well.
If your dentist recommends a root canal, it’s probably because you have an underlying problem that threatens one of your teeth. Getting the root canal done will almost certainly prevent future problems that are much more serious.