The Truth About Root Canals

Most people probably equate a root canal to an IRS audit (or something equally as painful). But do root canals really deserve this horrible reputation? And why would your dentist recommend such a torture, anyway? Here are some facts about root canals so that you can decide for yourself if they are something to dread! 

What is a root canal?

To start with, in a recent study, most participants said that a root canal hurts about as much as getting a filling placed in their tooth, and less than 20% of participants said that a root canal was the most painful dental procedure they had ever had done. 

Besides these reports that root canals aren’t excruciatingly painful, you should also keep in mind that if you need a root canal but don’t get one, you can end up with a lot more pain in the long run. A root canal is a procedure to remove infected tooth pulp (the inner portion of your tooth, which is made up of blood vessels, tissues, and nerves). Pulp can become infected if you have a cavity that is left untreated for a long time or if you have a tooth that is injured, damaged, cracked, or chipped. If the infected pulp is left untreated, it is not only painful, but the infection can spread to your gums and your jaw. You may lose your tooth or even part of your jaw. 

How do you know if you need a root canal?

If your tooth is discolored, sensitive to hot and cold, and painful when you either touch it or use it to chew, you may need a root canal. Another sign of trouble is if your gums are swollen. 

Root canals don’t really deserve their horrible reputation. They may not be a lot of fun, but at most a root canal will result in some discomfort and sore gums. And, they are an important procedure for keeping teeth healthy. Another step to take for great oral health is to make an appointment at Hampton Dental Associates in Milwaukee. Call the office for an appointment, at 414-377-5711!

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