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Dental Dilemmas: Are Root Canals Really So Scary?

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While many people are nervous about dental procedures, such as root canals, these treatments are exceptionally important. The American Association of Endodontics now claims that over 15 million Americans receive root canals every year to treat a wide variety of serious health complications including impacted teeth, infected pulp, chips, cracks, and faulty crowns. If your dentist has recently suggested a root canal, then here is a closer look at how these treatments are carried out and what you can do to prepare for your appointment.

The Structure of a Tooth

The primary goal of this surgical procedure is to remove infected pulp from the interior of a tooth. Even though teeth are very resilient to damage, they go through quite a bit of wear and tear over the years. If the outer enamel becomes cracked and the interior pulp is exposed to the rest of the mouth, then there is a good chance that the tooth will become infected.

The Basics of a Root Canal

Exactly how the root canal is carried out is determined by a number of factors including the location and extent of the damage. As a general rule, a dentist, such as one from Abbott Family Dentistry, LLC, will use a small drill to gain access to the interior of the tooth before removing the pulp. They can then disinfect the interior of the tooth and fill the hole that they have made.

Modern Sedation Techniques

Many different types of anesthetics can be used to make this procedure as comfortable as possible. Those who are nervous about these procedures might benefit from an oral sedative that calms their nerves and puts them at ease. Your dentist can then use a local anesthetic or general anesthetic to ensure that you feel little or nothing during the surgery itself.

Getting Ready for Your Appointment

The steps that you take in the days leading up to your appointment can have a major impact on your recovery. Your dentist will give you some instructions, but patients should generally try to stay as healthy as possible. That includes getting plenty of sleep and staying hydrated. You might also be asked to refrain from eating in the hours leading up to the surgery to prevent any unusual interactions with the sedative are going to be given.

Those who are still worried about getting a root canal should keep in mind that millions of these procedures are carried out every year, and dentists have a wide variety of tools and techniques to make them as comfortable as possible. Most root canals can be completed in under 90 minutes, and you will be able to head right back to your regular daily habits in as little as 24 hours.