The Truth About Root Canals

May 12, 2017

root canal xrayIt’s time to set the record straight about root canals. The procedure is often lauded as a marker of all things terrible (the expression “I’d rather have a root canal” comes to mind).

Despite this, the procedure’s reputation seems to be slowly improving. According to the American Association of Endodontists, 54% of Americans are nervous about root canals, while that number was 60% in 2013.

Root Canal Awareness Week is coming to an end, so Lone Tree Modern Dental is taking this time to do some damage control for this routine procedure that gets a bad rap.

Are Root Canals Really That Bad?

Most people who get uneasy when they hear the phrase “root canal” have never had one. But if they did, as an estimated 15 million Americans do each year, they would know that the procedure is no big deal. Out of those 15 million, 95% of the procedures are successful.

In 2016, Dr. Travis Stork, host of the television show The Doctors, underwent a root canal live on television. He did this to reiterate the fact that the procedure doesn’t hurt and that it actually helps to relieve pain in the long run.

Since in most cases, patients who receive root canals were in danger of losing their tooth, the procedure comes with the added benefit of allowing patients to keep their natural tooth.

Do You Need a Root Canal?

Only a dental professional can accurately say whether or not you need a root canal; however, there are some warning signs you can look out for. You may need a root canal treatment if you are experiencing:

  • Discoloration of the tooth
  • A small bump on your gums near the tooth that hurts
  • Tenderness in the gums surrounding a tooth
  • Severe pain when pressure is placed on a tooth, such as while eating

In many cases, your regular dentist will perform your root canal procedure, but depending on your situation you may be referred to an endodontist.

What is an Endodontist?

Endodontists are dentists who have completed extra schooling focused on dental pulp.

Most of your tooth is made up of hard tissue like dentin and enamel, but deep inside your tooth is soft tissue called pulp that carries the nerves and blood vessels of the tooth. This tissue allows you to detect stimuli on your teeth, like hot and cold.

To learn more about our endodontic services, visit our root canals page.