…believe it or not, NOT getting a root canal is far more frightening than the procedure itself. Dr. Nicholas Cain, a Gary, IN dentist who has performed countless root canal treatments, explains that the consequences of delaying or avoiding the procedure can be painful, costly, and infinitely more unpleasant.
What Is a Root Canal Treatment, Anyway?
First, some basic tooth anatomy. Each tooth has three separate layers: the outermost enamel, which surrounds a thick layer of dentin, all wrapped around a nerve-filled core called the pulp. Several root canals run through the tooth and may become infected, at which point a root canal treatment is needed to remove the infection and protect the tooth from future damage.
First, your dentist makes a small hole in your tooth to gain access to the infected tissue. After carefully removing the tissue and debris, the area is sealed off to prevent contamination and infections. Finally, your dentist places a specially made dental crown over the tooth, allowing the tooth to function properly and maintain a natural appearance.
But Won’t It Hurt?
As with any procedure—medical or dental—some amount of discomfort is to be expected. The good news is that root canal treatment techniques and materials have improved greatly over the past decade, making them more efficient and comfortable for you, the patient. For example, we offer multiple types of sedation dentistry to quell anxiety and help relax you while you receive important dental care.
You could compare it to removing a splinter. Do you remember what it was like to get a splinter as a child? Obviously the splinter was painful, but the fear of having it removed led to a tearful meltdown the second mom or dad picked up a pair of tweezers. After much drama, the splinter was removed and the pain was inevitably fleeting. Had you allowed the splinter to remain in your finger, you would have gone on hurting for days, weeks, even, and that’s assuming it didn’t become infected. A root canal treatment is similar. The sooner it is taken care of, the sooner you can get back to your pain-free life.
Can’t It Wait?
Understand that taking action as early as possible will help minimize discomfort and improve healing. If you wait too long, the tooth may become non-vital, or dead. A tooth that is non-vital is past the point of repair; it must be extracted altogether. A bridge or removable denture may be needed to avoid the damaging effects of tooth loss. It’s also possible for an infection to spread, causing greater pain and the need for more dramatic dental work.
Need more info about root canals in West Des Moines, IN? To learn more about our restorative dental services, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nicholas Cain, contact our Gary, IN dentist office at 219.938.2637. We welcome patients living in Northwest Indiana, including Gary, Miller, and Miller Beach.