“You need a root canal.”
During dentist visits, few of us hope we hear these words. In fact, most people dread root canals, but the procedure’s reputation is improving ever so slightly. A 2017 survey by the American Association of Endodontists discovered that 54% of Americans fear root canals, which is lower than the 2013 rate of 60%.
Since Root Canal Awareness Week is just behind us, South Springs is seizing this opportunity to reassure our patients that there’s nothing to fear.
Are Root Canals Really That Bad?
Root canals are among the most routine procedures dentists perform. After the treatment is over, patients report feeling no more pain than they would during a dental filling. In fact, root canals go a long way toward relieving discomfort, contrary to the misconception that they cause pain.
Every year, 15 million root canal procedures are performed with a 95% success rate, but if you still feel nervous, you can check out the footage from Dr. Travis Stork’s procedure. Dr. Stork, host of the show The Doctors, underwent his root canal procedure on television to help viewers feel more at ease about the procedure.
Do You Need a Root Canal?
Only a dental professional will know for sure if a root canal is necessary, but there are warning signs you can be on the lookout for. The following symptoms may indicate that a root canal is in your future:
- A small bump on the gums near the tooth that hurts
- Discoloration of a tooth
- Severe pain when pressure is placed on a tooth, such as while eating
- Tenderness in the gums surrounding a tooth
While the majority of root canal procedures can be performed by your regular dentist, particularly tricky cases are better suited for endodontists.
What is an Endodontist?
Your teeth are composed of multiple layers. The outer two layers, your enamel and dentin, are made up of hard tissue. Beneath that is your pulp. This is where your dental nerves and blood vessels are kept, allowing you to detect hot and cold stimuli.
Endodontists are specialized dental professionals who have completed extra schooling specific to dental pulp. Dr. Chris Hahn is our endodontist here at South Springs Dental Group. To learn more about our endodontic services, visit our root canals page.