Root canals have a reputation for being a long and painful procedure; but this is undeserved. Perhaps decades ago before modern dental technology root canal therapy was more difficult; but today’s endodontic therapy is performed with efficiency and little to no discomfort.
A non surgical root canal is much like treating a tooth that is decayed. With a cavity, the dentist drills into the tooth to remove decay; the removed portion of tooth is filled and in doing so the tooth is sealed. With a root canal, an opening is drilled into the tooth to reach the root canals. Small files are used to remove the contents of the canals (pulp, nerve, tissue); the canals are flushed and usually filled with a material called gutta percha. The access point is sealed and the tooth is saved.
However, there are situations where a non surgical root canal cannot resolve the problem; that is when your dentist will recommend a surgical root canal. The words root canal can lead to anxiety, but adding surgery into the mix makes this somewhat easy procedure sound much more frightening. But there are reasons you should not be anxious about a surgical root canal:
1. If this extra measure is required, your endodontist will employ the latest technologies like digital imaging and operating microscopes to perform your procedure quickly, with minimal down time.
2. The reason surgery is likely needed is that there is a small fracture that could not be detected before; leaving the tooth untreated will result in discomfort and the likely loss of the tooth. Having a surgical root canal may be the only option available to save your tooth.
3. A local anesthetic will be used so you won’t feel a thing. With any surgery, sutures are usually required to close the opening and escalate healing. An over the counter analgesic is usually sufficient to manage any discomfort. Most of the time, the patient can resume normal activity the next day.
Saving a tooth is always preferred over extraction. If the tooth is removed, the patient will require additional costly and time consuming treatment like an implant or bridge to facilitate chewing and prevent remaining teeth from shifting.
Understand that your dentist recommending surgical root canal therapy is in your best interest to save your tooth and relieve discomfort. Let our team put you at ease and schedule an appointment with us today.