Everyone has things that they dread. Filing their taxes, going to see their in-laws, business meetings, baby showers for co-workers, the list goes on. Some people dread things that others love, it’s just as the saying goes “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
One thing that is incredibly common for people to dread is going to see a root canal dentist. Going to the dentist at all is something that’s rather daunting for many. You have to sit in a waiting room full of people, then you’re taken to the back where you have to sit with your mouth wide open for an undisclosed amount of time.
Root canals are a type of oral surgery, which makes sense why people would especially dread seeing dentists that provide this service. Surgeries can be painful, and we all know that tooth pain is pretty debilitating.
Dental care is something that a lot of people in America, even in the world, overlook for one reason or another. Maybe it’s because they can’t afford to see a dentist, maybe it’s because they just don’t like visiting the dentist so they avoid it.
Well, dear reader, today we’re going to be covering why going to the dentist to get a root canal isn’t such a bad thing. It doesn’t have to be scary or bad, and it can actually be a pretty rewarding experience for you, especially after you feel how your mouth feels after everything is said and done.
What is a Root Canal
If you want to bake a cake, you’ve got to crack a few eggs. Today’s cake is made of knowledge, and the metaphorical eggs are pieces of information that we need in order to obtain said knowledge.
So, what exactly is a root canal? It’s one of the most commonly performed dental procedures in the world. Odds are if you haven’t had a root canal done yourself, you know someone that has, even if you’re not actively aware of the fact that they’ve had it done.
How many root canals are done a year? More than you probably expect, there are over 15 million root canals done annually and over 41,000 done every single day. The average root canal doctor does at least 25 root canals a week, some even do more than that some weeks.
Even dentists that aren’t specifically root canal dentists do a few root canals, with non-root canal dentists performing about 2 per week on average. That’s a lot of root canals and a lot of teeth, 41,000 teeth is enough to fill the mouths of over 1,000 people.
But what exactly does this procedure do? Well, it’s actually a rather simple procedure that only takes 30-90 minutes to complete. Root canals are done for infected tooth pulp, and this process removes the infection so that it doesn’t cause serious issues with your gums, which can lead to even bigger issues down the road.
Here’s What this Procedure Looks Like in Steps:
- You show up and check-in at the Dentist’s office.
- After you get called back, the dentist or a nurse will lead you to the chair.
- Before anything else happens, you’ll be prompted about what’s to come.
- A local anesthetic will be applied to your mouth.
- The dentist will place a dental dam in your mouth to separate the tooth that’s being operated on from the rest of your mouth.
- A small access hole will be drilled into your tooth so the dentist can access your root canal.
- The dentist will use tools to remove the pulp from the tooth. This includes blood vessels, bone debris, and infected tooth pulp.
- Once that is done, the access hole will be shaped to be sure that all of the infection has been removed.
- Next, the tooth will be sealed with a temporary filling to ensure that no new bacteria can enter the canal.
- Two weeks later, you’ll go back to the dentist’s office to get a permanent filling for the access hole, and then you’re done.
If you have multiple teeth that need this done you’d repeat the steps throughout the same visit.
Root Canals Don’t Always Hurt
One of the biggest reasons why people don’t like getting root canals is because they’re afraid that it will cause them a great deal of pain. Dental pain is no laughing matter and can bring even the most hardened big scary bikers to their knees.
It’s perfectly reasonable to dislike pain. That’s how our brains are wired. We typically seek pleasure while avoiding pain, or at least we do this as much as we possibly can. Root canals definitely sound like something that would hurt, certainly some of our readers tensed up reading that last section.
The nice thing about root canals is that they don’t usually hurt. There are a lot of reasons for this. Potentially it’s because the nerves in that tooth are already dead, so you would have already gone through the largest part of the pain that you would experience.
However, that is pretty far from the biggest reason why root canals don’t usually hurt. The biggest thing that causes this to be a mostly painless experience is actually the local anesthetics that are applied before the procedure begins. That actually makes a whole world of difference as far as the pain levels you’ll experience.
Now, the anesthesia doesn’t completely stop you from feeling anything. There’s a good chance that you’ll still be able to feel the dentist poking around in your tooth. That’s to be expected. You just won’t feel much of the pain associated with someone poking around inside of your tooth.
With all of that in mind, you still might feel a bit of soreness when the anesthesia wears off. That is to be expected though, you did have a medical procedure done. Just make sure to follow the doctor’s orders and it’ll work out just fine.
Friendly Dentists Make a Difference
Now, one reason why a lot of people avoid getting root canals done is that they either get dentists that aren’t very friendly or are too friendly. There’s a good chance that you’ve had one of both of these kinds of dentists in your lifetime.
When they’re not friendly enough, the procedure can feel weird and impersonal. That is a preference for a lot of people, but a lot of people get anxious about dental work so that just makes them feel more anxious. They’re being operated on by a person, not a machine, after all.
Then there’s the other side of the spectrum. The dentists that are too friendly and put you into somewhat uncomfortable positions. Like when they ask you complex questions while your mouth is being kept open by an array of tools. Most people don’t want to be impolite, but there is an actual obstacle in the way of giving the dentist a proper response.
Depending on what kind of person you are, you might enjoy either of these sides of the spectrum. Different strokes for different folks. That being said, a lot of people would prefer having someone that sits nicely in the center of those two extremes.
How can you be sure that you’re getting the best possible dentist for you? This is a pretty important step if you want to make sure that your dental procedure goes as smoothly as possible for you while allowing you some wiggle room.
There are a lot of things that you can do to ensure that you’re picking a good dentist, and most of those methods involve doing the research before you book an appointment. You can do things like:
- Check the dentist’s office’s website for more information.
- Ask your friends if they’ve been to the same dentist.
- Look online for reviews.
- Call the dental office to ask about their dentist’s bedside manners.
- Book a cleaning before doing anything else.
- See if the dental office has any videos on popular video hosting websites like YouTube.
- Ask your city’s subreddit about the dentist in question.
Regardless of how you go about it, picking the right dentist is going to make a world of difference in the care that you get. Whether this is your first root canal or your 10th, the right dentist can make your experience so much better than it would be otherwise.
Root Canals Made Easy
Dental stuff might be kind of scary for a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean that you can just skip it. Your teeth are important for ensuring that you’re healthy. They say that the eyes are the portal to the soul, and if that’s true, then your teeth are the portal to your body.
Root canals can be easily done and most dentists that do them do a lot. In fact, your dentist probably does as many root canals as a barista at your local Starbucks makes triple-espresso Americanos. That means that you’re in capable hands for your procedure.