When someone describes an activity or experience as "about as pleasant as getting a root canal," you may naturally feel like you're in for trouble at your upcoming dental appointment. Root canals have gotten an unreasonably bad rap over the years, despite the fact that they can improve your quality of life in a number of ways. Here are three reasons that you should actually feel good about your impending root canal procedure.
1. An End to Nagging Dental Pain
Many people believe that having root canal treatment means undergoing lengthy sessions of agonizing pain. In fact, the opposite holds true—root canal treatment relieves pain instead of causing it. Most of the conditions that make root canal therapy necessary are far more likely to make you miserable than any treatment you receive to correct them. For instance, when the pulp of a tooth is infected, it can make the tooth extremely sensitive to pressure, sweets and/or temperature changes — a state known as pulpitis. Over time, the pain from pulpitis may become constant and irreversible. By contrast, root canal treatment s performed under anesthetic, making it totally painless, while the extraction of the infected nerve tissue literally removes your pulpitis pain at the source.
2. Longer-Lasting Teeth
As troublesome as that painful tooth may be at the moment, you don't want to lose it if at all possible. Teeth lost to infections and abscesses can make chewing a challenge — and the harder it is for you to chew, the less thoroughly you can digest your food. Missing teeth can also ruin your smile in a hurry unless you go to the extra trouble and expense of replacing them with bridges, dentures, or implants. Root canal treatment can help you save that damaged tooth so you don't have to deal with any of those consequences. Once the infected tissue has been removed from the root, the tissues surrounding the root can heal and strengthen themselves, helping you keep that tooth in your head for many years to come.
3. Better Overall Health
You might not enjoy spending time in the dentist's chair — but unless you get the root canal treatment you need, you may find yourself spending even more time in other medical environments, and for even more serious reasons. The same bacteria that causes pulpitis and abscesses can travel from your tooth roots to your bloodstream. From there, it can find its way to the heart, the heart valves, or even the brain, placing your systemic health in jeopardy. Undergoing one or two root canal sessions now could save you a great deal of medical treatment later. Less harmful bacteria in the body also means less of a burden on your immune system, allowing you to enjoy better resistance to other diseases.
Don't feel intimidated by the prospect of root canal treatment; instead, feel happy that such a simple procedure can help you feel so much better in so many ways. Contact your dentist today with any other questions or concerns you may have!