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Afraid of Getting a Root Canal? Don’t be!

Root Canal FearRoot canals get a bad rep – and we are determined to correct this dental injustice!

You see, a root canal is one of the most effective tools in a dentist’s arsenal to save a severely damaged tooth and restore it to its former glory, in both appearance and functionality. And yet, we encounter patients who literally go pale in the dentist’s chair and break out in a cold sweat at the mere thought of a root canal.

Why? Because root canals, even more so than tooth extractions, have an undeserved reputation for causing pain. Nothing could be further from the truth, however, and we’re here to set the record straight.

Root Canals Don’t Hurt – Teeth That Need One, Do!

A patient may need a root canal for a number of reasons, but the most common problem is severe tooth decay. It often starts with a small cavity that is ignored. The cavity grows and grows, until bacteria overwhelm the tooth and travel all the way to the tooth root. The patient is now dealing with severe tooth decay that can lead to infection and abscess. And boy, does it hurt!

So the patient eventually caves from the pain and calls Summit Dental Center for an emergency appointment. It’s a good thing we’re open evenings and Saturdays, because dental emergencies tend to strike at the most inconvenient time.

More often than not, the patient is in quite a bit of agony. The dentist declares a root canal is needed to save the tooth.

Are you familiar with this scenario?

We have now established that patients who suffer from severe tooth decay are typically in great pain BEFORE they arrive at Summit Dental Center, seeking relief. Their tooth hurts…badly.

Moving on.

What Happens During a Root Canal?

At Summit Dental Center, we believe knowledge is power – in the case of root canals, power to conquer our fears. So let’s start by talking about what happens when a dentist performs a root canal. It may sound uncomfortable, but hear us out…

  1. The dentist begins the root canal procedure by drilling an access hole into the tooth; nothing special here…he does this for even the most minor cavity
  2. Next, he starts cleaning out the tooth, removing decayed material and pulp, as well as any infection that may be present; he does this by inserting tiny files into the tooth roots to scrape out any yucky stuff that caused the pain in the first place
  3. Once the dentist is satisfied that the tooth is clean and free of debris, he starts filling the hole with various materials designed to restore and strengthen the integrity of the tooth; he then places a temporary filling to seal the tooth – again, no surprise here as any small cavity you may have had treated in the past received a filling as well

You are now ready to go home – a little sore, perhaps, but without the mind-numbing, excruciating pain that brought you to Summit Dental Center in the first place!

You’ll return to the dentist a week or so later to get the temporary filling removed and replaced by a permanent filling. Your dentist may also place a crown over the damaged tooth to further strengthen your tooth and restore its integrity.

No Pain – Much Gain

For the most part, getting a root canal is much like getting a small cavity filled. The difference is the pain level many patients experience when they arrive at our office. Understandably, the thought of someone probing the already tender tissue and inserting tools (however small!) into a throbbing tooth is more than one can handle.

At Summit Dental Center we have a solution for this anxiety! While, in theory, local anesthesia injections would provide ample numbing effects for the root canal procedure, we understand that pain is not only perceived physically, but psychologically as well.

That’s why we offer a full range of sedation options to patients undergoing root canal treatment. Talk to your Summit Dental Center Dentist about sedation techniques ranging from mild and moderate all the way to complete:

  • Laughing gas
  • Oral sedation (administered in pill form) – you’ll be awake but feel no pain
  • General anesthesia – you’ll be fully sedated (“asleep”) and have no memory of the procedure at all

We have now established that the root canal procedure itself can be performed without any pain or discomfort for the patient whatsoever.

Best of all, you get to keep your natural tooth. This is a great advantage over tooth extraction, as your natural tooth maintains a healthy jaw and prevents bone loss, which can occur if the tooth is removed but not replaced by a dental implant.

Good Root Canal Stories – Yes, They Happen All The Time!

Forget all about the scary anecdotes you’ve heard about root canals – they only perpetuate the unreasonable fear that grabs a hold of people at the mere mention of the procedure. More than likely, the frightening stories you’ve heard either

  1. happened years and years ago, before modern sedation options were available or widely used
  2. are embellished with a hefty dose of exaggeration, because what’s a story without a dire situation that places the hero in harm’s way?
  3. or recount treatment by the occasional dentist who failed to employ proper pain management techniques.

Need more convincing? Check out these root canal success stories from real people!

Summit Dental Center – Your “No Pain, No Fear” Houston Dentist

At Summit Dental Center, no patient has to fear the root canal procedure.

  • Full range of sedation options
  • Highly-trained, experienced, and compassionate endodontists
  • 7 Houston-area locations
  • Evening and Saturday appointments
  • Dental financing options with affordable payment plans available – no credit check needed!
  • Comprehensive dental care for the whole family

Experiencing tooth pain? Call Summit Dental Center today at 713-425-0450 for a same-day appointment.