More than one-third of Americans suffer from some level of dental anxiety. If you’re in this group, you have plenty of company. The news that you require a root canal procedure can ratchet up your nervousness, particularly if this is your first one, but there’s no need to let your appointment scare you.
The reputation that follows root canals is a memory from distant decades before contemporary anesthetics made virtually all dental procedures painless. This is a key point, since root canals involve removing nerve tissue. You can relax in the knowledge that you’ll feel no pain from this.
The reasons why you need a root canal likely involve real or potential pain. We’re root canal specialists at Volterra Dental Comprehensive and Aesthetic Dentistry, and we focus on your experience as a patient. Whether your nervousness is a touch of anxiety or outright fear, we’re here to help you stay comfortable at all stages. One way to break the anxiety chain is through understanding what your root canal is all about. Fear of the unknown is always the toughest worry to overcome. Here’s what you need to know to put your mind at ease.
The enamel that presents your smile to the world may seem like a solid structure set in bone, but your teeth have far more life to them than you might expect. The roots that interface with your jawbone have a soft, fleshy core, the part of the tooth called the root canal.
These canals house the pulp. As a tooth develops, it absorbs nutrients from your body through the pulp tissue, which also contains nerves to alert you when something is wrong, like damage or infection.
After you reach adulthood, your teeth can draw nutrients from tissue surrounding the root, and the pulp’s role is less prominent. Therefore, if a problem occurs, the pulp can be sacrificed to save the tooth’s structure.
Tooth roots and the bone in which they sit have a symbiotic relationship. The force exerted on your teeth when you bite and chew stimulates the bone of the jaw, keeping it healthy. Losing that interaction leads to loss of bone mass, potentially changing the alignment of your teeth and altering the shape of your face.
Perhaps the best reason for performing a root canal is that it maintains this tooth and bone interaction. Replacing a tooth with a crown-only appliance starts these changes. Saving the tooth keeps your mouth and bite healthy. While dental implants can restore this interaction, root canals are both more affordable and, ultimately, a better solution for overall oral health.
The more you know about your appointment, the less nervous you’ll be, so by all means ask us questions about your procedure. You can consult with Dr. Richard Blackburn and his team by booking an appointment online or calling our office directly. There really is nothing to worry about, so schedule your visit today.