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3 Reassuring Things To Tell Yourself Before Your Root Canal

The term "root canal" strikes fear and dread into the hearts of the general population, and if you've been told you need one, you may react with the same emotions. But there are actually several very good reasons not to worry about the procedure at all. Here are three things you can say to yourself that will make you feel better about your upcoming appointment.

1. "It Won't Hurt"

Believe it or not, root canal therapy is not the torturous process many assume it to be. A local anesthetic numbs the tissues before the dentist ever begins the root canal work. The numbing injection might sting a bit, and it may take a while to anesthetize a severely infected tooth, but you shouldn't feel anything during the procedure itself. Infection in the surrounding tissues might cause some lingering discomfort until the antibiotics have wiped it out, but the tooth itself no longer contains sensitive pulp tissue or nerves to cause any future pain.

Anxiety worsens the sensation of pain, and many people have a "dental phobia" that prevents them from relaxing in the dentist's chair. If that describes you, then you'll be happy to know that many dental offices offer oral or inhaled sedation to take your mind off your worries.

2. "I Won't Spend All Day in the Chair"

The idea that root canal therapy takes many long hours to complete is another misconception. Most simple root canals can be done in a single session of 90 minutes or less. If you have unusually shaped roots or other complicating factors, then your dentist may opt to prepare the root canal in one session and then fill it in a second session. Bear in mind, however, that most patients need to schedule a separate appointment for the fitting of permanent crown to reinforce the newly-repaired tooth.

3. "I'm Saving My Tooth"

Before root canal therapy was developed, the only way to deal with a decayed pulp chamber was to extract the tooth. While this may end the infection, it makes you that much less able to chew or talk normally -- and the loss of roots also causes the bone in that part of the jaw to resorb, or thin out. False teeth come with their own inconveniences and won't do anything to prevent bone resorption (except for implants, which can be prohibitively expensive). Saving the tooth is always a preferable solution. A tooth that has undergone root canal therapy can continue to provide you with a lifetime of service.

Now that you have some reasons to feel better about your root canal therapy, make sure you keep that appointment. Prompt treatment could make all the difference in relieving your pain and preserving a full mouthful of teeth. For more information, contact Bristol Dental Group or a similar organization.