People who usually take dental care in stride confess to feeling nervous about needing a root canal. The fear intensifies in those who struggle with dental anxiety.

Unfortunately, root canals have a long-standing reputation for being traumatic procedures — a reputation that thrives as patients share a bad experience.

Despite their reputation, root canals should never be painful or difficult. The key is finding a compassionate dentist with expertise in performing root canals.

In the skilled hands of the endodontic specialists at Litchfield Dental Care, you don’t need to worry about pain or discomfort. And if you can’t shake anxiety, they’re also experts in sedation dentistry, offering medication that eases your fear.

One of the best ways to overcome your nervousness is to talk with the Litchfield Dental Care team. Let them know about your anxiety so they can support you through the process and ensure your comfort.

Here are four little-known facts about root canals.

Root canals are not painful

Root canals aren’t different from any other dental procedure. You may struggle with anxiety, but you can have a tooth pulled, a crown attached, and a dental implant inserted without suffering through a painful procedure. The same is true for a root canal.

Our team specializes in several types of anesthesia that do a great job of preventing pain. We also offer oral sedation, prescribing medication you can take before your root canal to relieve anxiety.

Root canals eliminate tooth pain

Root canals specifically treat an infection inside the tooth, a dental problem that causes extreme pain. Here’s how that happens.

Your tooth roots have a narrow opening — called a canal — that goes through the center of the root and into the middle of your tooth. These spaces contain pulp, which is soft tissue filled with nerves and blood vessels.

Bacteria sneak into the pulp through cavities and cracked or chipped teeth. Before long, an infection takes hold.

Pulp infections don’t heal without treatment. Instead, the infection gets worse, inflammation spreads, and an abscess, or collection of pus, develops. The result is severe pain.

A root canal is the only way to treat a pulp infection and eliminate your pain.

Root canals save your tooth

During a root canal, we use a special tool to remove the pulp and disinfect the canal, clearing out all of the infection. Then we fill the canals with dental putty to preserve the tooth’s structure. In other words, we save the tooth.

Without a root canal, the ongoing infection damages the tooth and its supporting structures, including your jawbone.

By the time a severe toothache develops, chances are the inflammation has already eroded some of the bone. If you put off getting a root canal, the structures can sustain such extensive damage that we can’t save your tooth.

Root canals protect your overall health

The bacteria responsible for a pulp infection can leave your tooth through the opening in the roots. From there, the bacteria can get into your bloodstream and spread throughout your body. So an infected tooth affects more than just your oral health.

Dental bacteria that go systemic cause many possible health problems, increasing your risk for:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Bronchitis
  • Liver disease

In addition to causing these conditions, dental bacteria in your bloodstream can contribute to and accelerate the progression of chronic diseases you may already have.

If you have a toothache or notice other signs of a problem — such as pain when biting, sensitivity, swollen gum, tiny lump on the gum above the tooth — don’t wait to reach out to the Litchfield Dental Care team. Call the office or use online booking to schedule an appointment and get exceptional dental care.

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