Root Canal Awareness Week is an annual event that takes place in the second week of May. This week is dedicated to educating people about the importance of root canal treatment and dispelling myths about the procedure.

First thing, don’t listen to anybody!

Every patient who comes to a root canal appointment nervous will say that everybody they spoke to told them how awful it is, but at the end of most appointments patients leave saying ‘that wasn’t so bad’.

I think historic treatments and word of mouth have made it feared a lot more than it should be! It does take a long time so get comfortable but besides that it is actually quite a painless and easily tolerated procedure. If you have never had a root canal or are unfamiliar with the procedure, this article will provide you with some essential information to hopefully reduce those fears.

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure that is performed to remove infected or damaged tissue from the inside of a tooth. The procedure involves removing the pulp, nerves, and any other infected material from the tooth’s root canals. Once the damaged tissue is removed, the canals are cleaned and shaped, and a filling is placed to seal the tooth.

Why do I need a root canal?

Root canals are usually needed when the pulp inside the tooth becomes infected or inflamed. This can be caused by deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the same tooth, trauma, or a crack or chip in the tooth. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the surrounding teeth and gums, causing pain and swelling.

What are the symptoms of needing a root canal?

The symptoms of needing a root canal can vary, but some common signs include:

  • Severe tooth pain
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Swelling around the affected tooth
  • Pain when chewing or biting
  • Discoloration of the tooth

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible to determine if a root canal is necessary.

Is a root canal painful?

Contrary to popular belief, root canals are not as painful as people may think. In fact, the procedure is usually no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. Local anesthesia is used to numb the area around the affected tooth, so you should not feel any pain during the procedure.

How long does a root canal take?

The length of a root canal procedure depends on the severity of the infection and the complexity of the tooth’s root structure. On average, a root canal takes about 90 minutes to complete.

What is the recovery process like after a root canal?

After a root canal, you may experience some mild discomfort and sensitivity, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. It is also important to avoid chewing on the affected tooth until the final restoration is complete. Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for your tooth after the procedure.

In conclusion, Root Canal Awareness Week is an essential time to learn more about this common dental procedure and dispel the myths that surround it. If you are experiencing any symptoms of needing a root canal, don’t wait to see a dentist. With early detection and treatment, a root canal can save your tooth and prevent further damage to your oral health. The chances of success are much better with early treatment.