Most of our patients do not have a particularly positive opinion of root canal procedures, and they aren’t alone. According to a survey by the American Association of Endodontists, 54% of people are afraid of the treatment. Since this number was 60% in 2013, things are slightly improving. However, we’d hate to see even one patient tearing their hair out over a routine procedure that doesn’t live up to its painful reputation.
To save our patients from unneeded anxiety and in honor of Root Canal Awareness Week, Hampden Dental Group is taking this time to quell our patients’ fear of root canal procedures.
Are Root Canals Really That Bad?
Hatred of root canals appears throughout pop culture. The procedure makes an appearance in Finding Nemo, and a film critic for the New York Post made a jab at root canals, titling a review with “I’d rather have a root canal than rewatch this movie.”
Rapper Lil’ Wayne once endured 8 root canals in one sitting, so we trust that your single procedure won’t put you out. Fifteen million root canals are performed every year in the United States with a 95% success rate. Most patients come out of the procedure smiling. The pain isn’t anything more than a dental filling; the discomfort they were experiencing is over; and they get to keep their natural tooth.
Do You Need a Root Canal?
If you suspect you need a root canal, you should contact your dentist as soon as you can. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for these warning signs:
- Severe pain when pressure is placed on a tooth, such as while eating
- Discoloration of the tooth
- Tenderness in the gums surrounding a tooth
- A small bump on your gums near the tooth that hurts
All root canals can be performed in our office, the majority with a regular dentist, and in certain cases with an endodontist.
What is an Endodontist?
An endodontist is a dental professional who has completed training specific to the pulp of teeth.
Pulp extends from the top of your tooth, all the way to deep below your gum-line. It is made up of the nerves and blood vessels that allow you to detect hot and cold substances on your teeth.
To learn more about our endodontic services, visit our root canals page.