Logo Gables Sedation & Family Dentistry

Nervous About Your Root Canal? Facts to Help Ease Your Mind

Apr 14, 2023
Nervous About Your Root Canal? Facts to Help Ease Your Mind
It’s normal to be nervous about a root canal. Fortunately, the real procedure is nothing like the rumors that accompany it.

In 2019, the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), a specialty dental group, looked into how far people would go before they would choose to get a root canal. A majority of respondents said they would rather be in a room with 10 spiders, sing the national anthem at a sports game, or have a snake in their lap for 15 minutes than get a root canal.

Fear over root canals is real, but it’s also misplaced. The fact is, root canals are not the painful, bloody spectacle they’re made out to be. Millions of root canals are performed each year, helping make mouths healthier and patients pain-free. The facts of the procedure bear this out. 

At Gables Sedation Dentistry in the Coral Gables neighborhood of Miami, Jorge Fornaris, DMD, and Ramiro Esparragoza, DDS, have performed countless root canals during their careers and will help you overcome your nervousness. In this blog, they explain why root canals are needed and why you don’t need to be anxious about the procedure. 

The basics of a root canal

Below the dentin and enamel of each tooth is the pulp. The pulp consists of blood vessels, nerves, and other tissues that provide nutrition to the tooth. If bacteria enter the pulp, either through a cavity, crack, or other damage, an infection can develop.

The infection can then cause inflammation and swelling, which can lead to pain and discomfort. This is where a root canal comes in. With a root canal, your provider drills a small hole and removes the pulp. Then they fill the area where the pulp used to be with a rubber-like material, and they put a small filling in the access hole.

Then, they’ll likely place a crown on your tooth to reinforce and protect it. In short, a root canal helps protect your tooth and prevent future infections. 

Symptoms of a tooth infection

Tooth pain is the most common sign that you may need a root canal. Other symptoms include: 

  • Sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Swollen, puffy, or tender gums
  • Pimple on the gums
  • Swollen jaw
  • Tooth and/or gum discoloration
  • Pain when pressure is applied

Pain that intensifies when chewing or biting may also be a sign of infection. 

You’ll hardly feel anything with a root canal

While your grandparents probably didn’t actually walk uphill both ways to get to school, they may have had a painful root canal. However, in the last few decades, dental advancements and improvements in local anesthetics have made it so most people feel very little, if any, pain during a root canal treatment. 

The use of dental anesthetics means you won’t feel anything in the treatment area except a slight pinch when it's administered. At most, you may feel some pressure and slight discomfort. Once the anesthetic wears off, you’ll probably feel a bit sore and uncomfortable for a few days, but it’s nothing that over-the-counter painkillers won’t be able to treat.

And, if you’re still too nervous to get the procedure done, Gables Sedation Dentistry offers multiple sedation options that can help you relax. If you need a root canal, or if you want to see if you need one, we can help. To learn more, call 305-518-1822 or book an appointment online with Gables Sedation Dentistry today.