Don’t Let A Root Canal Scare You

Don’t Let A Root Canal Scare You

The last several weeks in October seem to be high season for those who love all things scary, including horror movies, gory Halloween costumes and the like. But very few people seem to use the season to embrace their fears of real-world situations. If the prospect of getting a root canal has you quaking in your boots more than a trip to the store to buy your Halloween costume, let’s address several common fears about them, so you can take that dental procedure out of your personal mental category of “spooky.”

Getting Over Your Fear Of Root CanalsRoot_Canal

Fear #1: My root canal treatment will be painful.

Fact: The tools and techniques that endodontists currently use to work with patients minimize pain and maximize the chances that he or she will be able to save your natural tooth. The discomfort you might experience during a root canal is similar to what you might experience if you were having a tooth filled. For many patients, a root canal actually relieves the pain they’ve been experiencing due to an injured or infected tooth.

Fear #2: My root canal treatment will involve frightening procedures or loud noises.

Fact: One fear common to many types of dental anxiety is undergoing a treatment involving complex, unfamiliar activities or which involves loud noises. Your endodontist can explain how he or she will perform the root canal, and is able to offer an array of remedies to keep you calm and comfortable during the procedure.

Fear #3: My root canal treatment won’t last, so why bother?

Fact: Some patients hesitate to get a root canal based on the faulty belief that they’re rarely successful, and wonder if they should just move directly to getting the tooth extracted. The data on root canals show that they preserve the natural tooth 95 percent of the time, so it is definitely a procedure worth considering!

“There are a lot of situations in life that require caution and heeding one’s fears, but root canals simply aren’t one of them,” says Dr. Jacqueline S. Allen, who practices with the Phoenix Endodontic Group. “Your endodontist can help you overcome your fears related to this important dental procedure.”

Endodontists Save Teeth

Endodontists Save Teeth

   

EndodontistWhen we think of tooth saving tips, we immediately think of oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) or prevention like wearing your mouthguard during sports or other physical activity. But, rarely, do we think of the choice to be made once a tooth is compromised.

  The American Association of Endodontists has an array of tooth saving tips once a tooth needs intervention: “Saving a natural tooth through endodontic treatment should always be the first choice for the best health and cosmetic results. There are many advantages to saving your natural tooth: efficient chewing; normal biting force so you can continue to eat your favorite foods; maintains a natural appearance; limits the need for more costly, ongoing dental work”.

Tooth Saving Tips

  • If you are given a choice between root canal treatment or tooth extraction, always choose the root canal. Dentures, bridges or implants don’t look, feel, or function as well as natural teeth.
  • If your dentist recommends tooth extraction, ask whether root canal treatment is an option.
  • If your dentist says that an endodontic procedure is not an option, ask why, and request a referral to an endodontist. Endodontists specialize in saving teeth and have at least two years of advanced training in root canal procedures. They use advanced equipment to treat patients quickly and comfortably, diagnosing the condition, and relieving pain.

           What to Avoid

  • Never choose extraction because you think it will be cheaper or less painful!  When a natural tooth is extracted, it must be replaced with an artificial tooth to prevent other teeth from shifting, and to prevent future dental problems. The cost of a denture, bridge or implant, plus the extraction, is higher than the cost of an endodontic procedure that would save the tooth for years to come. Modern techniques and anesthesia make root canal treatment virtually painless. Most dental plans cover endodontic treatment.
  • Never choose extraction because you think it will be quicker! Endodontic treatments generally require 1-2 visits lasting less than an hour. An extraction requires one visit, but the denture, bridge or implant will require several additional visits.

Endodontists are our local superheroes that save teeth! Want to learn more about root canal treatment? Visit Phoenix Endodontic Group at www.phoenixendodontist.com.

Dealing With Dislodged Teeth

Dealing With Dislodged Teeth

Root_CanalExperiencing a dental injury can be a traumatic experience. If you experience an impact injury to your mouth, you may need root canal treatment, even if the tooth isn’t completely knocked out of your mouth. The pulp of your tooth can be injured if the tooth is pushed into or out of its socket, or if it is forced to one side because of the injury.

Here are some common questions and answers about what you should do if you have a dislodged tooth.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dislodged Teeth

Question #1: Ouch! I have a tooth dislodged from an accident. What should I do?

You should contact your endodontist or general dentist to have him or her reposition and stabilize the tooth. Medication such as calcium hydroxide may be put inside the tooth as part of the root canal treatment.

Question #2: Why do I need to see an endodontist about my dislodged tooth?

As mentioned above, an injury severe enough to move a tooth out of its natural place in your mouth is likely to cause damage to the pulp and root of your tooth. Endodontists are experts in providing root canal treatments, which are essential to saving an injured or infected tooth that has damage to its pulp.

Question #3: How soon should root canal treatment be started on a dislodged tooth?

To ensure the best chance for success, root canal treatment on a dislodged tooth should be started within a few days of the injury, whenever possible.

Question #4: My 11-year-old had one of her permanent teeth dislodged. Does she need a root canal treatment?

Maybe. The teeth of children under age 12 are still developing and may be able to recover from an injury in ways that the teeth of an adult cannot. Your endodontist or general dentist should monitor your child’s tooth closely so that he or she can intervene immediately if any unfavorable changes appear.

“Having a tooth dislodged can be scary, and can also really hurt,” says Dr. Jacqueline S. Allen, who practices with the Phoenix Endodontic Group. “It can be reassuring to know that a root canal treatment can help preserve the natural tooth and keep it healthy for years to come!”

Endodontists Are Specialists In Saving Teeth

Endodontists Are Specialists In Saving Teeth

EndodontistOur natural teeth are complex, dynamic parts of a living organism – us! Endodontists play a crucial role in allowing us to keep our natural teeth, which in almost all cases provides the safest and most optimal health outcome.

According to the American Association of Endodontists, here are just some of the ways in which endodontists help your dental team preserve your natural teeth and keep them healthy for a lifetime.

How Endodontists Help Save Natural Teeth

  1. Endodontists partner with your general dentist. Endodontics is one of nine specialities recognized by the American Dental Association. Endodontists partner with general dentists and other specialists in diagnosis and treatment planning.
  2. Endodontists are experts in performing root canals. The root canal procedure, which is often the only way to preserve a natural tooth, typically makes up 95 percent of an endodontist’s workload. They use advanced technology and microsurgical techniques to improve patient comfort and save natural teeth.
  3. Endodontists receive additional training and are experts in tooth root structure. To become specialists, endodontists receive two years of extra training after completing dental school. They gain the expertise to treat everything from the most common to the most unusual or complex tooth root problems, which diminishes the need for retreatment.
  4. Endodontists provide a solid foundation for other restorative work. A properly done root canal is an excellent platform on which to build a crown or other restoration. This makes it less likely a patient will experience future complications and have to pay for additional work on the tooth.

“Tooth loss can lead to multiple problems over the long term, including shifting teeth, periodontal challenges and the cost and maintenance of prosthetics,” says Dr. Jacqueline S. Allen, who practices with the Phoenix Endodontic Group. “Our goal as endodontists is to preserve your natural teeth whenever possible and keep them healthy.”

The Truth About Root Canals

The Truth About Root Canals

root_canalLast month, this blog covered the top myths surrounding the root canal process, and we emphasized the importance of being a savvy Internet consumer when it comes to evaluating medical information. One of the factors involved in myths about root canals spreading across the web happens when readers confuse a description of what root canals used to be like with what the process is generally like today. Here is a brief list of “truths” about what patients typically experience during today’s root canals to help you better understand what you would experience if you were to need a root canal.

Today’s Truths About Root Canals

  1. Today’s root canals relieve pain, rather than cause discomfort. Many root canals are performed to relieve the pain of toothaches caused by pulp inflammation or infection. Modern endodontic techniques and anesthetics keep patients comfortable during the procedure, and after a brief healing period, many patients report their tooth feeling better than ever.
  2. Today’s root canals are often the best way to save your natural tooth. Often, by the time a root canal is called for, the tooth is either experiencing infection or inflammation of the pulp, or the tooth has been damaged by a fracture. Root canals and other endodontic treatments can often preserve the natural tooth, avoiding the loss of function and appearance change that comes with having the tooth extracted.
  3. Today’s root canals can last a lifetime! While much depends on how well you care for your teeth and gums after the root canal is performed, if your mouth remains healthy, it is likely your natural tooth that’s been treated with a root canal can stick around as long as you do. It’s important to ensure the crown that’s placed on top of the treated tooth remains structurally sound, because it is your first line of defense against infection or decay that could compromise the tooth.

“It’s very important to get up-to-date information on root canals, since today’s procedure is unlike what your relatives or friends may have experienced a generation – or even a decade – ago,” says Dr. Allen, who practices with the Phoenix Endodontic Group. “The truth is, getting a root canal today is very likely to offer permanent relief from pain in your natural tooth that’s caused by infection or dental injury.”

 

Top 3 Myths About Root Canals Debunked

Top 3 Myths About Root Canals Debunked

Root Canal These days, it’s becoming more and more important to be a skeptical reader when it comes to researching medical information online. While a lot of quality sites exist, some websites perpetuate misinformation, making it harder to “do your homework” before you speak with your general dentist or an endodontist about important dental procedures such as root canals.

Here are three common myths about root canals that are often found when doing an online search, as well as accurate information to counter each falsehood.

Busting the Top 3 Myths About Root Canals

Myth #1: Root canals are painful. It’s easy to see why this myth exists. Many patients who come in for a root canal are suffering from the pain of a damaged tooth, or have decay that is causing the pulp of the tooth to become infected. These conditions can be very uncomfortable and can endanger the natural tooth. However, root canal treatment typically relieves the pain caused by these conditions, and preserves the natural tooth, as well.

Myth #2: Root canals are only a temporary solution. While few dental treatments last a lifetime, if a root canal is done by a qualified endodontist, its benefits can last for many years, even decades. It’s important to have a restoration such as a crown placed over the root canal to protect it afterward and to continue a regular daily brushing and flossing routine to ensure the treated tooth remains strong.

Myth #3: Extractions are often a better choice than getting a root canal. Because of the difficulties in chewing and speaking that occur when one loses a natural tooth, and the danger of bone resorption if enough natural teeth are extracted, a root canal should at least be considered when a natural tooth is failing. Root canals have a success rate of 85 percent or more, and a tooth that’s had a root canal done can also receive a root canal retreatment or an apicoectomy if additional treatment is needed to stabilize and save the tooth.

“Root canals are a cost-effective, safe, comfortable way to preserve your natural teeth,” says Dr. Jacqueline S. Allen, who practices with the Phoenix Endodontic Group. “Learn the facts about the procedure and don’t hesitate to call a dental professional if you need a consultation.”