Smile! It’s Root Canal Awareness Week in the USA
The words “root” and “canal” are much maligned, especially when found in the same sentence. Even the mention of root canal treatment is sufficient to make many dental patients feel anxious, but why is root canal treatment feared so much, and what exactly is it? The 11th annual Root Canal Awareness Week campaign aims to answer these questions.
Root canal treatment is one of the most commonly performed dental procedures in the US. It is estimated that around 15 million patients undergo root canal treatment every year. This procedure is commonly called into action when a tooth is infected and the infection has reached the pulp, the most precious part of the tooth. The pulp chamber contains the living tissue, and once the pulp tissue is infected, there’s every chance that the tooth will start to perish, and you may end up with more complex issues, including abscesses, as well as facing the risk of losing your tooth. In many cases, root canal treatment offers you the chance to keep a tooth you would almost certainly lose otherwise.
Root canal treatment is performed by dentists or endodontists, who are specialists in tooth roots. The aim of the procedure is to remove decayed tissue from the root canals, and then fill and seal them to prevent infection from spreading throughout the tooth.
Root canal therapy has a bad reputation, but is it really justified? Many people go into the procedure fearing the worst, but horror stories are largely to blame for this widespread anxiety. Root canals in the US are performed under anaesthetic, so technically, patients should feel a thing. It is common to have mild pain after the effects of the anaesthetic wear off after the procedure, but this is something that should be manageable with over the counter painkillers.