Root Canal Therapy
Q: Doc, I need a root canal and all my friends are telling me horror stories. Are they right?
A: Over the years “root canal” has come to typify the very worst scenario that life can deal out. Right up there with IRS audit, in-laws extended visit and crossing the Jolley Bridge in season.
The fact is that we now have ways to relieve the pain that drove you into the office in the first place. Ohhh, the pain! Believe it or not, over 90 percent of all dental pain has something to do with the nerves within the tooth. The severity of the pain and how you describe it indicate to us if the tooth is alive or dead.
It’s possible to have a cracked filling or cracked tooth that may not need root canal therapy if evaluated and treated right away. It’s necessary to x-ray and examine the tooth to determine the appropriate treatment. If root canal is necessary it can, in most cases, be treated in a single visit.
There are many new materials and techniques available that will make your visit short and comfortable. Typically, once the root canal has been completed a crown must be fitted over the top of the tooth in order to protect it and keep it from breaking. Once this process is completed the prognosis of the tooth becomes favorable and the tooth can last a long time.