Root canals get a bad rap, but their reputation is not as bad as it used to be. A survey by the American Association of Endodontists found that 54% of Americans are apprehensive about root canals. This number was 60% in 2013.
Root Canal Awareness Week is just now coming to an end, and at Stapleton Modern Dental, we’re doing our duty to tell the real story about root canals.
Are Root Canals Really That Bad?
We get it, no one likes root canals. They are regularly the butt of pop culture jokes, making appearances in films like Finding Nemo. Some film critics have even gone so far as to name their reviews after them.
If rapper Lil Wayne can undergo 8 root canals in one sitting, we’re sure you are brave enough for a single procedure. Every year, more than 15 million root canal procedures are performed, and 95% of them are successful. Afterwards, patients find that their pain is mostly alleviated and they are pleased that they get to keep their natural tooth.
Do You Need a Root Canal?
This is a question that only a dental professional can answer for sure. However, if you’re curious, the following symptoms are good indicators that you may require a root canal. Warning signs include experiencing:
- A small bump on your gums near the tooth that hurts
- Severe pain when pressure is placed on a tooth, such as while eating
- Tenderness in the gums surrounding a tooth
- Discoloration of the tooth
While your regular dentist can handle simple root canal procedures, certain cases may be referred to an endodontist.
What is an Endodontist?
Endodontists are dentists who specialize in the pulp of your teeth, the innermost portion that extends from the crown of your tooth to the root. Dental pulp is what allows you to detect hot and cold substances in your mouth.
For more information about root canal treatments, visit our root canals page.