According to a survey by the American Association of Endodontists, Americans are becoming more comfortable with the thought of having a root canal. This is good, because a root canal is an important dental procedure that save a tooth and eliminate pain associated with a tooth infection.
Survey In Advance of Root Canal Awareness Week
According to the survey results, the number of Americans that fear a root canal dropped by 10% from 2013 to 54%. The survey also showed that more than three quarters of those surveyed (76%) wanted the results of a root canal: keeping their natural teeth. The survey was released ahead of Root Canal Awareness Week, which runs March 30 to April 5.
An Undeserved Reputation
A root canal has an unfortunate reputation as being one of the most painful procedures you might ever have to endure, but in truth it’s not as bad as everyone says. Root canals gained their reputation when they were first invented, back in the 1860s, when there were few anesthetic options and dentistry was very crude.
Now, 150 years later, the root canal is a much better procedure and the experience is not nearly so bad as people think. There are many anesthetic options so that people don’t feel any discomfort during surgery, and after surgery there may be a lingering soreness for a few days, but it’s minor. This discomfort is typically controllable with over-the-counter medication, and is much less than people usually experience from the infected tooth itself.
A Vital, Valuable Procedure
Root canals are used when the pulp or nerve inside a tooth has become infected. Once the tooth pulp is infected, bacteria can pass through the canals that connect the root to its blood supply to attack your bone, other teeth, and even spread into nearby areas, such as your sinuses. This can lead to serious, or even deadly infections.
Root canals can preserve an infected tooth. After being topped with a dental crown, the tooth is nearly as good as new. It can last for decades, and recent studies even indicate that, on the whole, restored teeth last longer than dental implants.