The Surprising Truth about Root Canal Treatment – What You Need to Know from the Santa Monica Family Dentist

by Dr. Follette | Date Published: 2019-12-17

If there’s one dental procedure that’s universally dreaded, it’s root canals. Almost everyone sees a root canal as being a painful and challenging experience, but there’s one crucial fact the Santa Monica, CA family dentist wants you to know – root canals don’t cause pain, they relieve it.

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

Root canal therapy is needed to remove an infection or extensive decay from the pulp deep inside your tooth. Dental pulp carries the blood vessels and nerves that keep the tooth alive.

When an infection reaches this part of your tooth, you experience pain that continues to develop until you’re unable to function, and you finally give in and call the dentist. Unfortunately, it’s this intense discomfort that gives root canals their negative reputation. The pain isn’t a result of root canal treatment; it’s the result of the infection.

What Happens During a Root Canal?

The first step is a local anesthetic to numb the tooth we’re treating, and at that moment, all your pain will wash away.

Our Santa Monica, CA family dentist has many ways to keep you comfortable during treatment, and we may recommend nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or an oral sedative. These options, combined with the local anesthetic, should be enough to keep you pain-free throughout the procedure.

Treatment involves opening a tiny hole in your tooth so our dentist can reach its interior. Using special instruments, we clear away the infected pulp and use a rubber-like material to fill the canals. The last step is to place a temporary filling on the tooth for about two weeks to allow the tooth to heal. Our root canal dentist will likely recommend placing a dental crown on the tooth to protect and strengthen it.

Don’t Put Off a Root Canal

A root canal is a serious problem, and we need to address it as quickly as possible to save the tooth. If you are in pain and suspect it might be time for a root canal, please call our office so we can arrange an appointment with our dentist as soon as possible.