As the most common oral health problem in the United States, dental decay affects people of all ages. About 90% of adults in the US have had at least one cavity, and an estimated one in four American adults is living with untreated tooth decay at any given time.
When it goes untreated, tooth decay that starts as a small cavity in your enamel — the kind that only requires a simple filling — turns into deep decay that infects the soft pulpy tissues inside your tooth. Endodontic therapy, or root canal treatment, is the only way to treat deep decay and infection and avoid losing your tooth.
Dr. Maria-Teresa Ioannou and our expert team at Vida Dental Spa know it’s natural to feel apprehensive about an upcoming root canal. But we’re here to reassure you that, contrary to common misconceptions, a tooth-saving root canal is nothing to fear. Here’s why.
Endodontic dentistry specializes in treating infection, disease, and decay that affects the soft tissues and structures inside your teeth or the soft, pulpy inner core beneath the hard middle dentin layer and tough enamel exterior.
Arguably the most frequently performed endodontic treatment, root canal therapy removes damaging decay and treats painful infection and inflammation within a tooth’s pulpy interior, or the “root canal” chamber, where dental blood vessels and nerves are situated.
Root canal therapy eradicates deep decay before it damages your tooth beyond repair. In other words, a root canal aims to treat and heal your natural tooth so it can stay right where it belongs — in your mouth.
When you have deep decay that’s too far gone for a simple filling, you only have two treatment options: A tooth-preserving root canal or a complete tooth extraction followed by the placement of an artificial tooth like a bridge or a dental implant.
One of the most pervasive myths about root canals is that they’re painful. A recent survey by the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) reveals that the average person is more afraid of getting a root canal than they are of spiders, being trapped in an elevator, or speaking in public.
But root canal therapy isn’t a lengthy, painful procedure and won’t leave you in discomfort once it’s complete. On the contrary, a root canal treatment is virtually painless and causes far less discomfort during recovery than you’d experience following a tooth extraction.
Thanks to advanced endodontic methods and effective local anesthesia, having a root canal is like getting a cavity treated and filled. People who undergo root canal therapy are six times more likely to describe the treatment as painless compared to those who opt to have a decayed tooth extracted.
When treating deep dental decay, infection, and inflammation, safeguarding oral health, and preserving your smile, nothing compares to root canal therapy. Besides saving your natural tooth, this treatment stops the spread of infection from your tooth to your jawbone or bloodstream.
If you still feel worried that your root canal might be painful because the treatment goes deeper than the average cavity filling, dental anesthesia combined with our unique dental spa experience ensures a comfortable, pain-free visit from start to finish.
And once we’ve cleared away the deep decay and your root canal treatment is complete, the tender jaw, throbbing toothache, or painfully swollen gums that brought you to our chair initially becomes part of your past.
Do you need a root canal? We can help. Call or click online to schedule an appointment today with Dr. Ioannou at Vida Dental Spa in Whitestone, New York.