Why People Are Afraid of Root Canals and Why They Shouldn’t Be


Would you rather jump out of a plane without a parachute or clean your garage with a toothbrush than have a root canal? According to

folklore, just about anything is better than having a root canal. Unfortunately, far too many people believe the stories and put off having the tooth-saving procedure. Root canal therapy is among the treatments your Roswell, GA, dentist, Dr. Wyman Martin of The Martin Center for Oral Health and Aesthetics, uses to help you enjoy good oral health.

How root canals got a bad reputation

Root canals were first introduced as a mainstream dental procedure in the 1800s. At that time, dental tools were larger and less streamlined than they are today, which may have made the procedure painful. Although ether was introduced in the 1800s by a dentist, the anesthetic wasn't always effective in controlling pain. If anesthesia didn't work or wasn't available, a root canal would have been a painful experience for our ancestors.

Most of us won't soon forget painful experiences. Our great-grandparents probably shared their negative root canal experiences with their friends and neighbors, who passed along the story to younger generations.

Fortunately, things have changed since the 1800s. Thanks to innovations in dental instruments, techniques, and anesthesia, pain is usually not part of root canal therapy today. 

Why would you need a root canal?

Root canals are needed when the pulp in the center of a tooth becomes inflamed or infected, causing a variety of symptoms ranging from pain to swollen gums to dangerous dental abscesses. Ignoring these symptoms can result in the loss of your tooth and without appropriate care, even death. Root canals relieve your pain and other symptoms by removing your dead or dying dental pulp tissue and protecting the tooth with a dental filling or crown.

What are root canals really like?

Although root canals are a little more complicated than fillings, the procedure will be very much the same from your perspective. The therapy involves opening the tooth to expose the soft pulp at the center of your tooth. After removing the pulp, your Roswell dentist cleans the tooth and the root canals, shapes them, and places a permanent rubber based filling to seal off the canals. You'll receive a local anesthetic to control pain, but may also opt for nitrous oxide (laughing gas) if you feel a little anxious about the procedure.

Are you concerned about a painful tooth? Call our Roswell, GA, dentist, Dr. Wyman Martin of The Martin Center for Oral Health and Aesthetics, at (770) 993-7424 to schedule your appointment.

The Martin Dental Center for Oral Health & Aesthetics
45 West Crossville Road, Suite 505
Roswell, GA 30075
Phone: 770-766-1263
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