In countless movies and TV shows, actors use the dreaded root canal as the thing most associated with absolute pain and suffering. They would rather have an arm cut off than to have this procedure done. Even in a popular kids movie, “Finding Nemo,” the fish watch the dentist perform a root canal from their aquarium as the patient flails and screams in pain as the dentist stabs him with his torture devices.

Once upon a time, this was probably the way root canals really were. Not any more, especially at Let’s talk about this!

What is a Root Canal?

The procedure is done to remove the pulp tissue (actually nerve, blood vessels, and cells that made the tooth) from the canal space that runs down the middle of the root of a tooth.

A common misconception is that the root is removed. This is incorrect. The root remains, and a crown (cap) is made to cover the tooth and keep it strong. Once the pulp tissue is removed, a special root canal filling is placed within the root. The core of the tooth is then strengthened, either with a bonded core build up, or a post and core build up. This is what the crown sits on.

Root canals are done when decay, cracks, or old fillings or crowns go deep into the tooth. Often this causes a toothache. Many times, there is no preceding pain at all. These are also done when a tooth becomes infected, or abscessed. This condition can also be very painful, or it can exist and the patient has no idea it’s there.

In the past, root canal treatment would often take 2 or 3 long visits, and then 2 more visits to make the crown. Many x-rays were needed throughout the procedure, which only added to the time and discomfort required to complete it. The longer the procedure takes, the greater chances of there being pain as the anesthetic wears off. This definitely fits the Hollywood description.

The McKinney Dentist root canal version is much different.

  • First, we achieve “PROFOUND” anesthesia. This means no feeling at all.
  • Instead of taking 3-5 visits to complete, we will finish your root canal and crown in 1 or 2 quick appointments. In some cases, we can make your crown the same day using our E4D crown milling technology.
  • We use the latest in root measuring technology that allows us to take a minimum number of x-rays. The x-rays we do take are always digital, which reduces the patients exposure, and are viewable instantly on a computer monitor with incredible clarity and resolution.
  • On teeth with multiple roots that are difficult to see with conventional 2D x-rays, we can see all the details of the tooth’s structure using our 3D dental CT scanner. This allows us to see exactly where the roots and canals are located, and how many the tooth has. We find hidden canals that would normally be missed (which leads to infection later) all of the time!
  • The technique and materials used to clean and fill the canals is also state-of-the-art, which allows for a quicker, more comfortable, and thorough result.
  • Quicker procedures create much less strain on patient’s jaws and muscles, and much less stress on the patient!

All of the techniques we use are designed to create the best, most predictable, and fastest result possible. Our patients are always telling us how surprised they were at how easy the procedure was, and how the dread and fear they had leading up to it was all for nothing. Often, the only pain medication people need after having a McKinney Dentist root canal is Tylenol or Advil.

Do Not be Afraid of Root Canals!

If you have been diagnosed as needing a root canal, or if a toothache is making your life miserable and you have been avoiding treating it because of the terrible reputation that the root canal has been given, you need not worry or avoid treatment any more.

And if anxiety still makes you hesitate, we offer several types of sedation dentistry, from FREE laughing gas (available for all appointments), oral sedation that creates a calm, relaxed, and sleepy state, and IV sedation that will have you asleep through the entire procedure.

Call and talk to one of our friendly patient counselors about how we can help save your tooth and smile.