If you had a root canal years ago and need one again on a different tooth, you may be worried. Thinking back to your first root canal may trigger a lot of negative feelings, but what you might not realize is that root canals today are not exactly like they were years ago. Today, many dentists use state-of-the-art technology while performing root canals, which makes getting a root canal less painful than it used to be. Here are three differences that will benefit you.
In the past, a dentist would have to stop several times during a root canal procedure to take x-rays. These x-rays were on film, which meant they had to be developed. The purposes of these x-rays were to determine where the infection was inside the tooth and roots, and to make sure the dentist removed all of it.
While dentists still take x-rays during root canal procedures, they now use digital x-ray equipment for this. Digital x-rays offer numerous benefits, including that they develop instantly and are sent to a nearby computer monitor. This eliminates the wait time, plus digital x-rays are usually clearer, which allows the dentist to get a better view of a tooth.
Surgical Operating Microscope
Another device now used during root canals is a surgical operating microscope (SOM). The dentist uses this tool as he or she performs a root canal and is able to see the tooth chambers much easier. The microscope has increased magnification, allowing dentists to complete root canals more thoroughly.
While this may not directly benefit you during the procedure, it could reduce your chances of developing problems with the roots of this tooth in the future.
New Sealant Materials
One of the main steps required during a root canal is cleaning out the canals in the tooth. These canals can be full of fluid and infection, and the only way to save the tooth is to clean them out. When a dentist does a root canal today, he or she may use a new type of sealant material to ensure that these canals do not get infected again. This material is rubber-like and is inserted inside the canals after they are cleaned out.
Another option some dentists are using is a new alternative method that is very different from a root canal, but that is often used before a root canal is necessary. This method can only be used for a tooth if the nerves in the tooth are not infected.
With this method, a dentist will clean out the nerve areas by the tooth and will seal them. When this is done, it stops an infection from getting inside the tooth, which may prevent a person from needing a root canal for the tooth.
Getting a root canal today is still not necessarily a fun event, but it is not nearly as bad as what it used to be. You can learn more about this and other state-of-the-art technological advances by talking to your dentist such as Central PA Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons LLC.