There are some pretty fearsome phrases that no one ever wants to hear. Obvious ones that may come to mind are: you’re being audited by the IRS; your job is being eliminated; and, any phrase that begins with, “We regret to inform you that…”
But one that may very well set itself apart from all the others is arguably, “You need a root canal!” This procedure is normally the butt of many jokes and is often utilized as a comparison for any other of life’s situations that conjure up pain and suffering. Take for instance the age old, “I’d rather have a…baby…have a leg cut off… be attacked by a pack of rabid wolves than have a root canal”
While Root Canal Therapy (RCT), as it is known in the biz, may have been a dental service with a checkered past, it’s a relatively routine procedure that requires the same numbing up as a simple silver filling.
Because Cleveland is home to the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, area residents have access to some of the leading root canal specialists and general dentists. As any dentist would agree, the more a patient understands the less fearful they are of having the procedure performed.
The tooth above and below the gums has a hollowed out area that looks like a canal and is filled with a nerve and blood vessels. For various reasons either due to infection, cavities, or physical injury (like a crack) the canal may need to be cleaned out and filled. That’s pretty much it. As Tony Soprano famously said, “Bada bing bada boom”.
Once that part is done, a cap or filling – silver or tooth colored, is placed. Sometimes it may be necessary to take an antibiotic to ward off infection and mild pain medication to make you comfortable. Your dentist will assess your particular situation and provide the appropriate treatment necessary to speed your recovery.
Unfortunately, those of you who wouldn’t wish a root canal on your worst enemy will have to come up with something else. How about a colonoscopy?