History of Root Canal and Why They Aren't Scary Anymore
The phrase root canal can cause most people to shudder at the mere thought of it. Whatever the title, this procedure has evoked fear for many centuries, as there is evidence that people have been attempting some primitive form of root canals since as early as the 3rd century BC. This information may cause surprise, but it should also point to the importance. When bacteria have attacked the pulp, or inner portion, of the tooth, we need to go in and remove the source. Thankfully, with modern tools, information and pain relief options, our team at Long Island Smile can help the patient have this needed work done much more comfortably.
Root Canal History
Early Romans seemed to have understood that it was necessary to drain an infected tooth. This is based on the finding of a skull with a bronze wire found in a tooth and the knowledge that Romans used primitive forms of dental crowns and dentures. Though they didn’t have a full understanding of bacteria, they were correct that bacteria inside of a tooth needed to be released. As history moved forward, there were other examples of similar procedures throughout Europe, but the most similar procedure to a root canal today was first performed in 1838. A man named Edwin Maynard used tools for a watch to open a tooth and release the bacteria inside. The tools we use today are very similar to those tools he used. Later, in 1847, a man named Edwin Truman used a natural latex sap material known as gutta-percha to fill the canal, this material is also still used today.
The biggest difference that separates our patients today is in the preparation work we take to help the patient feel more comfortable.
A Root Canal Does Not Have to Be Scary
The idea that a root canal hurts, or will make you miserable, is a misnomer. The truth is that the infection is what is causing you pain and discomfort. You may not be aware of the entire situation of the infection until we open the tooth and expose the infection. Before we open the tooth, we will provide the patient a local anesthetic and can additionally provide various conscious sedatives to reduce pain or anxiety before treatment.
The root canal therapy procedure includes opening the tooth to expose the infected material. We then remove the source of the infection, along with the pulp of the tooth and the nerve inside. The pulp of the tooth was needed when the tooth was growing, but once it is grown, we can safely remove it. The inside of the tooth is then cleansed with an antibacterial wash, and the space is filled with gutta-percha. The tooth is then closed with filling material, and we will recommend a dental crown to provide additional strength to the tooth structure. This process is not only simple but can be lifesaving, infected pulp is a bacterial infection, and it is an infection that the body cannot heal on its own. The result of leaving an infection brewing can be detrimental to your oral health and even your physical health.
For additional information or to schedule a consultation call Long Island Smile at (516) 243-7473 today.