Root canals remain one of the most feared dental procedures. They’re even used in films and literature as a conventional horror story to evince some of our most visceral fears. While the truth of root canals is that they can be painful, they are not nearly as terrible as our culture makes them out to be. However, there is clearly room for improvement, and some new research may be heralding it in. It’s too early to be sure, but a team of researchers may have uncovered a way to make root canals less painful, less invasive, and more holistic. Ask your dentist about the news at your next Tulsa teeth cleaning.
It has always been the case that root canals kill the tooth involved. This is because the process involves drilling through the tooth and scooping out the damaged components of it. This means scraping out what is known as the dental pulp. Now, as you can imagine from reading that, this could be quite painful. Thankfully, the dentists have highly effective medicines for dealing with this, and we really don’t have to fear the pain of root canals anymore. Most of the time it can be handled fairly well with a localized anesthetic.
Now, a team of researchers has made a potential breakthrough that could change some of these fundamental truths about root canals. They have reportedly created a “peptide hydrogel designed to stimulate the growth of new blood vessels and dental pulp within a tooth after the procedure.”1 This means that the tooth may no longer have to die. If this research bears out, then the developed material may be able to keep the affected tooth alive after the root canal is completed.
This is important for a couple of reasons. The root canal traditionally kills the tooth, leading to a higher susceptibility to infection and decay. Which, of course, leads to an increase in dental costs for you, the patient. Usually, a crown is attached to the tooth after a root canal, but something less permanent may be possible if the tooth is no longer expected to die. What makes all of this such an exciting breakthrough is that it has the potential to simultaneously increase the health benefits of a root canal while also reducing the associated costs and needs of follow-up dental services. For a better idea of how this could benefit you, ask your dentist during your next Tulsa teeth cleaning.
While root canals are one of the most feared dental procedures in our society, they aren’t nearly as bad as many of us perceive them. As they say, the bark is bigger than the bite. Even so, it would be a great thing for all of us if this research turns out to be viable. Although root canals are not as bad as we fear, they still aren’t the best thing for our teeth. They’re only performed when there’s no other option for treating an infected tooth. If we can find a way to do this without having to kill the tooth in the process, then it would be hard not to think of that as a positive advancement in the field of dentistry. Schedule a Tulsa teeth cleaning appointment and learn more about exciting dental breakthroughs from your dentist!