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Advances in Root Canals and Why it is Not as Scary as it Once Was


Tooth infections are not only painful, but they can also compromise both your oral health and your overall health. Treating a tooth infection requires a root canal, a procedure that helps to restore oral health and prevent the need for a tooth extraction. The words root canal can trigger a substantial amount of fear and anxiety, as this procedure is often associated with significant pain. There have been many advances in root canals over the years. At Anchorage Dental Associates, we use the latest tools and technologies to perform your procedure. Undergoing a root canal today is not as scary as it used to be.

What is a Root Canal?


A root canal is a treatment that is performed to eliminate an infection inside of a tooth. It involves drilling a small access hole into the top of the tooth, which provides access to the interior. Small tools are used to remove the pulp, or soft tissue, from the inside of the tooth as well as the nerve. The canals inside of the tooth are shaped, and the entire interior is cleaned and disinfected. Next, the inside of the tooth is filled with a special material, which seals the canals. Finally, a crown is placed. The crown helps to restore strength to the tooth as well as provide additional protection.

Why is a Root Canal Necessary?


Your teeth are incredibly strong. While they can withstand a significant amount of daily use, they can still face physical damage and decay. Both of these issues can compromise the teeth. Damage or decay that extends past the enamel layer and into the inner layers of the teeth can allow bacteria inside. These bacteria then begin attacking the pulp, leading to irritation and inflammation, as well as a significant amount of pain. Without treatment, the infection only continues to worsen. Bacteria can spill out through the root of the tooth, leading to the formation of an abscess. Abscesses form to contain bacteria but can grow larger and even rupture, which can then allow bacteria into the bloodstream. A root canal is how an infection inside of a tooth is treated, alleviating pain and restoring your oral health.

Advances in Root Canal Technology


Hearing the term root canal can trigger a significant amount of fear for many dental patients. This particular procedure is often associated with pain. Because of this, many patients may avoid getting necessary treatment, which then allows the infection to worsen. Today, however, advances in root canal technology have made the procedure easier and faster. Treatment is performed under local anesthetic, which helps to ensure that you do not feel any pain during the process. We can also provide sedation, which will help particularly anxious patients feel more at ease. Some of the technology that enables us to make the root canal process less scary.

•  Digital X-rays and 3D imaging. Advances in imaging allow us to make more accurate diagnoses so that we can formulate more effective treatment plans. This aids in reducing the risk of mistakes, which also means a reduced risk of retreatment.
•  Electric drills. Improvements on electric drills have made them faster. Vibration has also been reduced.
•  Microscopic cameras. These cameras allow us to see the smallest details. This helps to ensure your entire tooth is cleaned.
•  Laser dentistry. Lasers are becoming common in the dental field and can even be used during root canals. With a laser, we can effectively disinfect the inside of the tooth. The laser also helps to reduce the time in the chair as well as reduce recovery time.

Advances in root canals have made the procedure shorter, more effective, and much less painful. All of these factors can help to make undergoing a root canal much less frightening. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call Anchorage Dental Associates at (907) 885-3666 today.

Anchorage Dental Associates's accepts Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, United Concordia Dental, Delta Dental, Aetna, Moba Health, Cigna, Tricare and Medicaid insurance providers

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