In life, you’re presented with a whole lot of choices. Where you want to eat, how you want to dress, who you want to date. There are also some choices that we take for granted, like when you’re searching for the phrase “root canal dentist near me” on the internet.
If you’ve ever found yourself thinking something along the line of “What sort of difference could it actually make, anyway? Any dentist can do a root canal, right? As long as they can get the operation done safely and quickly, does it really make that big of a difference?” You might be surprised.
Getting the right dentist for the job can make a whole world of difference in all steps of the process of getting a root canal in ways that you might not have even begun to think about. It can really be
If you’re skeptical about the difference it could make when you find the right dentist, you’re in luck. We wrote this article just for you so you can have a better idea of what a difference it can make. We’ve done the research so that you won’t have to.
What is a Root Canal?
Before explaining why the right dentist can make your procedure better, we have to make sure that everyone understands exactly what a root canal is. Of course, we’ve all heard of root canals. They’re one of the most common oral surgeries in the world.
In fact, there’s a good chance that you’ve either had a root canal in your life or that you need one right now. They’re seriously that common. In fact, there are over 15 million root canals done in the United States a year. There are nearly 330 million people in America.
That’s equal to nearly 5% of the United States population, and in 20 years that equals 100% of the United States population. Of course, most adults have 28 teeth, and that cuts the number way down, but even if everyone that got a root canal got one done on every tooth, that would mean more than 535,000 people a year.
To put that large number into perspective, the population of Wyoming is 581,000. That means that about 92% of the entire population of the state of Wyoming could get 28 root canals every single year, and that’s seriously impressive.
Considering most people only need one or two, it’s safe to say that there are a lot of people that get root canals or have at least heard of them. But what exactly is a root canal? It’s a procedure that is used to treat cracked teeth caused by a few things, for instance::
- An injury.
- Genetic information passed down from the patient’s parents.
- The formation of a deep cavity.
- Issues that were caused by a previous filling.
Most patients realize that they need to have a root canal done when they have sensitivity in their teeth. This usually manifests in not being able to handle things that are too hot or too cold. The procedure itself is actually relatively cut and dry, which is fortunate both for the patient and the operating dentist.
There are a few simple steps for this procedure, generally with very little variation:
- The patient arrives at the dental practice.
- Once the patient is inside, they check in with the front desk worker.
- After check-in is complete, they wait until the dentist is ready.
- The patient gets called into the back.
- The dentist or a nurse takes the patient to where the procedure will happen.
- If the nurse is the one that retrieved the patient, the doctor will come to see the patient before the next step.
- An x-ray will be taken of the tooth by the doctor to see the shape of the root canals and confirm whether or not an infection has occurred.
- Anesthesia is applied to the patient.
- The dentist will dry the area of saliva.
- An oral dam will be put into place in the patient’s mouth.
- The dentist drills into the patient’s tool.
- Any debris and bacteria are cleared out using root canal files.
- The tooth is filled back up.
- Most dentists will prefer to do this last step after about a week.
If there is an infection, the dentist will likely put medication into the tooth to ensure that it will be better before it’s time to fill the tooth back in. This procedure is usually painless because of the anesthesia and because most patients already have dead nerves by the time this is done.
As you can imagine, this is something that needs to be done right. A dentist literally has to drill into your tooth and get into the root canals. A lot can go wrong.
Why the Dentist Matters
When it comes time to have your procedure, you want to make sure you’re in good hands. Of course, any dentist can do a root canal and they probably do a lot of them every day. But does that mean that every single one of them is going to make it the best possible experience?
If your car needed an oil change, you’d take it to someone who you’d trust. A good mechanic will have you in and out within a few hours at most. They’ll let you know about anything else that might be wrong with it, and then they’ll send you on your way.
A bad mechanic might keep your car for days just to do something as simple as an oil change, and they might even return your car in worse condition than you left it with them. That’s definitely far from ideal.
The same can be said about dentists. Of course, any dentist can do a root canal. That doesn’t mean that some dentists won’t mess it up and make things worse than they were to start with. That’s why you need to make sure that you get the right person for the job.
Going to a bad dentist for your root canal can result in things like infections and abscesses. Of course, any dentist could accidentally cause those things, but the wrong dentist could leave you hanging when you need them to help you the most, and that could leave you in a lot of pain.
A good dentist will listen to the fact that you’re in pain and will try to get you in as soon as they can. Most good dentists’ offices have emergency lines that you can call 24/7. You might not always be able to be seen immediately, but they’ll try to get you in as soon as possible.
That’s the biggest reason why it makes a difference. It’s not fun when you’re in a lot of pain and you can’t get your dentist to help you, and yet that happens all the time to people.
How to Choose the Right Dentist
Choosing the right dentist can be hard, but if you know what to look for you can usually find something pretty easily. You could even find something in your area, which makes things that much more convenient considering you won’t be able to drive after your visit.
Firstly, you could try calling them at various times throughout the day. Google has a function that allows you to see when a place is usually busiest, so you can try calling around those times. If they don’t answer, that’s perfect. You can definitely use that to your advantage.
Leave a voicemail and tell them what your symptoms are. Most good dentists will get back to you before the end of the business day, especially if your issues are causing you pain or discomfort and you communicate that in your voicemail.
If they take more than a full business day, move on to the next one. If they leave you hanging for that, they’d probably leave you hanging if you run into any serious issues after your procedure that happen to occur. Considering that’s exactly what we’re looking to avoid, it’s best to mind how they handle their phones.
It’s also good to do research on dentists online before scheduling. See what other patients have said about them, the good, the bad, and the ugly. People that have gotten treatment from this dentist will have a lot of insight for you, and the internet makes it easier to find that.
Doing What’s Best for You
A lot of people avoid getting root canals for a variety of reasons. If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that you’re well on your way to getting the care that you need to get your teeth working the way that they’re supposed to.
If you’re already putting in the effort, it could be worth a little bit more to make sure that you’re getting the right dentist. That way you don’t end up in a lot of pain because someone decided not to call you back about a dental emergency.