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Root canals are the ultimate dental saviour

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The root canal is one of the most important tools in your dentist’s armoury. Here’s why.

We got a great reaction to our recent blog about the most evil dentists in the movies, in which we suggested that Marathon Man stole the show. We’ve had a number of readers point out that Steve Martin also played a pretty evil dental genius in Little Shop of Horrors, the 1986 movie by Frank Oz.


One of the highlights of the movie is when the masochistic character played by Bill Murray asks Steve Martin for "a long, slow, root canal". It was extremely funny in context, but once again, this is a case of root canal treatment getting a bad name in popular culture. You’d almost be forgiven for thinking that dentists had come together and devised a special form of torture for patients.


The truth is rather different. A root canal treatment is a ‘last chance’ procedure that your dentist calls upon to save a tooth that’s otherwise headed for extraction. You’d think that we would be grateful that such a treatment exists, and that it would be one of the most revered forms of dental intervention.


Instead, however, it enjoys a reputation as being a source of pain. This is absolute nonsense – and you can believe us when we tell you this as we’ve had one ourselves in the past couple of years.

Perhaps one of the reasons for the bad press is that it’s quite a lengthy process. You’ll normally pay two visits to the dentist, each of them taking about an hour. This is because there are quite a few different elements to the procedure. The length of time should not be regarded as a form of penance, however, as you will be fully anaesthetized during the whole process.

The only real discomfort we felt was a little tenderness around the gum area for a couple of days after the treatment. This was very easily sorted by a few over-the-counter painkillers, however. The bottom line is that if you’ve been putting off having a root canal because you suspect it's painful, then think again and book an appointment with your dentist right away.

Equally, if you’ve been fearing that your root canal treatment cost will make a big hole in your pocket, you're wrong again. The procedure is very streamlined these days, and prices have come down accordingly.

And bear in mind that you need to consider the value of that root canal cost in the context of a treatment that should last you for many years to come. Indeed, if you take proper care of the salvaged tooth, you could get a lifetime’s use from it.

You should also remember that if you don't want to pay the full treatment cost at once, you can opt for our 0% Dental Finance Plan, which lets you spread the cost over three months, six months or nine months.

If you'd like to read more about root canals, this article from the American Association of Endodontists fits the bill - http://www.aae.org/patients/treatments-and-procedures/root-canals/root-canals.aspx