Hail to the modern root canal treatment.
If you want to know the truth about root canals, listen to an expert – not a rumour monger.
As in most households these days, we parents tend to double as Taxi drivers – particularly at the weekends. Between swimming lessons, GAA mini-leagues and trips to the cinema or dropping the young ones off to a sleepover, we seem to spend half our time behind the wheel on Saturday and Sunday.
That’s not to say that we’d have it any other way. Seeing our children blossom and find their place in the world is one of the great pleasures of parenthood. It's also very pleasant to spend time with other parents who are in the same boat, sharing our concerns and fixing our mutual problems at the side of a sports pitch.
Last Saturday, for example, there was a GAA blitz for the Under-8s, so we were ‘on duty; for about four hours in all. And as always happens on occasions like this, little groups of six or seven parents gathered together and huddled in conversation to while away the hours till our little treasures were ready to be ferried home.
One of our group was what we might refer to as a vey ‘manly man’. Over six feet tall and built like a barn, he had played for the dubs back in the day – and still looked like he could tog out for them today if they were stuck.
Imagine our surprise, therefore, when he confided in the group that he had an upcoming event that was scaring him witless. “What was it?”, we wondered. It would surely be something fairly terrifying to scare a man like this.
Moments later, all was revealed. His dentist had told him that he needed a root canal treatment and was almost trembling at the prospect of it. Why? Well simply because he had believed all the nonsense that he had heard over the years about this tooth-saving procedure.
A number of the parents in the group knew that we worked in this area, so naturally looked to us to put our friend right. We were only too happy to oblige. We took him aside for a few minutes and explained that your typical root canal is no more uncomfortable than getting a filling, for example.
You are fully anaesthetised throughout the procedure, so you're aware of very little that’s happening in your mouth. And yes, we accept that it will involve two visits – each of around an hour. But many of our patients simply plug in their iPod and enjoy a little ‘me time’ while their dentist gets on with their work.
We were also able to reassure our friend that he would also not be hurt by the typical root canal cost. Why? Because the treatment has become very streamlined in the modern dental surgery, so prices have dropped accordingly.
And remember that you need to consider the root canal treatment cost in a long-term context. This will save a tooth that would otherwise be headed for extraction, and you should enjoy a fully functioning tooth for many decades to come. We happen to think that this represents very good value for money!
If you'd like to read a bit more on this topic – and stop worrying for nothing – then here’s a handy article to get you on your way - http://www.aae.org/patients/treatments-and-procedures/root-canals/root-canals.aspx