Instant teeth whitening have easily become the latest craze and talk of the town over these past few years. People surely have known quite effective methods of whitening teeth in the past, but these methods take time. In this day and age, however, people are already living in a modern digital world. Everything they could possibly want now happens almost instantaneously. Thus, consumers go for products that are not only effective but are also able to showcase dramatic results at the shortest possible time. Regardless of the cost, the possible risks, and the possible side effects, consumers are wired to go for products that can give them what they want, soon if not now.
The Latest Fad On Teeth Whitening
It used to be that one only has to go to his or her kitchen and find the much-needed ingredient for a natural home remedy to whiten the teeth. Now, for a more immediate result, people have started spending thousands of dollars with clinics and products that can solve their teeth discoloration problems in a matter of hours. Here are a few of the most popular products and in-office procedures taken to instantly whiten one’s teeth.
- Go Smile Super White Snap Packs – Each single-use of this product applicator contains a capsule of whitening formula that features the company’s Hyperox™ Technology. It also comes with a teeth whitening serum is very gentle on both your teeth and gums. Simply apply it after you brush in the morning and in the evening as well before bed and you’ll surely see amazing drastic results every day.
Cost: $59.00 for a box containing (14) NET 0.02 fl oz Applicators
- Crest 3D White Luxe Professional Effects Whitestrips – this product was formulated with the same enamel-safe ingredient that is used by dentists in their clinics. It is said to deliver professional-level teeth whitening and can even remove stains and discoloration lasting over 14 years. It is very simple to use as it only involves strips that mold to the shape of one’s teeth and come off totally clean. It needs to be applied once a day for 30 minutes only but the results will show everyday until its full result upon reaching day 20.
Cost: $59.97 for a box containing 40 strips, good for 20 treatments using one each for upper and lower teeth
- Plus White 5-Minute Premier Whitening System – has an advanced technology that starts working in 5 minutes, as the name suggests. This product is said to be non-abrasive to your teeth’s enamel. However, although abrasive, it is able to work by gently lifting away long term stains and eliminating yellowing discoloration of teeth. The Comfort Fit Mouth Tray covers both bottom and top teeth, for even and complete bleaching.
Cost: $39.99 for a pack of 4
- Professional Cleaning – performed by dentists in clinic to remove external staining that are caused by food, drinks and tobacco. This is generally for cleaning but also includes a procedure for teeth whitening in its step by step process.
Average Cost: $82.08 (w/o insurance)
- Bleaching In Office – this is resorted to by dentists for more severely discolored and stubborn stains or yellowing of teeth. This would include strong chemicals that must be applied in precision, hence the need for a professional to do it. It is not advised if you have tooth-colored fillings, crowns, caps or bonding most especially those located in your front teeth as bleach will just be useless and won’t work for those materials. People in this scenario should go for the last option which are usually veneers.
- Veneers – this is performed not only to whiten but also to restore the physical appearance of any damaged teeth totally. The process involves tooth-colored porcelain shells placed over the facial surfaces of the teeth.
Cost: $925-$1500 per tooth
Teeth whitening can prove to be very beneficial to one’s overall well being despite the notion that its benefits are only for aesthetics. When one’s teeth are beautiful, not only will they look good but will also feel good. They will feel younger, healthier and their confidence will be immensely boosted.
These are only few of the countless reasons why people go to clinics to have the whitening professionally done. Some also venture into DIY Whitening system and Take-home whitening kits. The drawback that these methods have in common, however, is that they are pricey. You will have to spend thousands of dollars to avail of them. Also, there are side effects and risks that you’ll have to take. In take-home kits, for example, one may be doing the process incorrectly by mistake which could result in complications. Since you will be using chemicals, there’s also a chance to overuse which could likewise result in a disaster. This is perhaps the reason why most people just rely on natural remedies when attempting to whiten their teeth. They sound way cheaper, healthier and safer.
Sure Safe Alternatives
If you wish to have whiter teeth, but also wish to avoid the chemicals associated with it, this list might help you find options that are both natural and safe. Here they are:
- Clay – Using clay to whiten teeth has become popular over the years. Clay is considered as an alternative due to its ability polish cleanly and effectively despite its soft nature. While any clay would work, people generally choose white kaolin clay is the best.
- Baking Soda – making a paste using a mixture of baking soda and water then brushing the teeth with it regularly can reduce the bacteria in one’s mouth. It also deals with surface stains on teeth.
- Oil Pulling – the practice of swishing at least a tablespoon of oil like coconut or safflower around your mouth every morning for 20 minutes. The practice is supposed to cleanse your teeth and gums of bacteria, reduce plaque and brighten the teeth.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – known for its antibacterial properties that may help whiten your teeth. Just to be on the safe side, however, make sure to limit its use to a few times per week as overuse of vinegar can also erode the enamel on the teeth.
- Activated Charcoal -also known as activated carbon is noticeably black but odorless, tasteless, and nontoxic. Emptying a capsule onto your toothbrush and adding a little water shall do the trick and results can show as early as after a week.
- Hydrogen Peroxide – a natural bleaching agent that is also known to kill bacteria. It can be used as a mouthwash, or it can also be mixed with baking soda to make a stronger whitening paste.
- Fruits and Vegetables – regularly consumption of raw fruits and vegetables will not only make you physically healthy, but it can also help rub plaque off your teeth and keep them teeth looking bright and shiny. These include Strawberries, Apples, Celery, Carrots, Oranges, and Pineapples.
Proper Oral Hygiene – perhaps the safest, healthiest and cheapest of them all. Simply maintain the kind of care your teeth deserve. Of course, include regular visits to the dentist on this as well for it will not only ensure that your teeth are healthy, the dentist can also help you with tips that are only known by professionals and even better or tailor fit method to the kind of teeth you have.
Bleaching, in general, refers to whitening or turning something into white through a chemical process involving bleaching agents. It can be done to a lot of things, like bleaching your kitchen countertops, your hair, or even your skin. The most talked about “bleaching” these days, however, is bleaching of teeth. But how exactly is it done?
Teeth Bleaching Processes
There are two general types of teeth bleaching:
- Those that you can do at home and 2. Those that must be professionally done.
Those that you can do at home can be further classified between natural and artificial.
- Natural Bleaching Process involves the use of ingredients that can be easily found at the comforts of your home. The most popular examples are Baking Soda, Strawberries, Coconut Oil, and Apple Cider Vinegar.
- Artificial Bleaching Process can also be done at home and as DIY like the ones above. However, what you need as ingredients cannot simply and easily be found in your kitchen as most of them would come from pharmacies or dental clinics. They include Teeth Whitening Kits and Whitening Strips.
As for the second general type which is those that must be professionally done, they refer to those bleaching that can only be performed in an accredited clinic by a registered and licensed dentist. This includes methods such as Laser Whitening, Veneers, and Lumineers. But more than the concept of bleaching, most of these procedures are also already considered cosmetic procedures.
Pros and Cons
There is no question as to how beneficial it is when you get your teeth bleached. The direct benefit of bleaching is simply having teeth as stunning and as white as those you see on models and Hollywood actors. You will definitely look so much better after the procedure. As a result, anyone who’s teeth are effectively bleached will gladly be smiling all-day and would surely look younger, happier, and more confident about themselves.
Nothing worth it comes easy, however. Thus there are also a couple of potential risks and side effects when you decide to bleach your teeth. They are the following:
- Gum irritation (usually caused by ill-fitting whitening trays)
- Risk of developing canker sores
- Thinning of the enamel of the teeth making them more prone to damage and decay
There are many other pros and cons to bleaching the teeth, but these lists right here are the most common deal breakers for those who can’t decide about the procedure yet. Aside from those already listed above, it is probably worth mentioning that the processes for natural and home remedies are way cheaper to perform. The trade-off, however, is that it will surely take a lot longer for anyone to see dramatic results. This is the exact opposite of those done by professionals which are a lot more expensive but would already show noticeable effects even as early as after the very first session.
Upon looking at the pros and cons, they are apparently at a tie as regards the effects of having your teeth bleached. Perhaps the only tiebreaker now would be how badly and how soon would you want pearly white teeth. But no matter what you decide on, make sure to consult your dentist first.
How to Find a Good Dentist that Your Beautiful Teeth Deserve
People say that when you find a good dentist to work with, your planned dental procedure is already halfway done. This is because you worry less about possible mistakes and accidents during the procedure. Also, you are guaranteed to be taken care of even well after the procedure is done. This includes having a reliable go-to person when in an emergency situation and a dependable doctor for all follow-up checkups, dental cleaning and maintenance.
But what exactly makes a good dentist? And what are the right questions to ask in order to find one?
A Good Dentist
Here’s a quick list of factors to watch out for in order to find the perfect dentist for you:
- COMFORT – As cheesy as it sounds, it is a must that you find a dentist that you can be very comfortable with. The thought of the dental procedures alone and the pain that comes with it can easily make one panic and anxious. But having the right person beside you whom you can easily talk with, can confidently answer your questions, and can assure you that the procedure will be okay can make a whole lot of difference. To find out more about how they work, a meet and greet is a must! Talk to potential dentists and see if you can get along well.
- LOCATION – this is not something that a lot of people worry about when finding a dentist. But if you are committed to excellent oral hygiene, you are surely aware that your dentist must be easily accessible to facilitate convenient and regular visits. Finding a dentist that is near your home or job is a must when looking for a kind of dental care that will work best with your lifestyle.
- BACKGROUND, SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE – next to practicality, this factor is the most important because the outcome of your procedures and check-ups will depend highly on the capabilities of your dentist. Ask the following questions to your dentist to decide better:
– Is heshe a member of the ADA?
– Where was he/she dentist educated and trained?
– How long has he/she been a dentist?
– How long has he/she performed the procedure to be performed on you?
– How often does he/she attend conferences and continuing education?
– When was the last time he/she attended them?
– Is he/she certified to administer anesthesia during any necessary dental treatment?
- THE CLINIC’S MACHINES, FACILITIES, AND OFFICE PROCEDURE – this is important to see how the dentist works in his comfort zone. Not only is he/she supposed to be good but the place where he will perform all procedures on you must also be in an excellent state. This is also to make sure that their service and procedures are patient-friendly and not simply for profit. Here are a few good questions to start with:
– Is the office and clinic neat, and orderly?
– Are surfaces and equipment in the treatment room sparkling clean?
– How old do the place and machines look?
– Is the staff accommodating and willing to answer all your questions?
– During actual patient treatment, do you observe the dentist and staff wearing gloves and masks?
– Will the dentist participate in your dental insurance program?
– What arrangements are made for handling emergencies outside office hours?
– Will there be emergency referral service to other dentists if your dentist is unable to tend to you?
– Are all information covering fees and payment plans made available to you prior to your treatment being scheduled?
Of course, answers to these questions must be in the affirmative and must always be to service your best interest as a patient. Dental procedures don’t come cheap and a huge chunk of what you spend goes directly to the dentists. Thus, it is a must that you make absolutely sure that the services you will be paying for are worth the price. Also, your teeth have a huge part in your daily activities and are a prominent part of your face, such that any minor mistake or accident will affect their functionality and your physical appearance forever. Thus, it is highly essential that you find at least a competent, if not the best, person to trust your teeth to.
“The whiter the teeth, the wider the smile!” Not everyone, however, can confidently show off a wide smile due to the state and look of their teeth. Most, if not all, shy away because of the possibility of their teeth stains and discoloration showing. That is why a lot of people try to find ways to whiten their teeth effectively. On the internet alone, there are a whole lot of list of options and procedures to try both at home and in clinic! Although most of them are effective, they still vary in cost and in the time it takes to see drastic effects. If you’re looking for something that is fast acting, you are most likely to rely on unorthodox and in-clinic methods.
Fast Acting Teeth Whitening
If there are big events fast approaching, you probably get anxious as to how you’d look. May it be that first date with someone special, or your wedding day, or perhaps a critical job interview! – All these events are absolutely justifiable reasons as to why you’d want to show off your biggest and most beautiful smile. And this is also exactly when instant teeth whitening becomes absolutely handy.
Let’s take a look at this list of FAST ACTING methods:
- Dental Whitening System at Home – this is a complete package which would typically include pretreatment rinse, whitening serum, gels, and light. The typical process would be as follows:
- Start with the rinse
- Add cotton balls around the gums to avoid irritation and saliva build up
- Apply the whitening serum or whitening gel.
- To activate the serum or gel, prepare the light that comes with the package and hold it against the teeth for a minute or two
- Some products would instruct that you brush or rinse after
- Repeat said process until desired results
- Teeth Whitening Trays – this involves whitening gels and plastic bleaching trays made to fit the user’s teeth. If you have it done with the dentist, the trays are custom made to fit your very own teeth. If you opt DIY at home, you will be getting a standard pre-formed plastic shell which will most likely be ill-fitted to your teeth but would still work. The typical process is as follows:
- Clean teeth by brushing and rinsing
- Simply place bleaching gel on the tray
- Slip tray over teeth
- Wipe away any excess gel to minimize gum irritation
- Follow instructions on the product as to how long will you wear the tray. It usually ranges from an hour to overnight.
- Remove the tray and rinse off teeth thoroughly
- Laser Teeth Whitening – the procedure takes place in the dentist’s office. It uses almost the same process as the ones above, but here, lasers are involved to speed up the chemical reaction of the whitening solution. Here is the exact procedure:
- Bleach is first applied to each tooth.
- The laser generates heat to activate the bleaching gel
- Use special precautions to protect the lips, gums and other oral tissues from being damaged. Items can include cheek retractors, soft or rubber dams for the gums, and desensitizing products to avoid chances of tooth sensitivity.
No matter how quick and effective these processes are, still, no teeth whitening process is permanent. Thus, it is still advised to avoid teeth-staining food and beverages such as coffee or tea and cigarettes too. Also, make sure to schedule follow-up check ups, dental cleaning, and any follow-up whitening session if needed.
Losing one of your teeth is already a bad news; Losing a couple of them is a disaster. Not only is an incomplete set of teeth a little less functional, it also forces the person to lose his otherwise perfect and beautiful smile. That is why many people resort to bridgework, dentures, and dental implants to remedy this problem. Between the three, dental implants are more popular because it is more comfortable and can treat even a single tooth as compared to bridgework, which affects at least three.
Dental Implants In General
Dental implants are also known as replacement tooth roots that provide a strong foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth. They are made to seamlessly match the appearance of natural teeth and thus are more authentic-looking. As they look and feel like your own teeth, it is very comfortable compared to ordinary dentures. With it, not only will your eating habits improve, but your self-esteem and overall oral health will also be boosted.
The general success rate of dental implants can reach a rate of up to 98%. They can even last a lifetime if properly maintained which is why it is crucial that one learns how to properly care for dental implants if they ever decide to avail it. Here’s how:
Dental Implants: Proper care and maintenance
Since dental implants look like, feels like, fits like and functions exactly like natural teeth, it is no surprise that they also require the same care as real teeth would. This care would include brushing at least three times daily after each meals, careful flossing, completed with an antibacterial mouthwash rinse for a total excellent hygiene care package. But since it is still artificial teeth, one will still have to visit your dentist more often to check if everything is still okay with the implants. Even though cavities cannot possibly occur in them, one will still need to visit his or her dentist as scheduled and have them maintain regular dental cleanings. Additional cleaning aids may also be recommended by the dentist to help one keep his or her teeth healthy at home. The patient and the dentist must work much closer as a team to ensure the durability and longevity of the dental implants.
Additionally, it is important to look carefully at possible signs of infection. Check the tissue surrounding the implant and make sure that it appears pink, firm, and without signs of swelling. The soft tissues or the permucosal seal separating the connective tissues surrounding the implant from the outside environment should be properly kept. The success of the dental implant depends largely on the health of this seal, so it is necessary to make sure that the patient is educated on how to maintain a healthy permucosal seal.
Lastly, it is important that maintenance products such as toothpaste or toothbrush are properly chosen. Buy toothpaste that will not irritate the permucosal seal. There is also a titanium surface in the implant that is anti-corrosive. If this layer is removed, the implant will be prone to corrosion, so it is best to ask the dentist which products will help avoid this from happening. Stannous fluoride can cause etching, roughness on implants, and their esthetic restorations. For the brush, a soft toothbrush should be used. They can be manual brush, electric, or sonic brush, as long as the bristles are soft and won’t be too hard on the gums. Interdental brush, rubber tip, soft picks, and water irrigation can also prove to be effective.
A beautiful set of teeth makes a huge difference in someone’s appearance. When your teeth are pearly white, you are at ease and more comfortable with how they look so you don’t shy away when laughing or smiling. Not only will you look better and appealing, but you also feel so much better about yourself. As such, you become more confident and happier which contributes a lot on your whole well being. These are just a few of the many reasons why a lot of people wish to have whiter teeth. Aside from those mentioned, others also feel that they look younger and healthier when their teeth are as white as snow.
But how does one achieve it?
Hundreds of years ago, getting pearly white teeth can only be done through natural remedies. These are inexpensive and can even be done at home. The drawback, however, is that it takes a while. Sometimes the process is also ineffective. Thanks to research and technology, there are now several teeth whitening methods to choose from that are quick and guaranteed to work effectively. Although they come pricier than home and natural remedies, people who can afford go for these procedures to get a process that surely works. These include teeth bleaching, laser teeth whitening, and even Dental Veneers. But for today, let’s talk about the most popular among them: Laser Teeth Whitening.
Laser teeth whitening is now known as one of the most effective ways to whiten one’s teeth. It used to be so expensive and considered a luxury for most. But it started becoming more popular among average people when the service became more and more available in clinics nationwide. Its increasing accessibility allowed for better competition and a huge decrease in the cost.
What does the process exactly entail and what is the average cost?
Laser teeth whitening is only administered in an accredited dental office. The procedure is very exact, and as such, it is also one of the most expensive methods for whitening next to composite veneers. It uses a laser to enhance effectiveness and dramatic results. The laser also quickens and activates the effectiveness of the strong bleaching gel used.
Typically, dental insurance does not cover the cost of whitening treatments. Chances are, one will have to independently foot the bill. As for the exact amount, the price varies a lot depending on the effectivity of each procedure. It will also depend on the clinic and dentist you’d pick to perform the procedure and the extent of the discoloration of one’s teeth. The range is usually from $900 – $1200 per treatment. It only becomes more expensive if one is not yet satisfied with the result so as to go for another treatment. But more often than not, one session is already enough to be able to see a noticeable improvement in the color of the teeth.
Another usual cost associated to laser teeth is the maintenance involved after the procedure. Even with the amazing results observed after the treatment, the changes also fade over time especially if the teeth is not properly cared for later on. Thus, it is best to schedule a follow-up treatment every six months and make sure to purchase the recommended dental products of the dentist for every visit.
They say nothing you wear is more important than your smile. But no matter how beautiful your smile is, it still won’t be too good to look at if it goes with teeth that aren’t as white as it should be.
Having white teeth does not only enhance your face and your smile, but it also boosts your confidence especially when you interact with people. Having whiter teeth can also be associated with a better dating life as more than beauty, it also reflects how clean and particular you are with oral health. This is why a lot of people now choose to whiten their teeth. There are a lot of options to choose from like those which are professionally done such as laser and bleaching. These are relatively expensive and is thus better discussed directly with your Dentist. There are also natural ways to whiten the teeth and this will be the subject of this article. How do you whiten your teeth naturally without breaking the bank?
Here are 12 hows:
- Good Oral Hygiene
Nothing beats good oral hygiene in whitening the teeth. This includes regular brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist at least twice a year to get a professional cleaning and a checkup.
- More Calcium, less sugar
Calcium contributes to keeping teeth, strong and white. As such, dairy products like milk and yogurts are perfect for a good dental diet. Sugary food and drinks, however, are all bad for the teeth. They contribute too much to cavities which are black holes over your teeth. This is actually worse than discoloration as it gives you black teeth instead of just yellow.
- Oil Pulling
This is a 3,000-year-old Ayurvedic practice of swishing a tablespoon of oil around your mouth every morning for 20 minutes. It may not sound good, but a lot of people believe its effectivity. This practice is supposed to cleanse the teeth and the gums of unwanted bacteria.
- Baking Soda
Baking soda can now be found in many brands of toothpaste and teeth-whitening products. Using it to remove stains from teeth is common practice as it does an amazing job at removing surface stains. Proceed with caution, however, when using this remedy to prevent damage to your enamel.
- Crunchy Juicy fruits
Apples, Pineapples, and Strawberries are perfect examples of juicy and crunchy fruits to help with one’s oral health. The loud crunch heard when you bite onto the fruits actually helps to strengthen the gums. Continuous consumption of these fruits is said to help whiten the teeth.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider is made from apple extract and is fermented. It is thus rich in pectin and beneficial enzymes which helps in whitening the teeth and also healing chronic gum infections.
Turmeric works the same way baking soda does in whitening the teeth. This is because like baking soda, Turmeric also has abrasive properties. Take caution however in using it so often since too much contact with abrasive properties can leave the gums very sensitive due to enamel breakdown.
- Orange Peel
One of the many fruit related natural teeth whiteners, orange peel is an effective way to remove surface stains quickly and cost-effectively.
Lemons are said to work and have similar effects as orange peels. Again, take it with high caution as it has very high acid content. To lessen this, immediately brush or rinse thoroughly to prevent residual acid from eating away at the enamel.
Same as baking soda and lemon, salt it acts as an abrasive. As such, it erodes the superficial layer of the tooth and removes any stains.
- Holy Basil Leaves
The combination of holy basil leaves and mustard oil can be applied on to the teeth to hygiene it. It also has whitening material goods and can also work as a good shield for your teeth from crisis such as pyorrhea.
- Activated Charcoal
This is an oxidized version of charcoal and can be used to whiten teeth effectively. It can contain millions of tiny pores that bind up poisons, chemicals, and even intestinal gas to have them expelled safely from the body. This same absorbent quality can also pull out stains, bacteria, and toxins from our mouth
They say the whiter the teeth, the wider the smile. And the wider the smile, the better! This is perhaps why a lot of people always wanted to have pearly white teeth. Not only does it enhance the beauty of one’s face, but it also reflects proper hygiene and exudes confidence! But whatever your reasons are for wanting pearly white teeth, there are a lot of techniques and options to choose from in order to achieve it.
Let’s take a look at the top 3 best teeth whitening techniques today:
1. Professional Teeth Whitening — This process involves professionals using high-concentration of whitening gel to whiten the teeth. The gels used are generally not available over the counter and are limited to licensed experts as they are not entirely safe if misused. However, when the gels are prepared and provided by the dentist, the patient can easily apply it himself and is thus allowed to take the whitening home. Here are the two most popular professional types and the specific processes for each:
- In-Office Whitening — In this type, the dentist will be applying a gel to your teeth which will be left untouched for about an hour. A light or heat source, typically a laser, is used during the process to increase the whitening effect.
- Take-Home Whitening — With this type, the dentist provides for a custom-made mouth tray. This mouth tray is made of highly flexible thin plastic which will have to be filled with whitening gel also provided by the dentist. A prescribed period of time to leave the gel on the teeth must be followed for effective bleaching.
2. Over-The-Counter (OTC) Teeth Whitening — The products allowed to over the counter can be taken home because they contain much lower concentrations of bleach as compared to the gels mentioned earlier. Although its effectivity may not be as quick as the stronger gels, they are still pretty efficient in doing the job when properly used as directed. As always, it is best to consult a dentist for recommendations under this type but here are a few to get you started:
- Whitening Toothpaste — the most popular and basic as you can easily find this, in almost all homes in the US. It is known to remove surface stains and plaque efficiently. Unlike bleaches, however, they do not change your teeth’s actual color.
- Whitening Strips — these would typically look like clear adhesive bandages pasted onto the teeth and leave it the untouched for about 30 minutes at a time. It is common advice to do this twice a day for a week or two until desired results are achieved.
- Whitening Gum — If you love candies and gum, then this relatively new form of whitening would be perfect for you. You may need to chew quite more than your usual number of pieces in a day though.
- Brush-Ons — These are gels, which are brushed directly onto the teeth and left overnight for maximum effect. It mimics those that are used in professional whitening processes but this one would not be as strong.
3. Natural or Home Remedies – Natural remedies are certainly not sold on drugstore as gels or strips. These are mostly made at-home, safe and are said as effective to whiten your teeth. The best part perhaps is that they are cheap, if not free and available in your kitchen! Usual home remedies include baking soda with lemon, orange peels or strawberries!
If you want a quick and surefire technique and don’t have budget constraints, go for professional whitening. If you are not in a rush however, go for OTC Whitening or go natural, depending on how much you are willing to spend. But whatever technique it is that you wish to take, always bear in mind that there is still no substitute to proper oral hygiene. Also, it is always best to consult your dentist on what may work best for you when choosing between the techniques discussed.
A root canal is a necessary treatment to save an inflamed, infected or badly damaged tooth. The procedure includes removing a specific damaged part of the tooth, usually the pulp, then disinfecting it to fill it later and seal it.
If you are not familiar with how the procedure goes, the thought of having a root canal may intimidate or frighten you. The common misconception that root canals cause so much pain is, in fact, one of the few reasons why some people say the procedure should be avoided.
But is it really that painful?
Decades and years ago when procedures are done old school style, it is easy to understand why people say it is painful. It might have been the truth then, but it is no longer true now. With the constant development in medical technology and anesthetics, the pain is now dramatically reduced. If you experience minimal pain when you get a cavity filled, then that’s the maximum you’d feel when undergoing a root canal. In addition, endodontists today are already experts in pain management. Thus, they are now trained to perform procedures as such with very insignificant pain.
The truth is, when people think it’s the treatment that is painful, it is actually the infection in the tooth that stings -and a root canal is exactly what is necessary to get rid of that pain. Most professionals even say that the root canal procedure itself is generally painless. It is, in fact, the American Association of Endodontists, that claims how most patients feel little to no pain at all, while a root canal is being performed. And now that the procedure includes the application of local anesthetic that numbs the tooth and its surrounding area, it isn’t that difficult to believe. You can also get calming medicines, such as nitrous oxide, to calm your nerves during the procedure.
However, it is not unreasonable to expect that after a few days from undergoing the treatment, some pain and sensitivity might be felt. To address this, your dentist will surely recommend over-the- counter pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen. Some will also decide to give you a prescription pain medication to ease any discomfort. Of course, any pain that doesn’t get cleared up by OTC medicine or doesn’t back down after a few days and recurs after treatment is not normal. This could certainly be a sign of a new infection, which you’ll have to report to your dentist right away.
Here are a few pro tips to lessen the pain, if there is any:
- Research on well-known dentists. Most of them will have reviews online these days which can tell you whether the dentist is good in performing procedures with very minimal infliction of pain.
- Consider all forms of anesthesia including sedative if you wish to be absolutely free of pain. This way, you have nothing to lose but a few more bucks but definitely everything to gain.
- It is always easier to prevent pain before it has even started. Take ibuprofen immediately before the local anesthetic starts to wear off.
While the thought of getting a root canal and the pain that comes with it may scare you, the treatment itself is actually the solution to the pain. Once you’re done, there’ll be so much relief in the coming days; you’ll thank yourself you went.