For anyone sitting in the dentist’s chair and hearing that they need to have a root canal is often quite terrifying. While root canals have a bad reputation that is largely unwarranted, they really aren’t anything that anyone looks forward to.
Modern dental practices have made root canals more uncomfortable than actually painful, but they still remain one of the more feared dental procedures. On top of the fear of pain involved, they are also generally quite expensive. This is especially true when you need to have a crown placed over the tooth in addition to the root canal, which is usually the case.
But what if there was a better option? What if there was a way to actually repair a tooth without having to drill and file it down and place a crown over it?
Well, the day of the root canal may in fact be numbered due to new research into using stem cells to heal damaged teeth. The new procedure that is being experimented with involves drilling into a tooth and then placing a unique type of filling that uses stem cells to promote the generation of dentin. Dentin is the hard material that teeth are made of. Since regrowing the damaged dentin can return a tooth to health, the need for a root canal and crown would then be avoided.
While this procedure is still likely some time away from being available to the public, the potential benefits are enormous. For people who fear having to go through a root canal, this new treatment may be less frightening, which could lead to less people neglecting their much needed dental care. The other major benefit would be that this procedure should be far less expensive than the traditional root canal and crown option used to treat badly damaged teeth.
The day may be coming sooner than we think when the dreaded root canal is no longer the preferred treatment option for badly damaged teeth. While a toothache is not something to consider minor, there are major health concerns that can arise from ignoring a toothache for too long.
The fact that this new treatment option could give patients a better choice should get more people to address their tooth problems instead of continuing to ignore them. The good news is that all of the preliminary testing has shown that this new procedure is both safe and effective. That means that the days of the root canal are likely numbered.