WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- Taking a trip to the dentist is not the type of trip many people want to be going on, especially when it comes to getting a root canal. But many dentists and endodontists are trying to eliminate that fear.
"It`s the pain that causes you to come in to have the root canal done. The root canal is what alleviates or removes the pain for you," Richard Urbanczyk, D.D.S. with Endodontic Specialists of Wisconsin said.
The American Association of Endodontists is kicking-off Root Canal Awareness Week to educate people about this procedure.
A root canal is needed when the soft tissue inside the tooth becomes inflamed or infected.
"If patients are having pain, especially pain that is waking them up at night, sensitivity to hot and cold, especially any kind of lingering sensitivity to hot or cold, they should see their dentist," Urbanczyk said.
At the Marquette University School of Dentistry, students learn the importance of early intervention.
"Take care of it sooner rather than later. Usually smaller cavities, become larger cavities, and larger cavities become root canals," Associate Professor with the Marquette School of Dentistry Lance Hashimoto said.
Endodontists are root canal specialists.
Advancements in technology for endodontists have come a long way, with the development of rotary instruments and three-dimensional imaging.
"It does allow us to see things that on your conventional two-dimensional picture you`ll never see -- things that are in front of or behind the root that are in the same plane of the X-ray," Urbanczyk said.
Although endodontists say a root canal is nothing to be afraid of, the best way to prevent one is brushing, flossing and regular exams.