Terrified of endodontic therapy? You’re not alone – the root canal has gained the dubious honor of being one of the most-feared dental treatments. The thing is, we’re not entirely sure how or why this happened. Root canal therapy heals an infected tooth and saves the structure from future damage. But decades of negative media and root canal rumors have hidden that fact. If you’re nervous about an upcoming root canal, read through some of the most pervasive myths about treatment below. You’ll feel better by the time your appointment rolls around!
Don’t Listen to These Common Root Canal Myths
Root canals are very painful – This misconception may have risen from the fact that a root canal delves deep within a tooth. But treatment helps soothe pain, not cause it. Prior to your therapy, Dr. Baudean will numb the tooth completely so that you will be comfortable. You may also request sedation if you are feeling particularly anxious. Most root canal patients report that the procedure is entirely painless. There will be some discomfort as the tooth heals, but that is manageable with soft foods and over the counter painkillers. Once the tooth has healed, you’ll be free of the pain and swelling that accompanied infection (for good).
Extraction is better than a root canal – It’s always best to conserve tooth structure. This is what root canal therapy achieves. Conversely, an extraction removes the tooth entirely to start from scratch. This then requires more complex restorative treatment to rebuild the tooth. Instead of starting over, you can heal an infection with endodontic treatment (and also reduce total costs).
If you’re not in pain, you don’t need a root canal – Infected pulp isn’t always accompanied by pain – but that doesn’t mean it’s not infected. Infections will not heal on their own; if you have an infected tooth, it requires treatment or it will just get worse. Advanced infections can even lead to bone loss.
Root canal therapy puts your health at risk – Some inaccurate studies (the original almost 100 years old at this point) state that endodontic therapy contributes to disease elsewhere in the body. Today, there is no valid evidence that root canal therapy is linked to disease anywhere else in the body. A root canal eliminates bacteria from infected tooth canals, but doesn’t spread it elsewhere – it is safely removed from the mouth. The treatment area is kept isolated and clean throughout, and the tooth is x-rayed multiple times to be sure the canals are clean.
Have lingering root canal questions? Contact us today.