Root Canals: Separating Fact from Fiction

dental anxiety, dental phobiaMost people cringe when they hear the word “root canal”. There is a preconceived notion that root canals are one of the most painful procedures one can get. So, why are there so many misconceptions about this treatment? Due to the advancements in the dental industry, the root canal procedure is nothing like what it used to be. Before undergoing any dental procedure, it’s important to be informed about the treatment and know your options. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about root canals:

1. Root canals are extremely painful. With the advancements in dental technology, a root canal procedure is virtually pain free. A root canal is actually performed to relieve the patient of pain. This pain is caused by inflammation of the pulp chamber or a dental infection. The belief that root canals are extremely painful goes way back when anesthesia wasn’t used when performing the procedure, hence making it painful. With modern anesthesia, this procedure is no more painful than a filing.

2. A root canal can cause you to become ill. This misconception was formed by long-debunked and poorly designed research performed over a century ago by Dr. Weston A. Price. This was before medicine understood the causes of diseases. There is no evidence linking root canal treated teeth to any diseases elsewhere in the body. When an infected tooth requires endodontic treatment, the treatment is design to rid the infected tooth of any harmful bacteria and to prevent it from becoming reinfected.

3. A root canal immediately relieves pain after the procedure. This isn’t necessarily true. After a root canal, there is significant improvement in the infected tooth, however, the tooth will be sensitive a few weeks after the root canal. A patient may experience mild pain when eating certain foods. It is possible to be pain free after the procedure, but it depends on how complicated the treatment was.

4. A root canal is a lengthy procedure that requires more than one appointment. A root canal treatment usually takes between one to two hours to complete. The number of appointments often depends on the condition of the tooth and how many canals it has.

5. An good alternative to a root canal is a tooth extraction. This is false. If possible, you should always try to preserve your real tooth. Endodontic treatment and the appropriate tooth restoration is a cost-effective way to preserve your real tooth and is often less expensive than tooth extraction. Root canals have a very high success rate and last a life time.

If you are suffering from severe tooth pain, you should get it looked at immediately. A crown or root canal may be the option you’re looking for. Contact Greenspoint Dental today to set up an appointment.